Mária Telkes (1900-1995) was a Hungarian scientist and inventor, best known for her pioneering work in thermodynamics and solar energy. She moved to the United States after completing a PhD in physical chemistry in her home country, and researched solar energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1947 she invented the first thermoelectric power generator, designing the first solar heating system. A few years later, in 1953, she created the first thermoelectric refrigerator. Throughout her career she designed various other thermal devices for the production and storage of solar power.