ECS fellow Plamen Atanassov was recently elected as a 2017 National Academy of Inventors Fellow. Atanassov is among 155 renowned academic inventors awarded this year’s fellowship, which is regarded as the highest professional accolade bestowed to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.
Atanassov, a Distinguished Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director of the University of New Mexico Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, focuses the majority of his research efforts on developing catalysts for fuel cells. His work in creating a platinum-free catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells has helped overcome major barriers in applications such as hydrogen-powered vehicles, which could play a major role in transforming transportation and reducing greenhouse gasses.
(MORE: Listen to Atanassov discuss global sustainability in the ECS Podcast.)
In 2014, Atanassov participated in ECS’s first Science for Solving Society’s Problems Challenge, in which the Society partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to leverage the brainpower of the many scientists in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology. Through the program, he was awarded $70,000 to pursue work in developing artificial biofilms for sanitary and hygienic interface technologies.
ECS member Nathan Lewis was also named to the list of 2017 National Academy of Inventors Fellows. Lewis has been active in the solar fuels/solar chemical research field for over 40 years, with more than 500 published papers. He is currently the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology, where his research group focuses on photoelectrochemistry and chemical vapor sensing.
Lewis also made the list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2017. In 2005, he delivered the ECS Lecture, “Scientific Challenges in Sustainable Energy Technology,” during the 208th ECS Meeting.