Application Deadline: April 15

Linford AwardThe Henry B. Linford Award for Distinguished Teaching was established in 1981 for excellence in teaching in subject areas of interest to the Society.

The award consists of a silver medal and a plaque that contains a bronze replica, both bearing the recipient’s name, the sum of $2,500 US, complimentary meeting registration for award recipient and companion, a dinner held in recipient’s honor during the designated meeting, and Life Membership in the Society. The recipient will receive the award in person at the designated Society meeting and deliver a general address on a subject related to the contributions for which the award is being presented. The recipient shall receive the award at the spring 2018 biannual meeting in Seattle, WA, USA and deliver a general address on a subject related to the contributions for which the award is being presented.

Submit an application today!

The Electrochemical Society distinguishes outstanding technical achievements in electrochemical, solid state science and technology, and recognizes exceptional service to the Society through the Honors & Awards Program. Recognition opportunities exist in the following categories: Society Awards, Division Awards, Student Awards and Section Awards. We could not do it without you!

Venkat SubramanianVenkat Subramanian is the Washington Research Foundation Innovation Professor of Chemical Engineering and Clean Energy at the University of Washington. His research efforts focus on computational models to bridge next-generation energy materials to battery management systems. Subramanian has recently been named a new technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, concentrating in the electrochemical engineering Topical Interest Area.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role as technical editor?
I am humbled and honored to be a Journal of The Electrochemical Society technical editor and I hope to help improve the impact factor and reach of our journal without losing the rigor we are known for. In particular, the electrochemical engineering topical interest area serves a critical role of taking fundamental electrochemistry to industrial applications. My current aim is to promote both traditional and new industrial applications of electrochemistry across different scales.

What are some of the biggest barriers for authors and for readers in the current publishing model?
Once I had a proposal rejected in my early academic career wherein the reviewer criticized me for not being aware of a recent article. I called the program officer to convey my unfortunate situation of not having access to the specified journal at my institution. While there are interlibrary loans or other such mechanism, they are not optimal for making progress in research. Research requires instantaneous and immediate access. If you don’t have it, you lose out to your competitors who have such access. Note that every proposal is (and should be) reviewed on its merit and not resources available at a particular institution. Open access is critical for researchers and scientists.

What is the role of the Journal Impact Factor in scientific publishing?
Whether we like it or not, perception matters. Many academic departments have become highly interdisciplinary. Impact factor plays a big role in tenure and promotion decisions and there may be only one faculty member working in the field of electrochemistry. While I personally don’t read or benefit much from journals with high impact factor, I will strive hard to promote and improve the impact factor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and the perception about ECS journals in the scientific community.

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Toyota Fellowships Paying Off

Toyota Research InstituteStarting in 2014, ECS partnered with Toyota Research Institute of North America to establish a fellowship for young researchers working in green energy technology, including efforts to find viable alternative energy sources as a replacement for oil, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and prevent air pollution.

The proposal submission deadline for the 2017-2018 ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is Jan. 31, 2017. As we gear up for the third year of fellowship, ECS is checking in with two of the inaugural winners.

Methane to methanol conversion with Yogesh Surendranath

Yogesh Surendranath, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of the inaugural fellowship winners for his work in methane to methanol conversion.

“For a young investigator, this fellowship gives a greater visibility to research efforts and provides a degree of freedom,” Surendranath says. “Junior faculty members, while they are at the time in their careers where they are most likely to take on challenging problems, are at the very same time finding funding challenging. The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship provided us that freedom to tackle new and interesting areas.”

The proposed research that ultimately won Surendranath and his group a $50,000 grant is called, “Methanol Electrosynthesis at Carbon-Supported Molecular Active Sites.”

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2017 ECS Society Elections

This is a message to all voting members of The Electrochemical Society. The electronic proxy will arrive in your email inbox on Jan. 15, Feb. 15, and March 10. Candidates for the open officer positions within our governance structure are listed below.

Take a moment to review the full candidate biographies and election statements to make the most informed decision.

The voting deadline is midnight ET March 15, 2017.

Office of the President

Johna LeddyJohna Leddy

“As president of ECS, I will ensure a steady flow of information and ideas about how to engage Free the Science. Information plus energy will set the research free.”

Office of Vice President

Stefan De GendtStefan De Gendt

“Advancing science and technology is not just the mission of ECS, it should be the goal of every scientifically educated individual.”

 

Andrew HoffAndrew Hoff

“Nearly two decades into its second century, ECS strives to enable and advance electrochemical and solid state science and technology exploration and knowledge generation through the active participation of its members.”

By: Rose Hendricks, University of California, San Diego

We humans have collectively accumulated a lot of science knowledge. We’ve developed vaccines that can eradicate some of the most devastating diseases. We’ve engineered bridges and cities and the internet. We’ve created massive metal vehicles that rise tens of thousands of feet and then safely set down on the other side of the globe. And this is just the tip of the iceberg (which, by the way, we’ve discovered is melting). While this shared knowledge is impressive, it’s not distributed evenly. Not even close. There are too many important issues that science has reached a consensus on that the public has not.

