Lithium-Ion Guru

Canadian battery researcher wins $1M award, Tesla backing 

A leading researcher of lithium-ion batteries has won the prestigious Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.

2017 winner Jeff Dahn is considered Canada’s leader in lithium-ion battery research and one of the world’s leading innovators in battery technology. He’s worked with things for over 40 years that we use in everyday devices like smartphones, cameras, and laptops. Dahn attended Dalhousie University and conducted fundamental studies on materials for these batteries, and even co-invented some new materials himself. These positive-electrode materials are used in lithium-ion cells for power tools, grid energy storage and electric vehicles, as well.

The award is presented by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), along with several other honors. The recipients were announced February 7.

Dahn’s most recent project is to create a type of lithium-ion battery with a 20 year lifespan. To determine this (without actually waiting 20 years) Dahn and his team invented a high-precision tester that could accurately determine battery lifespan in a matter of weeks. No small achievement, this tester led Dahn’s graduate student Chris Burns to form a spin-off company for the new machine—while catching the attention of some very high-profile investors along the way.

In June of 2016, Tesla Motors, the world leader in electric-vehicle and grid energy-storage technology, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Dalhousie University formed the NSERC/Tesla Canada Industrial Research Chair, with Dahn as the chairholder. This is the first and, to date, only time the company has partnered with a university researcher. Some of the goals of their collaboration are to develop lithium-ion batteries for automobiles and grid energy storage that are cheaper, more powerful and longer lasting, thus helping to ensure the wider adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy.

For those who wondered, apparently that Tesla logo is indeed a cross-section of an electric motor.


No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: