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Applications open for ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship for innovative electrochemical research; alignment with Toyota’s needs

ECS (The Electrochemical Society), in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), is requesting proposals from young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology.

Electrochemical research has already informed the development and improvement of innovative batteries, electrocatalysts, photovoltaics and fuel cells. Through this fellowship, ECS and TRINA hope to see more innovative and unconventional technologies borne from electrochemical research. Areas of particular interest include:

  1. Post-lithium ion batteries (including all-solid, air cathode, high-power aqueous, flow-based, lithium metal protection, and non-Li based systems).

  2. Fuel cell electro-catalysts, membranes, ionomers, membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs), and next generation H2 storage materials, as well as technology to reduce over-potential, improve durability, and enable operation at higher temperature.

  3. Energy harvesting technology, including photovoltaics, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, and triboelectric materials.

  4. Technology for the capture and/or conversion of CO2 into value-added products.

  5. New energy storage concepts (non-ion based, quantum-based, utilizing other elementary particles, etc.)

  6. Novel analysis techniques for batteries, fuel cell, and other electrochemical systems.

  7. Other high risk, high reward next generation green energy technologies.

The fellowship will be awarded to a minimum of one candidate annually. Winners will receive a restricted grant of no less than $50,000 to conduct the research outlined in their proposal within one year. Winners will also receive a one-year complimentary ECS membership as well as the opportunity to present and publish their research with ECS.

To qualify, a candidate must be under 40 years of age and working in North America. The candidate must submit an original research proposal for review by the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Committee. The proposed research theme must not overlap with other research grants or other funded research projects.

The format of the proposal is open, but it must present the research target, technical approach, budget and schedule in no more than three pages. Proposals should be submitted no later than 31 January 31, 2018. Rules and nomination form are available here.

Proposals will be reviewed by the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Committee, a joint body of ECS and TRINA representatives. The committee will evaluate all proposals based upon their alignment with Toyota’s current technical needs; the unique, innovative or unconventional nature of the technical approaches and the feasibility of the technology to positively impact the field of green energy.

Depending on the research progress and the results obtained at the completion of the award period, Toyota may elect to enter into a research agreement with the recipient to continue the work. The recipient must publish the findings open access in a relevant ECS journal within 24 months of the research period ending. The recipient(s) may also submit their abstract to present their research at an ECS biannual meeting.

The 2016-2017 ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellows are:

  • Professor Elizabeth Biddinger, City College of New York. Electrochemical Safety Switch Using Switchable Electrolytes: To examine the use of silylamine reversible ionic liquids that have the ability to have conductivity turned off or on reversibly using carbon dioxide as a trigger for application as a reversible safety switch in high energy density batteries, and the impact of silylamine chemical structure on electrochemical switching properties.

  • Professor Joaquin Rodriguez Lopez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Achieving the Ultimate Performance of Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts via Programmable Electronic Control of Surface Reactivity: To explore the reactive modulation of cathodes for the oxygen reduction reaction using a dynamic surface on which complex perturbations are created during operation and evaluated using advanced electroanalytical tools.

  • Professor Joshua Snyder, Drexel University. Electrocatalytic Interface Engineering to Address Scaling Relations in Multi-Intermediate Electrochemical Reactions: To control the interaction of water with electrocatalytic surfaces through the development of metal/ionic liquid composite interfaces and their role in breaking intermediate scaling relations.


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