US Army LogoThe DOD FY 2015 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) BAA has been published. 

Proposals are due 17 Nov 4:00pm ET. 

This announcement seeks proposals to purchase instrumentation in support of
research in areas of interest to the DoD, including areas of research supported by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research
(ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

It’s recommended that potential proposers contact the appropriate program
manager prior to submitting their proposal

Find out more

Thanks to ECS board member Dr. Robert Mantz from the Army Research Office for the heads up.

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.”

The awardees are as follows: Eric Betzig, 54, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, VA.; Stefan W. Hell, 51, of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidlberg, Germany; and William E. (W.E.) Moerner, 61, of Stanford University.

Because of these men, it is possible for us to obtain optical images at the nanometer scale and understand molecules.

This from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences:

For a long time optical microscopy was held back by a presumed limitation: that it would never obtain a better resolution than half the wavelength of light. Helped by fluorescent molecules the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2014 ingeniously circumvented this limitation. Their ground-breaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension.

Read the full article here.

The committee noted the importance of these achievements, by which we’re able to see how proteins in fertilized eggs divide into embryos and track proteins involved in Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

“Due to their achievements, the optical microscope can now peer into the nanoworld,” said the committee.

Find out more information on the discoveries of the winners at Chemical & Engineering News.

Also, check out our past issue of Interface entitled, “25 Years of Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy.” The journal is completely open access, allowing everyone to partake in and share this wealth of information.

Harvard students test the flow rate from one of the newly installed tap stands.Credit: Christopher Lombardo

Harvard students test the flow rate from one of the newly installed tap stands.
Credit: Christopher Lombardo

A group of students from Harvard have been working to help restore clean water to the rural town of Pinalito in the Dominican Republic. Now, for the first time in a long time, the water in Pinalito is clean again.

This from Harvard Gazette:

For the past 2½ years, students in the Harvard University chapter of Engineers Without Borders have been rehabilitating and improving a potable water system in the rural town in the Dominican Republic. After the most recent visit, the students returned to campus in late August having successfully worked with the community to upgrade the water quality and distribution system.

Read the full article here.

The residents now have clean water – something that wasn’t available prior due to the failed well built by a government contractor. The well installed by the Harvard students can produce 27 gallons a minute, according to Christopher Lombardo – assistant director for undergraduate studies in engineering sciences at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

During their time in Pinalito, the students made sure to integrate the community into the design and building of the well in order to combat skepticism and foster relationships.

Not only does this experience provide the rural town with clean water, but it also shows the students that there are many other perspective they’ll need to consider when they go further in the field of engineering, and they won’t always have access to a state-of-the-art lab.

At ECS, we’re also joining the fight to provide clean water though innovation and research to those in need. We are in Cancun right now working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to find and fund new research to combat some of the world’s most serious water and sanitation issues.

Stay connected with us to see the grant winners and their solutions to bridge the critical technology gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges being faced around the world.

Michael Gordin discuses the universal language of science and the issue of pressure put on scientists to publish new discoveries in English.Credit: Frank Wojciechowski

Michael Gordin discusses the universal language of science and the demand for scientists to publish new discoveries in English.
Credit: Frank Wojciechowski

The words “permafrost,” “oxygen,” and “hydrogen” may look like the language of science, but these words really have Russian, Greek and French origins. So how is it that English has become the universal language of science? That is the question Michael Gordin, professor the history of science at Princeton, sets out to answer in his interview with PRI.

“If you look around the world in 1900, and someone told you, ‘Guess what the universal language of science will be in the year 2000?’ You would first of all laugh at them because it was obvious that no one language would be the language of science, but a mixture of French, German and English would be the right answer,” Gordin said in his interview.

Gordin goes on to describe how German – the dominant language of science – collapsed during WWI when a boycott was organized against scientists in Germany and Austria, prohibiting them from attending conferences or publishing in Western European journals. Pair this with the anti-German hysteria taking place in the United States and the rise of American scientific establishments, and you being to see how English started to take over as the universal language of science.

