News & Upcoming Events

02/25/2010 - 19:00

Professor Chris Bielawski, a CEC faculty member, has been named to the Editorial Advisory Board of MACROMOLECULES. The journal focuses on all fundamentals of polymer science, including synthesis, polymerization mechanisms and kinetics, chemical modification, solution/melt/solid-state characteristics, and theory and simulation, as well as surface properties of organic, inorganic, and naturally occurring polymers.

Visit Macromolecules.

02/03/2010 - 13:42

In a public panel discussion hosted by the Austin Clean Energy Group, CEC faculty member Professor Jeremy Meyers will be featured, together with other distinguished subject matter experts in the science, technology, and business of electrical energy storage and batteries. The other panel members are Mr. Jeff Bruce, Director of Product Management, Valence Technology, Inc,. Dr. Sam Stimson, Senior Fellow, Boston-Power, Inc., and Mr. Jay Taylor, Senior Engineer Global Strategist, Dell, Inc.

The event takes place February 18, 2010 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center - Auditorium from 5 to 8 PM. Visit Austin Clean Energy Group for the required RSVP and information about parking.

02/02/2010 - 19:07

CEC faculty member Dr. Jeremy Meyers talked about ideas for utility level storage with Joel Greenberg and Garry Golden during today's podcast at The recent push for more renewable energy requires integrating renewable energy into the grid. This creates a need for energy storage at the utility scale. Dr. Meyers discusses redox flow batteries and other possible technologies for large-scale energy storage.

Tech2Energy explains energy so that we can all have informed conversations about one of the great challenges of our time: energy. Tech2Energy is project of Joel Greenberg, Internet strategist and Chief Explaining Officer.


01/20/2010 - 19:00

Professor Allen Bard has been invited to become an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Each year the Council of the RSC celebrates excellence in the chemical sciences by inviting a small number of eminent individuals to become Honorary Fellows. Currently eighty five Honorary Fellows have each been admitted in recognition of their unique achievements in the chemical science community, ranging from public engagement to extraordinary research.

Other Honorary Fellows of the Royal Society include Prof R C O Breslow, Prof E J Corey, Prof R H Grubbs, Prof J Halpern, Prof O R Herschbach, Prof W Kaminsky, and Prof W N Lipscomb among others.

Read more about the Royal Society of Chemistry.

01/13/2010 - 19:00

On January 13, 2010, President Barack Obama presented the 2009 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Center for Electrochemistry faculty member Professor Chris Bielawski was among those to receive the award; it is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers was commissioned by President Clinton in 1996 to create an award program that would honor and support the extraordinary achievements of young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers in the fields of science and technology. The Presidential Award embodies the high priority placed by the government on maintaining the leadership position of the United States in science by producing outstanding scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and the missions important to the participating agencies.

Read more about the Bielawski Group.
Read more about the PECASE Program.

01/07/2010 - 16:42

The 2010 CEC Electrochemistry Workshop "Mechanistic Electrochemistry and Electroanalysis" will be held on February 6-7, 2010 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas campus at Austin, Texas.

This exclusive workshop, featuring scientists and researchers from top universities and national labs, will discuss cutting edge electrochemical science, addressing issues with respect to the mechanisms of electron transfer. A better understanding of electron transfer and its mechanisms enables design and application of electrochemical concepts. For instance, electrochemistry is the foundation for chemical transducers and sensors, and is poised to play an increasing role in the analysis of chemical and biological interfaces. Present active areas of research include the high-resolution study of ion/charge transport and dynamics, electron transfer, adsorption, and chemical toxicity. Several different perspectives will be presented from 11 experts over two days covering areas ranging from electrocatalysis, electrochemical sensors, energy storage and transformation, electochemical and photoelectrochemical synthesis, and electroanalysis,

For more information, visit the CEC Workshop on Electrochemistry online.

01/04/2010 - 06:00

The University of Texas at Austin was named number three on a list of the top universities for spawning cleantech startups. In the recent article Shawn Lesser of Sustainable World Capital states, "Venture capital firms now have to keep tabs on chemical and engineering labs at some of the best U.S. universities as potential sources of new companies...[the rankings] identify whether there exists—and to what degree—a pipeline of collaboration of businesses, universities, state initiatives, investors and research dollars. The mix has to be just right to accomplish the end goal of a commercially viable product."

