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Volkswagen, BASF present “Science Award Electrochemistry” to Dr. Jennifer Rupp from MIT; solid-state batteries

The BASF and Volkswagen international “Science Award Electrochemistry 2017” (earlier post) this year goes to Dr. Jennifer Rupp at MIT. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and academia selected her for her outstanding research results in the area of next-generation energy storage systems. In addition, a special prize for applied research was awarded to Dr. Stafford Sheehan for his excellent research in the area of new catalysts for renewable fuels.

Dr. Jennifer L. M. Rupp is Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA) and affiliated to ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Her research focuses on material and electrode designs for solid-state batteries.

She explored a novel glassy-type lithium ion conductor that may lead to new design principles for solid-state batteries. Besides batteries Jennifer Rupp is very active in research on materials for solid oxide fuel cells, electrochemical sensors and information storage devices. With the “Science Award Electrochemistry” she receives €40,000.

Dr. Stafford Wheeler Sheehan is founder and CEO of Catalytic Innovations in Adamsville, Rhode Island. With Catalytic Innovations he is developing a high-pressure reactor design for the selective synthesis of ethanol from carbon dioxide reduction and water oxidation. Further, his company sells specialized catalyst and anticorrosion materials and services to electroplating, refining, and waste management companies. The special prize for applied research is worth €40,000.

Within the Volkswagen Group, we expect to achieve about a quarter of our global sales volume with battery-electric vehicles in the year 2025. However, a major prerequisite for success in the volume market is more powerful battery concepts. In Volkswagen Group Research and Development we are focusing on close cooperation, not only with industrial partners but also with the smart minds of the scientific community. The winners of our Science Award are an excellent example of innovative and creative ideas in this field.

BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. We all know that batteries are at the core of electromobility and there is great potential for specific technological progress in this area. Yet, there are scientific hurdles we must first overcome. Electrochemistry is a key technology for sustainable future mobility. That is why we need first-class research around the globe conducted by excellent scientists who inspire each other to continuously develop new and better solutions.

—Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer at BASF

The Science Dialog before the award ceremony at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) took place under the headline “Powering Electromobility: Challenges from Material to Production”. The invited experts discussed in detail the issues fast charging, safety and sustainability of materials and batteries. They also visited the Battery and Electrochemistry Laboratory BELLA in Karlsruhe, which has been funded equally by KIT and BASF SE since 2011. The Laboratory combines fundamental work with application-driven projects on materials and cell components for next-generation batteries.

The BASF and Volkswagen international “Science Award Electrochemistry” supports excellent scientific and engineering achievements and strives to provide fresh impetus to the development of high-efficiency energy storage devices. The award has been presented every year since 2012 and is targeted at scientists working in academic research all over the world. Total prize money is €100,000.

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