John Goodenough elected to National Academy of Sciences

NAS logoThe University of Texas at Austin has another faculty member among the nation’s distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research.

John Goodenough is Centennial Professor of Engineering, Texas Materials Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, and a Center for Electrochemistry faculty member. Earlier this month he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.

Goodenough's research concerns understanding the relationships between the chemistry, structure, and electronic/ionic properties of solids in order to design new or improved engineering materials. He has made lasting contributions to materials science and technology, especially in the development the memory cores of the first random-access memory (RAM) for digital computers, and in understanding the science underlying lithium-ion batteries. Goodenough identified and developed the cathode materials for the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that have found widespread commercial use in portable electronic devices. Since 1976, Goodenough also has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering, making him now one of an elite few honored with membership in both NAE and NAS.

The National Academies were established by President Abraham Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, with a mandate to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government. Past members include Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell.

Also among the 84 new NAS members elected this year were The University of Texas MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho and Baylor College of Medicine biochemist Wah Chiu. These elections bring the total number of NAS members in Texas to 61. Official inductions are slated for April 2013.