News & Upcoming Events

11/10/2015 - 13:00

John GoodenoughProf. John Goodenough, CEC faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Prof. Jay Keasling, of the University of California at Berkeley’s College of Chemistry, are the 2015 winners of the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the recipients’ names on October 7, 2015. The $1 million shared prize was awarded to the two professors on November 10 at the Fuel Choices Summit in Tel Aviv. The prize was given for their respective work on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and on genetic engineering research that has enabled organisms to transform cellulosic biomass to high quality biofuels.

Describing Goodenough as a “pioneer in the research of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries,” the committee said that Goodenough’s inventions have provided the basis for a wide range of batteries used worldwide for mobile phones, power tools, laptop and tablet computers and other wireless devices, as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Today, Goodenough continues to push the boundaries of materials science with the goal of inventing more sustainable and energy-efficient battery materials. Most recently, Goodenough and his team identified a new, safe cathode material for use in sodium-ion batteries.

“I am honored to receive this international award,” Goodenough said. “I look forward to donating the award to The University of Texas at Austin for supplementing my support of two research scientists associated with the university’s Texas Materials Institute.”

“This is the most important and largest prize in the world in its field, which reflects a real appreciation of the researchers for their efforts, and supports the advancement of technological breakthroughs in the sector of alternative fuels,” Netanyahu said. “We are investing in a multiyear effort to be freed from the global dependence on oil.”

The prime minister established the contest in 2013 in conjunction with Israel's approval of its $380 million Fuel Choices Initiative program, which aims to revolutionize the alternative transportation field in Israel and abroad. The prize is jointly administered by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Science and Technology Ministry.

Keasling, is the Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at Berkeley, the associate laboratory director for biosciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the CEO and vice president of fuels synthesis at the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute.

10/20/2015 - 16:52

Adam Heller on the cover of InterfaceCEC faculty member Adam Heller was the plenary speaker for the 228th Meeting of The Electrochemical Society, held October 11-15, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.

His lecture was titled "Wealth, Global Warming, and Geoengineering." Professor Heller graces the cover of latest issue of ECS Interface as well. 

10/09/2015 - 13:00

Alan CowleyAfter a distinguished 54-year career at the University of Texas at Austin, CEC faculty member Professor Alan Cowley retired on August 31, 2015. A retirement symposium was held on October 9-10.

Alan played a major role in helping establish the department of Chemistry as one of the best in the country through his research,  teaching, and  service. As one of the leading figures in the world-wide renaissance of main group chemistry, he made numerous seminal scientific contributions in inorganic chemistry. His early work was with the group 15 elements, especially the chemistry of phosphorus. Particularly noteworthy contributions include the isolation of compounds with multiple bonds between the heavier main-group elements. Later his attention turned to group 13, and he helped pioneer the development of single-source precursors to important electronic materials such as gallium arsenide, indium phosphide and gallium nitride. Although Alan served the community in many high profile roles, one that that had a major impact on the entire field of chemistry was his involvement in chairing the Gordon Research Conferences for many years. During his career, Alan had over 560 publications and has been recognized for his outstanding achievements with numerous awards. Among these are the ACS Award for Distinguished Service to Inorganic Chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Main-Group Chemistry. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988. Alan's infectious enthusiasm for chemistry remains undiminished, and he can be found still working in his office. His new title is The Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry, Emeritus.

09/11/2015 - 13:00

Xiang Li, a graduate student in the laboratory of Professor Richard M. Crooks, has been selected by the Graduate Fellowship Committee of the Department of Chemistry to receive a Fall 2015 White Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry.

This departmental award is offered to exceptional graduate students in recognition of their excellent research and academic achievements. Xiang recently published "Detection of Hepatitis B Virus DNA with a Paper Electrochemical Sensor" X. Li; K. Scida; R. M. Crooks, Anal. Chem. 2015, 87, 9009-9015 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02210).  Congrats Xiang!

06/12/2015 - 14:46

The CEC Electrochemical Research Instrumentation Facility has been moved to accommodate building renovations. The facility is now housed in Welch Hall room 2.404. For equipment details and scheduling, please visit the website.

03/03/2015 - 18:07

Jeffrey Dick

Congratulations to CEC graduate student Jeffrey Dick, who has been selected to participate in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, to be held this summer in Lindau, Germany.

Jeffrey is among 672 young scientists selected from 88 countries who are excellent students, PhD candidates, and post-docs, aged 35 or younger, with a research focus in the fields of medicine, physics, or chemistry. The young scientists were first nominated by a global network of academic partners and then passed a multi-step international selection process.

Jeffrey Dick is a graduate student and NSF Fellow in Allen Bard's research group. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Ball State University. His current research concerns application of electrochemistry to ultra-sensitive sensor technologies for the selective detection of single viruses and antibodies.

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is an annual scientific conference that invites Nobel prize winners to present to and interact with young researchers from all over the world. The meeting has an informal atmosphere and intensive peer-to-peer contact with the aims of scientific exchange and inspiration of junior scientists. More information is available at

01/09/2015 - 18:25

RSC logoIn recognition of very significant contributions to various areas of electrochemistry, Professor Richard Crooks has been invited to be the 2015 recipient of the Faraday Medal.

The Faraday Medal is currently awarded annually by the Electrochemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to an electrochemist working outside the UK in recognition of their outstanding original contributions and innovation in any field of electrochemistry. 

The Medal will be presented at the annual UK Electrochem meeting, planned for September 13-15, 2015 at Durham University. The meeting will also feature a plenary lecture from Prof. Crooks, and themed parallel sessions of lectures.

The medal itself is made from sterling silver. It is 2 inches in diameter and the front face depicts a bust of Michael Faraday. On the obverse face there is a cyclic voltammogram with the winner's name engraved underneath. The Medal was first awarded in 1977 but in the early years it was not awarded every year. 

01/06/2015 - 18:16

Graeme HenkelmanThe Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin recently announced the promotion of CEC faculty member Graeme Henkelman to full professor.

Prof. Henkelman's research concerns the development of simulation methodology to study kinetic processes at the atomic scale. This includes applying density functional theory to determine the mechanisms of catalytic reactions on surfaces and nanoparticles, including core@shell nanoparticles and dendrimer-encapsulated nanoparticles.

11/21/2014 - 20:28

The Center for Electrochemistry will host its annual workshop over the weekend of February 7-8 in Austin, Texas. Click here for information on the 2015 CEC Annual Workshop on Electrochemistry.

Session topics include electrochemical sensors, CO2 reduction, energy conversion and storage, and understanding electrocatalysis with DFT. Registration is open at

11/04/2014 - 13:00

ECS logoCongratulations to the UT-Austin Electrochemical Society Student Chapter on receiving the prestigious Outstanding ECS Student Chapter Award for 2014 from The Electrochemical Society.

The student chapter is led by faculty advisor Prof. Arumugam Manthiram and Chapter President Josephine Cunningham. The annual Outstanding ECS Student Chapter Award recognizes one student chapter that has distinguished itself through active participation in the Electrochemical Society’s technical activities, outstanding community and outreach activities in science and engineering education, and a robust membership base.

The award was presented at the 2014 Fall ECS meeting, and occasion was marked a few weeks later in Austin with a reception and an award seminar presented by Netz Arroyo on the topic of redox flow batteries.