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…)