2018 K.M. Abraham Travel Award Winners

K.M. Abraham winners Xiangwen Gao (left) and Anna Freiberg (middle), alongside ECS Battery Division Vice Chair Marca Doeff (right).

ECS is pleased to announce the winners of the Society’s 2018 K.M. Abraham Travel Awards: Anna Freiberg and Xiangwen Gao.

In 2016, K.M. Abraham, a long-time ECS member and leader of the Battery Division, established an endowment for the division to give travel grants to two outstanding students from the fall meeting travel grant applicant pool. The student travel grant program recognizes promising students in the science and engineering areas of electrochemical energy storage and conversion and helps defray the costs of travel, lodging, registration, and subsistence for students to present a paper or a poster at an ECS meeting in a symposium sponsored or cosponsored by the Battery Division.

The award consists of an $800 check, a meeting registration waiver, a one-year student membership in ECS, a ticket to the Battery Division Luncheon at which the recipients will be recognized, and a grant award certificate.

Xiangwen Gao, a postdoc research fellow at the University of Oxford, work focuses on Li-O2 batteries and Ca-ion batteries. Gao says the K.M. Abraham Travel Award allowed him to attend AiMES 2018 and present his work opening him up to even more opportunities.

“Many students and professors talked to me to discuss my work, and it helped me deeply understand the field,” says Gao.

K. M. Abraham

K. M. Abraham, ECS member and leader of the Battery Division.

In addition, attending the meeting allowed him to enjoy other’s presentations as well, which has permitted him to come up with some new ideas he looks forward to pursuing. He says listening to other’s work allowed him to further explore the many different and fascinating fields in electrochemistry he would’ve missed otherwise.

“Without the travel grant, all this would have been impossible,” says Gao, explaining, “It was my first time giving an oral presentation at an international meeting, and it means a lot to me.”

Anna T.S. Freiberg, a research assistant at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, work focuses on revealing and understanding the failure mechanisms of high-voltage Li-Ion Battery Materials.

“Improving today’s systems and developing new materials can only be achieved by understanding current limits,” explains Freiberg.

She says the K.M. Abraham Travel Award was truly important for the visit of the AiMES.

“Being a research assistant without a PhD contract makes it hard to find any travel grants, i.e. from state and governmental funds or project money,” says Freiberg, adding that finances were made an even bigger concern as many PhD students from her group were presenting at AiMES as well.

“Visiting an international conference to present your research and talk with scientists dealing with similar problems is indispensable to perceive new perspectives and gain ground in academia,” says Freiberg.

She says it was her first time attending the Battery Division events, which she truly enjoyed due to its intimate nature.

“Minding the amount of members, the number of active participants in this events is small, which makes it feel a bit homey,” says Freiberg, saying it’s something she hopes to attend again.

“I’d like to add a big ‘thank you’ to my supervisor Professor H.A. Gasteiger for the support during the last years, and of course, to the Battery Division and K.M. Abraham for the establishment and granting of the travel award.”

Learn more about ECS’s honor and award programs and apply.

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