This special issue features the 2018 Emerging Investigators in Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage. Thirteen invited emerging investigators contributed to this special issue to showcase up-and-coming scientists and engineers in the field of electrochemical energy conversion and storage. Emerging investigators are typically in the early stages of their independent careers (within about 12 years following graduation with a doctorate degree), and have demonstrated potential for high impact in the field. The purpose of this special issue will be to highlight emerging engineers and scientists who are internationally recognized for making outstanding contributions to the electrochemical energy conversion and storage field. The JEECS associate editors and guest editors have contributed to the suggestion of invitees and to the review of invited manuscripts for this special issue. We also thank the reviewers for their careful and diligent review of the invited work.
Corey T. Love is a Materials Research Engineer in the Alternative Energy Section of the Chemistry Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC. He received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech (2003) and University of California, San Diego, CA (2008), respectively. Corey is a recognized subject matter expert for his knowledge of lithium-ion battery technology and leads externally funded basic and applied research programs focusing on improving the safety of lithium-ion batteries. His patented, “Battery Health Monitoring System and Method” was a NRL “Top 20 Accomplishment” of 2011 and won a 2016 NRL Edison Award for patented research perceived to have the greatest potential benefit to the U.S. Navy and country.
Prodip K. Das received B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) with distinctions, including Ranked First, Honors, and Record Marks. Thereafter, he received two M.Sc. degrees from BUET and from the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo with the specialization of fuel cells. Currently, he is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University (United Kingdom). Prior to that, he was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research interests include electrochemical energy devices, multiphysics modeling, microstructural characterization, and convective heat transfer. He is the author of over 80 scientific publications, including 31 journal articles and a book chapter.
Simon Thiele studied physics at the University of Freiburg. After his diploma thesis, he started his Ph.D. in microsytems engineering in 2009 at the Laboratory for MEMS Applications of Professor Zengerle which he successfully finished in 2013. Since 2011 he is the head of the Porous Media Group at IMTEK (Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik). His scientific focus is on the investigation of the relation between morphology and transport processes in electrochemical energy applications such as fuel cells, batteries, or electrolyzers. The most important methods are tomographic imaging, microstructure modeling, and reactant transport simulation as well as novel manufacturing processes.
Partha P. Mukherjee is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Before moving to Purdue, he was an Assistant Professor and Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Prior to starting his academic career at TAMU in 2012, he worked at the U.S. Department of Energy Labs; a staff scientist (2009–2011) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a Director's research fellow (2008–2009) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Prior to Ph.D. studies, he worked as an engineer for four years at Fluent India Pvt. Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Fluent, Inc., currently Ansys, Inc., Canonsburg, PA. His research interests are focused on mesoscale physics and stochastics of transport, chemistry, and materials interactions in energy storage and conversion.
Ruiyong Chen is currently a Habilitand at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. He received his Ph.D. degree (summa cum laude) in 2011 from Saarland University. Later on, he did his postdoctoral research at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany, holding research positions at different institutes (Institute of Nanotechnology, Institute for Applied Materials—Energy Storage Systems, Helmholtz Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage), where he developed new intercalation cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. In 2015, he joined the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Europe in Saarbrücken as a senior scientist, leading efforts to develop new electrolytes for flow batteries and became project leader in 2016.
Ankur Jain is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Texas, Arlington, TX. He directs the Microscale Thermophysics Laboratory,1 which carries out experimental and theoretical research on heat transfer and energy conversion in Li-ion batteries, microscale thermal transport, electrochemistry, etc. He received the UTA College of Engineering Outstanding Early Career Award (2017), NSF CAREER Award (2016), and the ASME EPP Division Young Engineer of the Year Award (2013). He received the Stanford Graduate Fellowship during his Ph.D. (2007) in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and the Institute Silver Medal for the highest GPA among the B. Tech. (2001) class of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
George J. Nelson is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2009). Prior to his appointment at UAH he was an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut (2009–2012). Professor Nelson specializes in multiscale modeling and microstructural imaging using X-ray and neutron techniques. His research focuses on understanding the interaction between microstructure, macroscopic device geometry, and key transport phenomena in energy conversion and storage devices. Professor Nelson is a recipient of an Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2013) and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2015).
Soumik Banerjee is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University, where he has been employed since 2011. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech in 2008 followed by a Research Scholar position at the Max Planck Institute in Magdeburg, Germany (2008–2009) and a Research Fellow position at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (2009–2011). Dr. Banerjee's research expertise and scholarly activities lie in subcontinuum scale modeling of transport phenomena, electrochemistry, charge transfer kinetics, and self-assembly at solid-liquid and solid-solid interfaces relevant to energy conversion and storage devices. He has received several prestigious awards including the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award and the Pratt Fellowship at Virginia Tech.
Leela Arava is interested in fundamental electrochemical principles underlying in energy systems such as batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells. His group focused on designing a variety of nanomaterials and understanding their transport phenomena, electrode kinetics, electrocatalytic activity, and thermal and electrochemical stabilities under extreme environments using an in situ scanning electrochemical microscopy coupled Raman spectroscopy (SECM-Raman) technique. His diverse activities in terms of applications include developing high energy and safe batteries for electric vehicles, microbatteries to power microsensors, and flexible hybrid energy devices for wearable assistive technologies.
Marta C. Hatzell received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2009 and 2010 while working under the supervision of Prof. Matthew Mench. She then continued at Penn State, completing a masters in environmental engineering and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2014 under the guidance of Prof. Bruce Logan. After her Ph.D., Marta worked as a postdoctoral scholar in the material science and engineering department at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign with Professor Paul Braun. Since 2015, she has been an Assistant Professor in the George W. Woodruff school of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Her research group focuses on developing technologies and discerning mechanism in electrochemical separations and synthesis based technologies.
Aimy Bazylak is an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She is the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Thermofluidics for Clean Energy and the Director of the University of Toronto Institute for Sustainable Energy. In 2008, she received the inaugural Bullitt Environmental Fellowship for leadership in the environmental field, and in 2012 she was awarded the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award. She is the Director of the Thermofluids for Energy and Advanced Materials (TEAM) Laboratory working in clean energy topics, such as PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers, using a combination of numerical modeling and in situ and ex situ visualizations, such as X-ray tomography, synchrotron X-ray radiography, and neutron imaging.
Kyle S. Brinkman is the Dean's Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL), an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University. He joined Clemson in 2014 from the DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), where he was a Principal Engineer in the Science and Technology. Prior to working at SRNL, Kyle was a fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science working at the National Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan from 2005 to 2007.
Paul Shearing is a Reader in Chemical Engineering and Materials at University College London, and from 2012 to 2016 was a holder of a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. His research interests are in electrochemical engineering and cover the relationship between performance and microstructure for batteries and fuel cells, an area in which he has published more than 130 papers. He has used synchrotron light sources in his research for imaging and 4D Tomography, and used modeling to understand transport properties for porous materials using microstructural frameworks derived from operando imaging experiments. In 2014, he was named the Institute of Chemical Engineers, Young Chemical Engineer of the Year in Academia, and in 2016 the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year.