Scientists and the media need to communicate more science and communicate it better. Good communication ensures that scientific progress benefits society, bolsters democracy, weakens the potency of fake news and misinformation and fulfills researchers’ responsibility to engage with the public. Such beliefs have motivated training programs, workshops and a research agenda from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on learning more about science communication. A resounding question remains for science communicators: What can we do better?

A common intuition is that the main goal of science communication is to present facts; once people encounter those facts, they will think and behave accordingly. The National Academies’ recent report refers to this as the “deficit model.”

But in reality, just knowing facts doesn’t necessarily guarantee that one’s opinions and behaviors will be consistent with them. For example, many people “know” that recycling is beneficial but still throw plastic bottles in the trash. Or they read an online article by a scientist about the necessity of vaccines, but leave comments expressing outrage that doctors are trying to further a pro-vaccine agenda. Convincing people that scientific evidence has merit and should guide behavior may be the greatest science communication challenge, particularly in our “post-truth” era.

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Application Deadline: April 15

Vittorio de Nora AwardThe Vittorio de Nora Award was established in 1971 to recognize distinguished contributions to the field of electrochemical engineering and technology.

The award consists of a gold medal and a plaque that contains a bronze replica thereof, both bearing the recipient’s name, the sum of $7,500, complimentary meeting registration for award recipient and companion, a dinner held in recipient’s honor during the designated meeting, and Life Membership in the Society. The recipient shall receive the award at the spring 2018 biannual meeting in Seattle, WA, USA and deliver a general address on a subject related to the contributions for which the award is being presented.

Submit an application today!

The Electrochemical Society distinguishes outstanding technical achievements in electrochemical, solid-state science and technology, and recognizes exceptional service to the Society through the Honors & Awards Program. Recognition opportunities exist in the following categories: Society Awards, Division Awards, Student Awards and Section Awards. We could not do it without you!

Just one day after Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme, another major auto company is being accused by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act.

The EPA claims that Fiat Chrysler installed software that alters emission readings in over 100,000 cars and trucks. According to reports, the car company’s software resulted in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides beyond the allowances detailed in the Clean Air Act.

“The software is designed such that during the emissions tests, Fiat Chrysler’s diesel cars meet the standards that protect clean air,” EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles told NPR. “However, under some other kinds of operating conditions, including many that occur frequently during normal driving, the software directs the emissions control system to operate differently, resulting in emissions that can be much higher.”

Fiat Chrysler responded to the claims in a statement, saying “FCA US looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the EPA’s enforcement division and representatives of the new administration to demonstrate that FCA US’s emissions control strategies are properly justified and thus are not ‘defeat devices’ under applicable regulations and to resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Battery fires led to the recall of nearly 2 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. In order to address this safety concern, researchers at Stanford University have identified 21 solid electrolytes for solid state batteries that could power the next-generation of electronics.

“Electrolytes shuttle lithium ions back and forth between the battery’s positive and negative electrodes,” says lead author of the study Austin Sendek, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, who worked with ECS member Yi Cui on this research. “Liquid electrolytes are cheap and conduct ions really well, but they can catch fire if the battery overheats or is short-circuited by puncturing.”

As demands from the electronics industry grow and consumers become more suspicious of lithium-ion technology, researchers have started focusing efforts on creating an all-solid-state battery.

“The main advantage of solid electrolytes is stability,” Sendek says. “Solids are far less likely to blow up or vaporize than organic solvents. They’re also much more rigid and would make the battery structurally stronger.”

Achieving a More Efficient Catalyst

Nanoporous goldA new study out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows that catalysts derived from nano-structured materials are as good as gold.

According to the study, led by past ECS member Juergen Biener, restructuring nanoporous gold alloys result in more efficient catalysts.

Nano-structured materials have shown promising qualities for improving catalyst activity and selectivity, but little is known about the structural changes that the materials undergo that can create or prevent efficient catalyst function.

This from LLNL:

The team used ozone-activated silver-gold alloys in the form of nanoporous gold (npAu) as a case study to demonstrate the dynamic behavior of bi-metallic systems during activation to produce a functioning catalyst. Nanoporous gold, a porous metal, can be used in electrochemical sensors, catalytic platforms, fundamental structure property studies at the nanoscale and tunable drug release. It also features high effective surface area, tunable pore size, well-defined conjugate chemistry, high electrical conductivity and compatibility with traditional fabrication techniques.

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Nano-chimney to Cool Circuits

Overheating has emerged as a primary concern in the development of new electronic devices. A new study from Rice University looks to provide a solution to that, offering a strategy to vent heat away from nano-electronics through cone-like chimneys.

By putting these “chimneys” between the graphene and nanotube, the researchers effectively eliminate a barrier that typically blocks heat from escaping.

This from Rice University:

Researchers at Rice University discovered through computer simulations that removing atoms here and there from the two-dimensional graphene base would force a cone to form between the graphene and the nanotube. The geometric properties of the graphene-to-cone and cone-to-nanotube transitions require the same total number of heptagons, but they are more sparsely spaced and leave a clear path of hexagons available for heat to race up the chimney.

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