Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
Dec. 16, 2016
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Symposium L02: Ion-Conducting Polymeric (or, Polymer-based) Materials

Symposium Focus is on polymeric ion-conducting materials. They are supramolecular systems which comprise/are doped with ions and present a significant conductivity. Polymeric ion-conducting materials are found at the heart of a number of advanced applications, ranging from electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems (e.g., lithium batteries, low-temperature fuel cells, supercapacitors) to sensors, actuators, photo-electrochemical devices, not to mention the fields of microelectronics and biotechnology. This Symposium will place a particular emphasis on all the fundamental and applied aspects of the science and technology of polymeric ion-conducting materials, covering experimental and theoretical studies on their structure, properties, interactions and mechanisms of charge migration.

Ask Us Anything!

r/scienceECS Technical Editor Dr. Gerald Frankel, accompanied by ECS’s Executive Director Roque Calvo, hosted our first ever “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit’s r/science. The event gathered over 2,000 upvotes and more than 100 comments. We did this in honor of Open Access Week 2016 (Oct. 24-30), as a means of having an open dialogue regarding Free the Science, ECS’s effort to keep money in scientific research rather than in the publishing industry.

For about an hour Frankel and Calvo fielded questions on topics ranging from Open Access and the staggering cost of APCs, to failed Youtube experiments and electric car batteries.

You can read the whole thing on Reddit, or check out an archived version on The Winnower.

And don’t forget, the 132,000 articles and abstracts in the ECS Digital Library will be available free of charge Oct. 24-30.

Have a question that wasn’t answered? Feel free to reach out to us at

ECS is pleased to share the results of our first ever Open Access Week competition! We received many thoughtful entries, and ultimately decided that it was necessary to draw a tie. Our two 1st place winners, Caitlin Dillard and Manan Pathak, will each be receiving a $250 prize, as well as an additional $500 in funding to their respective ECS Student Chapters.

Here’s a bit about our winners:

Manan PathakManan is currently pursuing his PhD with Prof. Venkat Subramanian at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is a Clean Energy Institute Fellow. He is actively involved with the recently formed University of Washington ECS Student Chapter, and serves as the vice-chair for education and outreach. Manan completed his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay in India. He is also one of the co-founders of a start-up called Battery Informatics where they are trying to commercialize their research on electrochemical and thermal physics model based Battery Management Systems (BMS). More details about the same can be found on

“I was fortunate to get admitted to an institute like IIT, in a developing country like India, which has only about 74% literacy rate, and has the highest population of illiterates in the world…Education was a luxury for many of them at such a young age, where schools would shut down during monsoon season…Their hard-work, passion and innate curiosity to study science and engineering inspired me to pursue research…OA is a way to reach out to such people, and bring them closer to the world scientific community. People are no longer bounded by their means but only by their curiosity and passion. The pursuit of knowledge and its free access will ultimately lead to the pursuit of happiness.”


Student Poster Session winners

Congratulations to the PRiME 2016 Student Poster Session winners!

It is with great pride that ECS honors the winners of the General Student Poster Session Awards for the PRiME 2016 meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In following with the meeting tradition, awards recognized the top poster presentations in electrochemical and solid state categories.

ECS established the General Student Poster Session Awards in 1993 to acknowledge the eminence of its students’ work. The winners exhibit a profound understanding of their research topic and its relation to fields of interest to ECS.

In order to be eligible for the General Student Poster Session Awards, students must submit their abstracts to the Z01 General Society Student Poster Session symposium and present their posters at the biannual meeting. First and second place winners receive a certificate in addition to a cash award.

The winners of the General Student Poster Session Awards for the PRiME 2016 Meeting are as follows:


By: Sameer Sonkusale, Tufts University


Image: Alonso Nichols, Tufts University, CC BY-ND

Doctors have various ways to assess your health. For example, they measure your heart rate and blood pressure to indirectly assess your heart function, or straightforwardly test a blood sample for iron content to diagnose anemia. But there are plenty of situations in which that sort of monitoring just isn’t possible.

To test the health of muscle and bone in contact with a hip replacement, for example, requires a complicated – and expensive – procedure. And if problems are found, it’s often too late to truly fix them. The same is true when dealing with deep wounds or internal incisions from surgery.

In my engineering lab at Tufts University, we asked ourselves whether we could make sensors that could be seamlessly embedded in body tissue or organs – and yet could communicate to monitors outside the body in real time. The first concern, of course, would be to make sure that the materials wouldn’t cause infection or an immune response from the body. The sensors would also need to match the mechanical properties of the body part they would be embedded in: soft for organs and stretchable for muscle. And, ideally, they would be relatively inexpensive to make in large quantities.


