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BASF and Volkswagen present Science Award Electrochemistry to Dr. Vanessa Wood for work on Li-ion batteries

The international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from Volkswagen and BASF (earlier post) goes this year to Dr. Vanessa Wood, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH Zürich), Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Switzerland. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and from academia selected Dr. Wood for her outstanding research results in the area of lithium-ion batteries.

Particle shape and fabrication-induced alignment can cause tortuosity anisotropy, which can impact battery performance. Ebner et al.2014. Click to enlarge.

Among her other research areas, Dr. Wood has analyzed how the microstructure of electrodes influences the efficiency of batteries. Dr. Wood developed a new method for image analysis for this purpose, upon which she created a new low-cost technique that is compatible with current manufacturing processes.

She and her colleagues have implemented techniques to quantify lithiation dynamics and tortuosity in lithium-ion batteries and their effects on cell performance and safety. They have demonstrated the first large-volume, 3D reconstructions of lithium-ion battery porous electrode microstructures and also demonstrated the first quantitative visualization of battery degradation during cell operation.

The award was presented in a ceremony at Stanford University by Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.

The Science Award Electrochemistry was initiated by BASF and Volkswagen in 2012. It is presented annually and targets outstanding scientists in the global academic research community. The aim is to foster exceptional scientific and engineering achievements in electrochemistry and to provide an incentive for the development of high-performance energy stores. The prize money overall amounts to €50,000, €25,000 of which is awarded to the first place winner.


  • Ebner, M., Chung, D.-W., García, R. E. and Wood, V. (2014) “Tortuosity Anisotropy in Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes,” Adv. Energy Mater., 4 doi: 10.1002/aenm.201301278

  • Martin Ebner, Federica Marone, Marco Stampanoni, Vanessa Wood (2013) “Visualization and Quantification of Electrochemical and Mechanical Degradation in Li Ion Batteries” Science 342, 716 doi: 10.1126/science.1241882

  • Martin Ebner, Felix Geldmacher, Federica Marone, Marco Stampanoni and Vanessa Wood (2013) “Electrode Materials: X-Ray Tomography of Porous, Transition Metal Oxide Based Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes.” Adv. Energy Mater. doi: 10.1002/aenm.201370028


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