Viola Birss is a world leader in the area of electrochemistry at surfaces and interfaces and in nanomaterials development for a wide range of clean energy applications. She is recognized for making seminal contributions to the understanding of hydrous oxide surface films, and more recently, her team has been developing electrocatalysts and support materials for high temperature and low temperature fuel cells, electrolysis cells, and supercapacitors. Birss is currently a Professor of Chemistry and has been a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cells and Related Energy Systems at the University of Calgary since 2004.
Throughout her career, Birss has been the recipient of numerous prestigious scientific awards and honors and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, ECS, and the Canadian Society for Chemistry.
Additionally, Birss was a co-founder and leader of both the Western Canada Fuel Cell Initiative and the Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Canada Network and is currently the scientific director of the Calgary Advanced Energy Storage and Conversion Research Technology group.