"The University of Texas at Austin is a historical leader in energy innovation, R&D and teaching. With abundant oil and gas on its own lands, and deep connections to the energy industry, UT has directly profited from its energy leadership and its graduates have populated the highest executive ranks of the world’s energy companies (CEO of ExxonMobil, CEO of ConocoPhillips, President of Shell are just a few examples). The good news is that UT is using its leadership of the conventional energy industry as a launching pad for continued leadership in the cleantech revolution. Those same oil and gas companies are investing aggressively into cleantech and they turn to UT for the expertise and people to make those innovations work. The inventor of the lithium-ion battery, John Goodenough, is a professor of mechanical engineering at UT. The university also is a leader in algae based biofuels. UT is a part of a multimillion dollar DARPA-sponsored project to produce jet fuels from algae. UT Austin was also awarded $35 million in research on carbon sequestration by the Department of Energy. Notable cleantech spinouts include: ActaCell, Advanced Hydro, Graphene Energy, Organic Fuels, and Inspired Solar."

See the complete article at Cleantech Group.

12/18/2009 - 13:00

Professor Chris Bielawski has been promoted to full professor, and Professor Graeme Henkelman has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Congratulations to these two outstanding scientists.

12/11/2009 - 19:00

“Nanomaterials, Nanotechnologies and Design” has recently been released. The book is written by a world-renowned team, namely Professor Michael Ashby (University of Cambridge, UK), Professor Daniel Schodek (Harvard University, USA) and CEC faculty member Professor Paulo Ferreira (University of Texas at Austin, USA).

The book starts with an interesting scenario: “Imagine dissociating a human body into its most fundamental building blocks. We would collect a considerable portion of gases, namely hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, sizable amounts of carbon and calcium; small fractions of several metals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc; and tiny levels of many other chemical elements. The total cost of these materials would be less than the cost of a good pair of shoes. Are we humans worth so little? Obviously not, mainly because it is the arrangement of these elements and the way they are assembled that allow human beings to eat, talk, thank, and reproduce. In this context, we could ask ourselves: What if we could follow nature and build whatever we want, atom by atom and/or molecule by molecule.”

The authors then discuss the presence of nanomaterials and nanostructures in nature. Some interesting examples are the photosynthesis carried out by every green plant, the shells made by abalones, the strong byssus capable of anchoring mussels to a surface, and the base of geckos feet and spider webs. The authors make the point that nature is undoubtedly the most experienced and most tested laboratory ever available to us and interestingly enough, most of what nature does takes place at the nanoscale. Similarly intriguing, the authors discuss the existence of nanomaterials and nanoscale properties in human-made objects, as old as 324 AD. Although there were no scientific understanding of the nanoscale phenomena, Roman glassware, Medieval and Renaissance ceramics, murals and poetry of the ancient conservation and restoration of works of art and other forms of cultural heritage by nano-based techniques.

"Nanomaterials, Nanotechnologies and Design," the book Paulo Ferreira co-authored.

The book continues with a discussion on the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies in design. Because nanomaterials have intrinsically novel properties it is possible to reinvent how some products are designed, from chairs to bicycles to buildings. The following chapters discuss in great detail the general properties of materials and nanomaterials, as well as the techniques available to process these materials and characterize them. An interesting example is the carbon nanotubes, which despite their nanoscale size exhibit tensile strengths 30 times higher than steel and ballistic electrical conductivities.

The discussion then turns into how nanomaterials and nanotechnologies can play a role in various environments, such as structural and mechanical, thermal, electrical and magnetic, light and optical, sound and acoustic, as well as alternative energies. The last chapters of the book concentrate on application of nanomaterials, such as self-cleaning glasses, tiles, paints and textiles, antipollutant concrete, antomicrobial furniture and clothing, self-healing materials and materials that change color and shape.

When asked about the book, Prof. Ferreira said “One of the most interesting aspects of this work was the fact that the authors had such a different background. This allowed us to cover a wide range of topics, learn different perspectives, and converge on a language which would be accessible to a broad audience. This is definitely one of the strengths of the book.”

The book is now available in bookstores and also on-line at

10/08/2009 - 06:00

Chemical Physics Letter, 480, 4-6, 8 October 2009Research research by Chong-yang Liu and Allen Bard has been featured on the cover of Chemical Physics Letters. Their paper, entitled "Electrons on dielectrics and contact electrification," is available online today at Chemical Physics Letters, 480, 4-6, 8 October 2009, pp. 145-156. Their chemical approach suggests that electron transfer occurs in contact electrification, and allows determination of the surface density of electronic charge as well as processes involved in charging and discharging the dielectrics.