Brett LuchtBrett Lucht on preparing students to bring science to the wider world

In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Brett Lucht shares reflections on how we communicate about research within our community and to wider audiences, and how more understanding can benefit the greater good.

Brett is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rhode Island (URI). His research is in the broad area of organic materials chemistry with a focus on developing novel electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. He serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and as Secretary on the board of the ECS Battery Division. (more…)

Adjusting to a Changed World

Mark Orazem on a Sabbatical that Doesn’t go According to Plan

In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Mark Orazem recounts how he made good use of a sabbatical year that didn’t turn out to be anything like he expected. Currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida (UF), he was officially on leave for the 2019-2020 academic year. He is returning to a very different environment than he left a year ago. (more…)

Finding Our Way Forward, Together

Colm O'DwyerColm O’Dwyer on doing, teaching, and sharing science in 2020

In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, University College Cork (UCC) Professor of Chemistry Colm O’Dwyer talks about how he, his students, and colleagues are managing research and coursework since Ireland shut down on March 11, 2020. Colm also directs the UCC Applied Nanoscience Group, focused on 3D battery printing, developing new sustainable battery materials, and real-time performance assessments using optics and photonics. Colm volunteers on the ECS Board of Directors, chairs the ECS Electronics and Photonics Division, and previously served on the ECS Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Subcommittee. Like many parents, he is homeschooling his young children while juggling other responsibilities. (more…)

Jerry Woodall on Science and Technology Careers That Matter

In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Jerry Woodall shares insights from his long career working in industry and academia. An inventor and scientist, Jerry is best known for developing the first commercially-viable red LEDs used in automobile brake lights and traffic lights, CD/DVD players, TV remote controls, and computer networks. He received the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation for “his pioneering role in the research and development of compound semiconductor materials and devices.” Currently Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), Jerry served as ECS President from 1990-1991. ECS awarded Jerry the Electronics Division Award (1980), Solid State Science and Technology Award (1985), Edward Goodrich Acheson Award (1998), and named him a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society (1992). (more…)

Joe Stetter Improves PPE Sterilization

Joe Stetter is an optimist, inventor, entrepreneur, and owner of two small businesses that stayed open through the lockdown. KWJ Engineering and Spec Sensors manufacture essential health and safety sensors with medical and industrial applications. In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Joe shares the challenges of doing business “not as usual”, and reports on a research collaboration he mobilized to improve PPE sterilization for COVID-19 frontline workers.  

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Marion Jones Reflects on Community in a Time of Crisis

In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Marion Jones describes the caring and concern characterizing her lockdown experience. She reports feeling supported by her North Carolina-based employer and the ECS community, allowing her to pay it forward by helping customers and caring for her family during this period of disruption. Marion also reflects on the multitude of opportunities that ECS offers to students, young professionals, and others in the electrochemical community.

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In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Netzahualcóyotl (Netz) Arroyo-Currás talks about his lab’s challenge as part of the pandemic response of Johns Hopkins Medicine, which is at the forefront of COVID-19 research. Soon after classes went online and labs were shuttered, his team shifted gears to quickly design a COVID-19 diagnostic device to help meet the urgent need to re-open work and study environments. Netz also reports that despite drawbacks, he finds that online teaching and learning has created good opportunities for developing, sharpening, and showcasing knowledge and skills.

Netz Arroyo Addresses Urgent Needs

“We were in full lockdown when the Provost’s Office called for internal applications to develop COVID-19 diagnostic tools. We had a week to develop an idea, form a team, put a proposal together, and submit it. Then came revisions and presentations. Within two weeks…my lab, in collaboration with two other labs, was awarded the funding to pursue the development of a diagnostic device that is electrochemical in nature. We’re in very early stages but…made a commitment to finish it in three months, in light of the pressing need.”

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In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Venkat Viswanathan shares stories of unexpected opportunities and inspiration. To help early career researchers make progress while labs are shuttered and new lab work isn’t possible, he is creating opportunities to showcase their latest work to academic and industry.

Online Battery Symposium Inspires Action

Venkat Viswanathan is a Faculty Fellow at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He was scheduled to speak at the second Oxford Battery Modelling Symposium (OBMS) on March 16-17, 2020, just two days after CMU officially went remote. Most speakers could not travel—but they all participated when the event format switched to an interactive, real time webinar. Online participation included over 150 previously registered attendees. (more…)

In just a few months, everything has changed—and will continue changing in the months ahead. ECS reached out to our members to understand how this unprecedented crisis affects our community. We will share their observations and insights in a series of stories so our shared experiences help us navigate this period.

There will be bumps in the road, unexpected opportunities, and newly discovered inspirations.  What is clear: everyone longs to return to their labs; and research, collaboration, teaching, and learning continue in new ways. We hope you stay connected to your colleagues and the broader ECS community for support.

Elizabeth Biddinger on Being Sensitive to our Academic Community’s Needs

Elizabeth Biddinger Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, City College, The City University of New York (CUNY), shares how she and her CUNY community are adapting to—and planning to move beyond—the the current situation. (more…)