Stephen MaldonadoStephen Maldonado is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, where he leads a research group that focuses on the study of heterogeneous charge transfer processes relevant to the fields of electronics, chemical sensing, and energy conversion/storage technologies. He was recently reappointed as an associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) in the area of physical and analytical electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, and photoelectrochemistry.

ECS: When did you become an ECS associate editor? What made you pursue an editorial role at ECS?

Stephen Maldonado: I started my time as an ECS associate editor in 2014. I pursued the opportunity for two different reasons. The minor reason was that I was genuinely curious about the “sausage making” process of accepting/rejecting a paper. That is, as an author, I had prepared and submitted plenty of papers but I had little idea about the other side of it. I had reviewed plenty of papers, too, but how those reviews factored into the final fate of the submission was a mystery.

The major reason, though, is that electrochemistry has been a principal aspect of my adult life. I got into science because, at a fundamental level, I thought electrochemistry was cool. Accordingly, my interests were aligned with the ECS at the start and it has been a major influence on my professional development. After getting tenure, I felt the time was right to give back to this community. So when I was asked to consider the position, I jumped at the chance.

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Brett LuchtBrett Lucht is a professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island, where his research focuses on organic materials chemistry. Lucht’s research includes the development of novel electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries and other efforts to improve the performance of electrolytes for electric vehicles. Lucht has recently been named associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

The Electrochemical Society: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as associate editor?

Brett Lucht: I hope to improve the prestige of the journal. While the Journal of The Electrochemical Society is the oldest journal of electrochemical science, competition from other journals has become fierce.  The Electrochemical Society is the largest scientific organization focused on electrochemistry and ECS meetings are very well attended. Thus publishing electrochemical research in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society should be the most prestigious place to publish.

ECS: Why should authors publish in ECS journals?

BL: The Journal of The Electrochemical Society has been in continuous production since 1902—115 years. While many new journals come and go, they are frequently focused on narrow topics which fluctuate in importance.  Publications in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society will last the test of time.  In my area of research, lithium-ion batteries, many new journals are publishing research in this area. However, many of the fundamental research articles providing the foundation for this field were published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

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Bor-Yann-LiawBor Yann Liaw is a respected battery-related researcher, working in advanced power sources and energy storage systems at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. He has recently been appointed to the ECS Electrochemical Science & Technology (EST) Editorial Board as an Associate Editor for a two year-term, concentrating in Batteries & Energy Storage.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as the EST Editorial Board Assistant Editor?
I think that the impact of the journal is very high, but we need to have more people get involved. I am hoping to promote high-quality papers to be submitted to the journal and be part of the effort to promote the awareness of the journal.

What type of expertise do you bring?
I’ve been working in this area for about three decades, so I think that I have enough knowledge between the newer developments of materials, especially in the nano area, versus the most traditional and classic framework of electrochemistry. We’ll see whether we can bridge the technology gap between the two sets of skills into a more coherent framework, so we understand how the materials in a nanoscale can relate to the classical models or understandings for the electrochemistry.

What are the practical applications regarding your research in sugar-air batteries?
Recently we were working with farmers in Hawaii. We have a lot of papaya that are not marketable, which means they look ugly and are not really sellable. We can take those papaya and grind them up and take the juice and put it into a battery and it’s worked like a charm.

What initially got you interested in science?
My parents are both teachers, so I was inspired in the teaching and the education of possibilities of science. Another thing is probably more with my personality. I’m interested in exploring everything that occurs in our daily lives.

What is the biggest challenge going forward for clean energy?
We probably have to come back to more fundamental understandings and make things much easier and simpler so the cost can come down and the impact to the environment can be drastically reduced.

Five Questions for Associate Editor Scott Lillard

lillard_scottScott Lillard is currently the Professor & Carboline Endowed Chair in Corrosion at the University of Akron, where he leads academic research and is and major contributor to the establishment the university’s new Corrosion Engineering program. He has recently been appointed to the ECS Electrochemical Science & Technology (EST) Editorial Board as an Associate Editor for a two-year term beginning July 1, concentrating in the Corrosion Science and Technology Technical Interest Area.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as the EST Editorial Board Associate Editor?
I have some experience working on the board of some other journals, but I don’t think that’s what I really contribute. What I contribute is this idea of customer service. There are a number of reasons why people publish in the journal. It might be the appropriateness of the content or the impact factor, but the third reason is probably customer service. What does that mean? That means getting good peer reviews in a timely manner and treating the authors in a professional manner.

How do you think peer reviewed journals have changed over the years?
I think the goals of authors are the same as they were 20 years ago. They want to get their publication out to people in their field so they can read it. They want to do that in as timely a manner as possible. The way in which the process is expected to occur is much different now than it was 20 years ago. It would take you six or nine months to get reviews back. That’s just not expected anymore. Everything is expected to be much more efficient now. I think efficiency, speed, and customer service are the things that are changing.

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