“And you have a set of people who don’t speak foreign languages,” said Gordin, “They’re comfortable in English, they read English, they can get by in English because the most exciting stuff in their mind is happening in English. So you end up with a very American-centric, and therefore very English-centric community of science after World War II.”

Here at ECS, due to our vast number of international members, we know science doesn’t conform to a specific mold or language. Through open access (OA) publication, we hope to break this rigidity and focus on the more important issue – the free dissemination of scientific research for the benefit of all. Find out more about ECS’ bold move toward open access publication and publish your paper as OA today.

Listen to Gordin’s full interview below.

Adequate Sanitation Is a Basic Human Right

The lack of adequate sanitation facilities accounts for 4,100 preventable deaths every day.Credit: Kofi Opoku, West Virginia University

The lack of adequate sanitation facilities accounts for 4,100 preventable deaths every day.
Credit: Kofi Opoku, West Virginia University

With our Energy and Water Summit right around the corner, we’ve only got one thing on our mind: poop.

Forty percent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastating for human health as well as the environment.

The Electrochemical Society and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation know there is no easy solution to this problem, but we are dedicated to finding and funding innovative research to reinvent the sanitation infrastructure.

In Francis de los Reyes’ TEDTalk entitled, “Sanitation is a basic human right,” the environmental engineer and sanitation activist makes his case for the total reinvention of the sanitation landscape as we know it.

“For the past 14-years, I’ve been teaching crap,” Reyes says.

And that he has. Reyes has dedicated his time to studying and researching human waste. The problem is especially relevant in India, where open deification is putting citizens at major health risks.


This from Reuters:

Less than a third of India’s 1.2 billion people have access to sanitation and more than 186,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, according to the charity WaterAid.

The United Nations said in May half of India’s people defecate outside – putting people at risk of cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.

Read the full article here.

With India accounting for 818 million of the 2.5 billion people who lack adequate sanitation, most of the country’s rivers and lakes are polluted with sewage and industrial effluents.

So why can’t we just build western style flush-toilets in countries such as India?

“It’s just not possible,” Reyes says.

In these developing worlds, there is often time not enough water or energy to take on such a feat. Also, laying out sewer lines would cost governments tens of trillions of dollars.

Through our partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we hope to help solve these issues.

The Protest for Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

On September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic “loading” symbol and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House.

Today a group of popular websites that rely on speedy Internet have launched an online protest against proposed changes to “net neutrality.” They call themselves Team Internet and are comprised of popular websites, such as Netflix, Vimeo, Reddit, and WordPress – just to name a few.

The protest aims to fight policy changes via the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that would overturn a 2010 ruling that required Internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same.

This from TIME:

Since May, the FCC has been weighing changes to its regulations on “net neutrality” — the 2010 rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same. The changes would allow cable companies to grant paying customers faster service, but ban them from slowing down, or throttling, the access of nonpaying companies. The FCC has already lost two court cases brought by cable companies who have challenged the legality of its existing net-neutrality rules.

Read the full article here.

ECS fights a similar battle in the realm of publication. In order to avoid the dissemination of science and research that creates a world of haves and have-nots, ECS fully supports open access publishing.

Find out more about open access and check out our Digital Library to find the latest published OA pieces.

Introducing Mr. Toilet

Meet Mr. Toilet

“What you don’t talk about, you cannot improve.”
-Jack Sim

Everybody poops – but not everybody has a place to do so. Sanitation is a growing – and often times deadly – crisis in the developing world, and the silence on this issue must be broken.

Let sanitation superhero Jack Sim tell you why you should care about this issue. He is, after all, the one and only Mr. Toilet.

This from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

The need for better sanitation in the developing world is clear. Forty percent of the world’s population—2.5 billion people—practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastating for human health as well as the environment. Even in urban areas, where household and communal toilets are more prevalent, 2.1 billion people use toilets connected to septic tanks that are not safely emptied or use other systems that discharge raw sewage into open drains or surface waters.

ECS is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enable universal access to sustainable sanitation services with innovative solutions to funding research.

Join us in Cancun for the 2014 Electrochemical Energy and Water Summit, where more than $200,000 will be available as seed funding for projects that address critical technical gaps in global sanitation.

Find out how you could be a part of this brainstorming workshop and help solve some of the most challenging issues in the world today.

Ernest B. Yeager

Professor Yeager was a keen advocate for the importance of the electrochemical sciences and technologies.

An article by Chung Chiun Liu and Robert F. Savinell in the latest issue of Interface.

Ernest B. Yeager of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Cleveland, Ohio, USA single-handedly established an electrochemical science and technology powerhouse at CWRU. Professor Yeager, the Frank Hovorka Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at CWRU, dedicated 50 years of his professional life to two things: advancing the field of electrochemical science and mentoring and advising students. One must also appreciate that Professor Yeager was an excellent and accomplished pianist, as well as a devout church citizen.

In 1976, Professor Yeager established the Case Center of Electrochemical Studies at CWRU focusing on the advancement of knowledge of electrochemical sciences. Students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists around the world came through the Center and learned and acquired knowledge and skills on various aspects of electrochemical sciences and technologies. In recognition of his immense effort and devotion to electrochemical sciences, the Board of Trustees of CWRU designated the Case Center of Electrochemical Sciences as the Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences on August 17, 1994, and the Center is now known as the Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences.

Read the rest.

With the 2016 Olympics looming in the distance, Rio de Janeiro city officials are aiming to tackle a major issue before the games begin – and that issue would be sanitation.

According to the Associated Press, Rio de Janeiro officials unveiled a new sanitation project, which hopes to eliminate the raw sewage that is tainting the waters of Rio’s Gloria Marian.

This from the Associated Press:

More than half of the sewage in this city of 12 million goes untreated, meaning that collected rainwater is often contaminated with raw sewage. More than 10,000 liters of raw sewage flows each second into most of Rio’s waterways, from the massive Guanabara Bay, where the Gloria Marina is located, to its beaches and lagoons.

Read the full article here.

In order to address this problem, the government is to build a pipeline to stem the flow of raw sewage into the marina. The project will connect area rainwater collectors with sewage treatment centers in order to eliminate the issue of raw sewage in the marina.

The project is expected to run around $6.2 million.

Though the issue of adequate sanitation goes far beyond Rio de Janeiro’s Gloria Marian. Forty percent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastation for human health as well as the environment. To help combat this global issue, ECS is partnering with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in an exciting and innovative way to fund water and sanitation research.

Do you want to help solve some of the most challenging issues in the world today? Would you like to receive research funding to support your most innovative and creative problem solving ideas? Then please join us to lend your voice and expertise in helping to solve some of the world’s most challenging water and sanitation problems!

The Birthplace of Electrochemistry

Volta Medal

Modern electrochemistry can be traced back over 200 years to the 18th century and the work of Alessandro Volta and his experiments with the electric pile.

The following is an article from the latest issue of Interface by ECS Executive Director, Roque J. Calvo.

The 17th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries (IMLB)* was held this past June in the beautiful and historic setting at Villa Erba along the shores of Lake Como, Italy. This international meeting has become an exceptional gathering where the world’s top battery research scientists present their work on electrochemical conversion and storage. The application of their research now powers our essential wireless devices so that they run longer, cleaner, and more efficiently. But the splendor of the location was not the only reason that IMLB was so exceptional this year; the meeting venue reconnected attendees to their roots. Lake Como is the birthplace of Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the first battery, which he called the electric pile, and the place where the science of electrochemistry began.

Modern electrochemistry can be traced back over 200 years to the 18th century and the work of Alessandro Volta and his experiments with the electric pile. While Volta hailed from Lake Como and was a trained physicist, many consider him to be the first great electrochemist. As a result of his vast scientific influence, the ECS Europe Section named an award after him and every two years they recognize a scientist with the prestigious Volta Medal (see photo). The medal depicts his electric pile, the first notable electrochemical storage device.

Read the rest.