Lithium-ion battery safety has been a hot topic in the scientific community in light of instances of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 bursting into flames. In order to address these concerns, scientists must first better understand exactly what is causing these safety concerns. In order to do that, a team from the University of Michigan is looking inside the batteries and filming growing dendrites – something the researchers cite as one of the major problems for next-gen lithium batteries.

The study focused primarily on lithium-metal batteries, which have the potential to store 10 times more energy that current lithium-ion batteries. However, researchers believe that issues with dendrites cannot be amended, the future of the Li-metal battery will not be as limitless as some believe.

“As researchers try to cram more and more energy in the same amount of space, morphology problems like dendrites become major challenges. While we don’t fully know why the Note 7s exploded, dendrites make bad things like that happen,” said Kevin Wood, postdoctoral researcher and ECS student member. “If we want high energy density batteries in the future and don’t want them to explode, we need to solve the dendrite problem.”


ImmigrationNobel laureates are speaking out on immigration policies, highlight their own status as immigrants and the importance of open boarders to advance science. Of the year’s Nobel Prize winners, six affiliated with U.S. universities are immigrants.

Across the globe, many countries have been discussing and legislating new immigration policies that make it more difficult to travel from place to place. These immigration conversations have led to moves such as the UK’s Brexit, Hungary’s attempts to keep “outsiders” from crossing its boarder, and U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border.

Research conducted in late 2015 revealed that as immigration policies harden globally, scientists in the developing world are caught in the crosshairs, causing innovation and research to suffer.

“I think the resounding message that should go out all around the world is that science is global,” James Fraser Stoddart, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and a professor at Northwestern University, who was born in Scotland, told The Hill. “It’s particularly pertinent to have these discussions in view of the political climate on both sides of the pond at the moment…. I think the United States is what it is today largely because of open borders.”


By: Carolyn Conner Seepersad, University of Texas at Austin

Women in engineeringAs millions of students of all ages return to school this fall, they are making important choices that have a strong influence on their eventual career path – which college majors to pursue, which high school classes to take, even which elementary school extracurricular activities to join. Many of them – especially women, girls and members of minority groups – make choices that lead them away from professions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Women are just 13 percent of mechanical engineering undergraduate students. And women earn only 14.2 percent of doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering. More broadly, women make up 49 percent of the college-educated workforce, but only 14 percent of practicing engineers nationwide.

When these disparities persist, everyone suffers. Women miss out on opportunities in growing and highly paid occupations that require science and engineering skills. Furthermore, diverse design teams are more innovative and often avoid key flaws when designing products and systems with which we interact on a daily basis. Early airbags designed by primarily male design teams worked for adult male bodies, but resulted in avoidable deaths of female and child passengers. Early voice recognition systems failed to recognize female voices because they were calibrated for standard male voices.

How can we get more women into engineering fields, and help them stay for their whole careers? We need their insight and creativity to help solve the problems facing our world.

Options for action

Experts tell us that there are a variety of things that will help. For example, we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills, laying the foundation for further scientific exploration as they grow.

We also need to find ways to help women feel less alone as they help us build a more inclusive engineering community. This includes hosting female-focused engineering interest groups on campuses and in workplaces, and highlighting engineering role models who reflect the true diversity of our population.


John B. Goodenough

Goodenough was recently named Fellow of ECS at the PRiME 2016 meeting.

John B. Goodenough is recognized internationally as one of the key minds behind the development of the lithium-ion battery; a device that is used to power a huge percentage of today’s electronics and a technology that helped shape the technological frontier.

In a recent interview with the BBC’s Today program’s John Humphrys, the man who helped make the mobile phone possible discusses battery safety in light of exploding Samsung batteries, the Nobel Prize, and his why he doesn’t like cellphones.

“I see the students running around, punching these little tablets, and not talking with one another,” Goodenough says. “I see people going out to dinner and not talking to their partner, rather sitting there talking to someone on their phone, I say, ‘Well, that’s not the way to live.’ Technology is morally neural, it’s what we do with technology that judges us.”

Listen to the full interview here.

ECS shows its vision for the future of academic publishing

Open AccessECS is celebrating Open Access Week this year by giving the world a preview of what complete open access will look like. From October 24th through October 30th, we are taking down the paywall to the ECS Digital Library, making over 132,000 scientific articles and abstracts free and accessible to anyone.

Eliminating the paywall during Open Access Week is a preview of ECS’s Free the Science initiative; a business-model changing plan with the goal of making the entire ECS Digital Library open access by 2024. ECS believes that the opening and democratizing of this information will lead to rapid advances in discoveries ranging from renewable energy to clean water and sanitation.

“ECS has one core goal: to disseminate this scientific research to the broadest possible audience without barriers,” says Mary Yess, ECS Deputy Executive Director and Chief Content Officer. “The research of our authors has the ability to address some of the most critical issues across the globe, and we believe paywalls should not impede progress.”


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