This year’s international “Science Award Electrochemistry” was recently awarded by Volkswagen and BASF to Dr Vanessa Wood, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), for her work with lithium-ion battery technology.
Dr Wood was chosen specifically owing to her work analyzing the way that the microstructures of electrodes influence the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries. As part of this work, Dr Wood developed a new method of image analysis for this specific purpose — which is, to its great benefit, low-cost and compatible with current standard manufacturing processes.
Dr Wood, and her fellow researchers, utilized the new techniques “to quantify lithiation dynamics and tortuosity in lithium-ion batteries and their effects on cell performance and safety,” a press release noted. “They have demonstrated the first large-volume, 3D reconstructions of lithium-ion battery porous electrode microstructures and also demonstrated the first quantitative visualization of battery degradation during cell operation.”
The “Science Award Electrochemistry” was presented via a ceremony at Stanford University, by Dr Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, and Professor Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.
For a bit of background, the annual “Science Award Electrochemistry” was initiated only a few years ago, in 2012, by BASF and Volkswagen. The purpose of the award is, according to those involved, to target and reward “outstanding scientists in the global academic research community” — with the aim of spurring “exceptional scientific and engineering achievements in electrochemistry” and as a means of providing an incentive for the development of high-performance energy storage technology.
The overall annual prize money is capped at €50,000 — with €25,000 of that going to the first place winner, which is Dr Vanessa Wood in this case.
Image Credit: BASF/Volkswagen
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