News & Upcoming Events

12/21/2012 - 19:00

National Medal of ScienceProfessors Allen Bard and John Goodenough, both CEC faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin, were among twelve eminent researchers named by President Obama as the next recipients of the National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science is highest honor bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists and engineers. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony in early 2013.

Allen Bard has been on the chemistry faculty at UT since 1958, and now holds the Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry and is Director of the Center for Electrochemistry. John Goodenough joined the faculty of UT's Cockrell School of Engineering in 1986, and now holds the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering. Both are well known for their contributions to electrochemistry and electrochemical systems.

“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” President Obama said.  “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great—and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. A committee of Presidential appointees selects nominees on the basis of their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, or the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

This year’s recipients of the National Medal of Science are listed below.
Dr. Allen Bard, University of Texas at Austin, TX
Dr. Sallie Chisholm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Dr. Sidney Drell, Stanford University, CA
Dr. Sandra Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
Dr. Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland, MD
Dr. Solomon Golomb, University of Southern California, CA
Dr. John Goodenough, University of Texas at Austin, TX
Dr. M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri, MO
Dr. Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, WA
Dr. Barry Mazur, Harvard University, MA
Dr. Lucy Shapiro, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
Dr. Anne Treisman, Princeton University, NJ

Updates and links:
1. story on Allen Bard's award at Texas Science
2. story on John Goodenough's award from the Cockrell School of Engineering

 

12/12/2012 - 14:57

The Center for Electrochemistry will host its annual workshop over the weekend of February 9 in Austin, Texas. Session topics include photoelectrochemistry, batteries, and electrocatalysis. Click here for information on the 2013 Workshop on Electrochemistry.

09/21/2012 - 15:14

John B. GoodenoughThe John B. Goodenough Symposium in Materials Science and Engineering will be presented by The University of Texas Texas Materials Institute in honor of Dr. Goodenough's 90th birthday.

Oxides: Fundamental Chemistry and Physics to Designing Materials for Energy Storage
The University of Texas at Austin
October 26–27, 2012

A reception and poster session will be held on October 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. The symposium will be held on October 27, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will take place in Austin, TX at the AT&T Executive Education Conference Center (1900 University Avenue, 512-404-1900). The symposium organizers are Arumugam Manthiram and Jianshi Zhou. For registration and more information, please visit http://blogs.utexas.edu/em6679/ or contact Lauren Murrah, (512) 471-7394, lauren.murrah at austin.utexas.edu.

05/09/2012 - 15:25

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.

09/23/2011 - 14:08

redox flow battery schematic diagramStanford's Global Climate and Energy Project has awarded $3.5 million to five universities to develop new technologies that improve energy storage on the grid.

Stanford University's Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) is awarding $3.5 million to researchers at five universities to develop new technologies that could dramatically improve energy storage capacity on the electric grid. The awards include two major research programs at The University of Texas at Austin: one at the Center for Electrochemistry, and another at the Center for Electromechanics.

The awards bring the total number of GCEP-supported research programs to 86, with total funding of approximately $104 million since the project's launch in 2002.

"GCEP is delighted to announce our first research awards in the area of advanced grid energy storage," said GCEP Director Sally Benson, a research professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford.  "Finding dependable, low-cost ways to store electricity is the key to future grid reliability, especially given the rapid growth of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power."

This GCEP research initiative focuses on new approaches for developing high-efficiency electrochemical storage systems and flywheels – rotating devices that convert stored kinetic energy into electricity.

Twelve investigators from across the United States will participate in the initiative focusing on three innovative technologies:

Enhanced Electrolyte Energy Storage Systems:  This research seeks to introduce transformative changes in the construction and composition of the redox flow battery, a promising but so-far expensive technology that stores electrical energy as chemical energy like a battery does, but can be made large enough to store energy for the electric utility grid. Large-scale energy storage is needed in order to maximize the amount of energy generation from solar and wind sources.

Investigators: Jeremy Meyers and Allen Bard, Center for Electrochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin; and Thomas Zawodzinski Jr. and Alex Papandrew, University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Low-Cost Flywheel Energy Storage: This program will investigate two novel designs: pendulum and hubless flywheels that use high-strength carbon nanomaterials with superconducting qualities to increase energy storage capacity at a significantly reduced cost.

Investigators: Robert Hebner, Richard Thompson and Siddharth Pratap, The University of Texas at Austin; and Ray Baughman and Shaoli Fang, University of Texas-Dallas.

"The GCEP award will allow us to advance the understanding of revolutionary flywheel designs, which have the potential for a 10-fold decrease in the cost of stored energy compared to other technologies," said Thompson, senior engineering scientist at the UT-Austin Center for Electromechanics.

Novel Solid Oxide Flow Batteries: The goal of this program is to develop a unique type of flow battery that stores energy in methane and other gases, and then uses the stored fuel to generate electricity like a fuel cell.

Investigators: Scott Barnett, Northwestern University; Robert Kee and Robert Braun, Colorado School of Mines.

"Thanks to support from GCEP, we now have a unique opportunity to provide sufficient proof of concept to justify further investment in solid oxide flow batteries and help advance this critical new technology," said Barnett, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern.

GCEP is a collaboration of the scientific and engineering communities in academia and industry. With the support and participation of ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger and Toyota, GCEP explores science that could lead to energy technologies that are efficient, environmentally benign and cost-effective.

"It is extremely gratifying to see GCEP provide funding to institutions across the country for collaborative research in energy storage," said Gary Leonard, chair of the GCEP management committee and technology director for aero-thermal and mechanical systems at GE.  "Each of these awards has a strong potential to produce game-changing technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a significant impact on global climate change."

Advanced energy storage will be one of the key technical areas featured at the seventh annual GCEP Research Symposium Oct. 4-5 at Stanford University. Registration for the event is required.

Media Contact

Sally Benson, GCEP: (650) 725-0358, smbenson@stanford.edu

Mark Shwartz, Precourt Institute for Energy: (650) 723-9296, mshwartz@stanford.edu

Maxine Lym, Global Climate and Energy Project: (650) 725-3228, maxlym@stanford.edu

09/01/2011 - 11:32

NI logoGraphical System Design in Scientific Computing and Experimental Research with NI LabVIEW seminar Friday, September 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM.

Learn how to use NI LabVIEW, data acquisition devices and modular instrumentation to develop your scientific applications in scientific computing and experimental research. Recommended for undergraduate and graduate students with experimental research projects, faculty/staff scientists and postdocs conducting experimental/applied research.

This seminar presents:

  • The latest version of the NI LabVIEW development environment and its G programming language for developing interactive, stand-alone technical and scientific applications.
  • How to measure/generate analog/digital signals using data acquisition (DAQ) devices and modular instruments (MI)
  • How to communicate with instruments through serial (RS-232), parallel (GPIB) and other interfaces.
  • How to use LabVIEW to develop signal processing, data analysis and data visualization applications using real-world signals measured with DAQ devices and MI.
  • How to accelerate your algorithms using multi-core CPUs, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and graphical processing units (GPUs) for real-time high-performance computing.
  • How to deploy your application in embedded controllers with real-time operating systems (RTOSs) and FPGAs

Location:    Applied Computational Engineering & Science Building (ACE) Avaya Auditorium, 2.302
Admission:    Free

08/29/2011 - 12:37

Lithium-ion Battery Symposium flyerA special symposium on "The Origin, Development, and Future of the Lithium-ion Battery" will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at The University of Texas at Austin.

The day includes presentations by engaging and well-known speakers, with a casual atmosphere that fosters interaction between students, postdocs, faculty, representatives from industry, and national labs. The goal of this special symposium is to bring together experts and some of the original pioneers in the field from around the world to provide an opportunity to learn lessons from the development of the LIB that can be applied to today's research, and to discuss the possibilities and directions for future research. Presentations will feature some historical perspective as well as new work. The day will feature presentations by: Claude Delmas, John Goodenough, Arumugam Manthiram, Michael Thackeray, Masataka Wakihara, Rachid Yazami, Akira Yoshino, and Karim Zaghib.

The year 2011 is appropriate for the celebration of several milestones in the development of the lithium-ion battery. Over 30 years have passed since Prof. J.B. Goodenough reported the invention of LiCoO2 as a positive electrode material in 1980. Over 30 years have passed since the world's first discovery by Prof. Rachid Yazami of the reversible electrochemical intercalation of lithium into graphite in 1980, which he reported in 1981 and 1982. Twenty-five years have passed since Dr. Akira Yoshino commissioned the fabrication of a batch of prototype LIB cells in 1986, and 20 years have passed since Sony began mass-producing LIBs in 1991. The LIB has been firmly established in a wide range of electronic applications, and LIB production now amounts to some US$1.0 billion. Furthermore, this year marks the beginning of full-scale adoption of the LIB in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The evolution of the LIB continues apace, with issues such as safety, higher capacity, cost reduction, mass production being the subject of intensive research throughout the world. The development of new battery systems based on the LIB will spur another leap in innovation.

The symposium will be held in Amphitheater 204 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, with an evening reception held a short walk away at the Student Activity Center on the UT-Austin campus. We are grateful for the sponsorship of Asahi Kasei Corporation in helping to make this possible.

Registration is open at http://lithium.eventbrite.com/.

08/18/2011 - 10:31

ACS logoA symposium in honor of Paul Barbara will be held at the upcoming American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Denver. More than fifty of the late Dr. Barbera's colleagues and group alumni will be presenting, including four physical chemists from The University of Texas at Austin.

The symposium is entitled "From Ultrafast Electron Transfer to Single Molecule Spectroscopy: Forces Driving Contemporary Themes in Physical Chemistry," and will take place at the ACS National Meeting in Denver, Colorado from August 28 to September 1, 2011.

Physical chemistry is pushing the frontiers of chemical reactivity from ultrafast electron motion during chemical reactions, to pinpointing the chemistry of single molecules. Paul Barbara's legacy exemplifies how chemical problems can be solved with state-of-the-art instrumentation. This symposium looks to the future of ultrafast electron transfer, single molecule spectroscopy, and the physical chemistry of organic-based materials. The organizers include Professor Gilbert C. Walker of University of Toronto, and Professors Stephan Link and Christy Landes of Rice University.

08/10/2011 - 11:05

Soladigm Dynamic Glass electrochromic windowsRigorous Testing Verifies Long-Term Durability of Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass

Soladigm, a developer of highly energy-efficient Dynamic Glass for next-generation buildings and a CEC industrial affiliate, today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed that Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass has passed ASTM E2141-06 durability testing.

NREL tested Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass units, which were put under the equivalent conditions of the sun’s radiation at an elevated temperature, simulating the effect of real-world use in buildings for the lifetime of window glass. More than 50,000 cycles of testing were completed, after which each unit showed no change in physical appearance or performance.

“Soladigm is one of only two companies to have successfully met this durability milestone for Dynamic Glass technology,” said Dr. Anne Dillon, Principal Scientist at NREL. “Soladigm’s samples stood up to our rigorous testing protocol showing no degradation. The stability shown throughout the testing clearly proves that Soladigm has developed a highly durable product.”

“There are numerous technologies that can achieve color change in transparent materials. An insulated glass unit installed in a building window or a façade needs to withstand the harsh UV and high temperature environments for an extended period of time,” said Dr. Rao Mulpuri, CEO of Soladigm. “The selection of materials and manufacturing technology in our Dynamic Glass unit took into account this important requirement from the beginning. This result at NREL is a significant milestone for Soladigm, validating the commercial viability of our product.”

Soladigm continues to achieve significant milestones toward high-volume production. Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass, which electronically switches from clear to tinted on demand, enables control of heat and glare in buildings while providing greater comfort, uninterrupted views, and natural daylight. Soladigm Dynamic Glass windows will reduce HVAC energy usage by 25 percent and peak load by 30 percent in commercial buildings.

About Soladigm

Soladigm is a developer of next-generation green building solutions designed to improve energy efficiency. The company’s highly energy efficient dynamic glass switches from clear to tinted on demand, resulting in significant cost savings, environmental benefits, and quality of life enhancements. Soladigm is headquartered in Milpitas, California. For more information, visit www.soladigm.com.

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. Window testing is performed under the supervision and funding from the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Buildings Technology Program. For more information, please visit http://www.nrel.gov/.

Contacts

Schwartz Communications
Dan O’Mahony, 415-512-0770
Soladigm@schwartzcomm.com

07/14/2011 - 10:48

LiFePO4 structureThe University of Texas at Austin has announced an agreement with Canada-based Hydro-Quebec for lithium-ion material technology invented and patented by Dr. John Goodenough, a world-renowned scientist at the university.

Goodenough's research resulted in much lighter, longer lasting lithium ion batteries. It also provided improved safety for consumers and an environmentally friendly solution for transportation and storage applications. LiFePO4 is an innovative and powerful cathode material useful in rechargeable batteries. Uses for the technology include cell phones, laptops, mp3 players, power tools, hybrid automobiles, small electric vehicles and stationary energy storage in ‘smart grid’ applications.

The University of Texas at Austin and Hydro-Quebec have worked together since 1996 to develop and commercialize these materials. The long-standing relationship established a successful basis to take the technology from the laboratory to commercial product, enabling commercial production worldwide for LiFePO4.

“This agreement is indicative of the value of university research and will accelerate the commercialization of a key technology with a wide range of applications in the energy sector,” said Juan M. Sanchez, the university's vice president for research. “We are pleased that a company with the stature of Hydro-Quebec is committed to the advancement of UT inventions. The agreement is also an acknowledgment to the importance of Dr. Goodenough’s research.”

Goodenough, the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, identified and developed the cathode materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are found in devices and products around the world. “This has been an amazing opportunity to collaborate with Hydro-Quebec and the university's commercialization partners,” Goodenough said. “We knew it was a promising technology, but the market was not ready for it in 1996 when we started on this endeavor. It was in the lab, and today it is a commercial product.”

Goodenough has received many honors for his work, including the 2009 Enrico Fermi Award presented on behalf of the White House, and the 2001 Japan Prize, the country's equivalent to the Nobel Prize. Goodenough is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the L’Academie des Sciences de L’Institute de France and a fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s 350-year-old national academy of science.

Hydro-Quebec recently entered into an alliance that will aid the distribution of the university's technology to address the market demand with high quality products. The alliance has established licenses worldwide with material producers, enabling materials to become readily available for use in battery manufacturing, and for products to be available for worldwide distribution. Initial sublicense agreements to produce and sell lithium iron products have been concluded with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. Ltd. and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., both based in Japan, and Tatung Fine Chemicals Co. and Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry (Cayman) Co. Ltd. (ALEEES), based in Taiwan.

Hydro-Quebec is a government-owned public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electricity using mainly renewable energy sources, in particular, hydroelectricity. Composed of 60 hydroelectric and one nuclear generating station, Hydro-Quebec is the largest electricity generator in Canada and the world’s largest hydroelectric generator. The utility, which has more than 23,000 employees, also conducts research in energy-related fields, focusing on energy efficiency. The broad-based market penetration of these high quality battery materials is a result of the growing demand from the global battery and automotive industries for reliable and efficient sources of energy.

For more information, contact: Betsy Merrick, Office of Technology Commercialization, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-7399.