Nobel laureate Stanley Whittingham to present lecture May 23 in Hill Auditorium

NOTE: The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m., but due to the popularity of this event, an early arrival is advised to facilitate timely seating.
Nobel laureate Stanley Whittingham to present lecture May 23 in Hill Auditorium

Professor M. Stanley Whittingham, 2019 Nobel laureate in Chemistry

On Monday, May 23, M. Stanley Whittingham, 2019 Chemistry Nobel laureate, will present a public lecture,"Overcoming Climate Change: The Critical Role and Challenges of Energy Storage" at 4:30 p.m. in Hill Auditorium as part of MSE's annual Lawrence H. Van Vlack Lectureship in Materials Science & Engineering. The lecture is free, open to the public, and suitable for a broad audience. Note: Due to the popularity of this event, it is advised to arrive early to facilitate timely seating.

Considered to be the father of the lithium ion battery, Whittingham is a SUNY distinguished professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering at Binghamton and the 2019 Chemistry Nobel laureate. He received his BA and D Phil degrees in chemistry from Oxford University, where he is an honorary Fellow of New College. He has been active in Li-batteries since 1971 when he won the Young Author Award of the Electrochemical Society for his work on beta-alumina. In 1972, he joined Exxon and discovered the role of intercalation in battery reactions, which resulted in the first commercial lithium rechargeable batteries that were built by Exxon Enterprises. In 1988 he returned to academia at SUNY Binghamton to initiate a program in materials chemistry. In 2018 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering and received the Turnbull Award from MRS. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Materials Research Society, amongst others.

Lecture abstract: If North America is going to slow down climate change, it is essential that it goes to a clean sustainable energy economy. As many of the renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent it is necessary to store the energy for periods of generation outage. In addition, a clean transportation fleet requires majority conversion to electric vehicles particularly in urban areas. Lithium batteries are the dominant portable option, but they have a number of challenges in providing sustainable low cost transportation for most of us. After a description of the history of lithium batteries, I will describe some of the challenges and the resulting opportunities for all of us that will lead to a cleaner environment for our children and grand-children.

“Professor Whittingham is the world’s preeminent expert in the field of chemical energy storage, and we look forward to hosting him on campus,” said Amit Misra, MSE Department Chair and Edward DeMille Campbell Collegiate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

The Lawrence H. Van Vlack Lecture Series was established in 2001 to provide a distinguished lecture series from outstanding leaders in the field of materials science and engineering. Recent recipients include Professor Frances Ross of MIT (2019) and Dr. Subra Suresh, President and Distinguished University Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and former director of NSF (2018).