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SUNY Binghamton Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Lithium-Ion Research

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(Photo/Nobel Prize)

A Binghamton University professor was yesterday (October 9) announces as one of three winners of the prestigious 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

M. Stanley Whittingham is a distinguished professor of chemistry and materials science at Binghamton.

He and two others were awarded the Prize for their decades of pioneering research that led to the development of the lithium-ion battery.

Whittingham becomes just the 15th SUNY faculty member ever to win a Nobel prize.

He holds the original patent on the concept of using intercalation chemistry in high-power density, highly reversible lithium batteries.

His work provided the basis for subsequent discoveries that now power most laptop computers, and his research has been called ‘world-leading.

“I am overcome with gratitude at receiving this award, and I honestly have so many people to thank I don’t know where to begin,” said Professor Whittingham. “The research I have been involved with for over 30 years has helped advance how we store and use energy at a foundational level, and it is my hope that this recognition will help to shine a much-needed light on the nation’s energy future.”

With more than 200 publications in some of the leading scholarly journals and 16 patents, Whittingham has earned a national and international reputation as a prolific scientist.

Since his arrival in Binghamton, more than $7 million in federal research grants have been awarded to the university to help continue his research in the area of synthesis and characterization of novel transition metal oxides for energy storage and conversion, separations or as sensors.

The grants came from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

“Today the family of New York celebrates the exceptional work of Professor Whittingham and all past Nobel winners from our great state,” Governor Cuomo said. “Professor Whittingham’s work has far-reaching applications, including helping New York reach our goals to reduce carbon emissions and achieve 100 percent zero carbon electricity by 2040.”

Whittingham also helped to establish Binghamton’s Materials Science and Engineering Program, bringing his creativity and innovation to the University’s graduate curriculum as well as to its laboratories.

In 2002, he was honored with the Battery Research Award of the Electrochemical Society for his many contributions to “Intercalation Chemistry and Battery Materials.” Two years later, he was elected a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.

He has also participated in, and held leadership positions in, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the Electrochemical Society and the Materials Research Society.

Additionally, he’s served on the editorial boards of several journals, including Chemistry of Materials and the Materials Research Bulletin.

He was also the founder and principle editor of the journal Solid State Ionics – one of the two major journals in the field.

Professor Whittingham earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University, before coming to the United States as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University.

The other two awardees for the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry were:

  • John B. Goodenough, Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Akira Yoshino, an honorary fellow for the Asahi Kasei Corporation in Tokyo and a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan.

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