Dai Shen Talks Travel Grant

Dai Shen

Dai Shen says the travel grant lead to opportunities.

The travel grant recipient shares his first-hand experience.

Meet Dai Shen. He is a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University and received an ECS travel grant to attend his first ECS meeting — the 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland. Every meeting, ECS awards a number of travel grants to defray the costs of attending our meetings from the education fund. This provides an invaluable experience for students and early career scientists and engineers.

Unfortunately, we only have the funding to support 52% of requests at AiMES. You can change that for future meetings by donating today! (more…)

3 Meetings Not to Miss at ECS

ECS has so much to offer. So much so, it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. This week, we bring to you the top 3 things not to be missed at ECS:

1. AiMES 2018

Are you a foodie? Like to dance? Enjoy meeting interesting people? (And I mean, interesting.) Need a getaway but are also busy building a name for yourself in your field? AiMES 2018 offers all that and more.

With less than two weeks away, AiMES acts as a central meeting spot for scientists and engineers from around the world to meet and mingle, all just feet away from the sandy white shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Rub elbows with leading researchers and rising stars of the electrochemical and solid state science fields while taking in the salty, tropical Cancun breeze.

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Solar Panels: Dirty Air, Low Energy

According to Science News for Students, air pollution is taking a toll on solar energy.

Air contaminants are sticking to the surfaces of solar panels, preventing light from reaching the solar cells below, and reducing the production of electricity. Not only are these consequences costly environmentally, they’re also quite costly economically.

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A Carbon-Free California

According to The Conversation, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law committing to make the Golden State the state 100 percent carbon-free by 2045.

The new law is comprised of multiple targets, committing California to draw half its electricity from renewable sources by 2026, and then to 60 percent by 2030.

California’s mission to stop relying on fossil fuels for energy has been a longtime goal in the making. Since 2010, utility-scale solar and wind electricity in California increased from 3 percent to 18 percent in 2017, exceeding expected targets, due to solar prices drop in recent years. In 2011, Brown signed a law committing the state to derive a third of its energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power by 2020. And in 2017, about 56 percent of the power California generated came from non-carbon emitting sources, placing state over halfway to their goal for 2045.

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Peter Foller: Full Circle

Peter FollerPeter C. Foller kicked-off his career with a mildly stressful, yet necessary, experience we can all relate too – public speaking. It was Foller’s first time presenting his research, an event he still vividly remembers. Foller, then a graduate student, attended an ECS meeting with faculty advisor Charles W. Tobias, where he hoped his presentation would lead him towards networking opportunities, and ideally, a job. Moreover, Foller recalls that ECS meeting presentations were something Professor Tobias expected of students, long after that final handshake in his office followed by that slow turn, eyeglasses lowered, “And now you may call me Charles…”

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UCLA's dual-layer solar cell

Photo Credit: UCLA Samueli Engineering

Materials scientists from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a powerful thin-film solar cell that generates more energy from sunlight than average solar panels, as a result of its double-layer design, according to UCLA.

The device is made of an inexpensive compound of lead and iodine, known as perovskite, that has proven to be very efficient at capturing energy from sunlight. A thin layer of the perovskite is sprayed onto a commercially available solar cell, while the solar cell that forms the bottom layer of the device is made of a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenide, or CIGS, creating a new cell that successfully converts 22.4 percent of the incoming energy from the sun, versus the previous record of 10.9 percent by a group at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 2015.

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Printing Body Parts: The Bionic Eye

Prototype for a “bionic eye”

Credit: University of Minnesota, McAlpine Group

We’ve all heard of the bionic man, the famous 1970’s movie and comic book story of a man who, after a tragic accident, damaged body was rebuilt and replaced with bionic, high tech parts, creating a superhuman, out-of-this-world, specimen. It turns out this sci-fi tale may soon become a reality.

According to the University of Minnesota, researchers there have successfully created the first fully 3D printed bionic eye prototype, complete with an array of light receptors that could one day help blind people see.
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Liquid Blue Dye in Liquid Batteries

Most take the world around them for granted, never expecting anything extraordinary out of what’s always proven to be, well, extra ordinary. According to Futurism, that’s what many felt about a methylene blue dye used to dye fabric in textile mills. Its remnants even considered a nuisance and a hazard, often making its way from the mill and into the environment, where it’s no easy task to clean up.

So researchers from the University at Buffalo began experimenting with the industrial dye, in an attempt to reuse the wasted material, turning the methylene blue wastewater into an environmentally safe material – in batteries.

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Robert F. SavinellLong-time ECS member, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, and Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve Robert Savinell has a new title to add to his list. Savinell will lead the U.S. Department of Energy’s new Energy Frontier Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, in support of a research endeavor that focuses on identifying new battery chemistries with the potential to provide large, long-lasting energy storage solutions for buildings or the power grid. The project is made possible by an EFRC grant, which awarded $10.75 million to Case Western Reserve University, allowing the school to establish a research center to explore Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage.

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Woman Scientist of ECS

ECS trading cards recognize some of the top female scientists in the field.

Change isn’t easy. For women, it took lobbying, protests, campaigns, and even jail time to receive the right to vote. It wasn’t until August 26, 1920, when women’s fight for change finally paid off. The Nineteenth Amendment was added to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote as citizens of the United States, regardless of their sex. Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day in honor of the historical event.

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