BASF and Volkswagen Present Science Award Electrochemistry to Dr. Vanessa Wood, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

  • Award honors outstanding research results in the area of lithium-ion batteries
  • Award ceremony at Stanford University, California, by Chairmen of the companies BASF and Volkswagen, Dr. Kurt Bock and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn

The international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from Volkswagen and BASF goes this year to Dr. Vanessa Wood, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, 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. She has analyzed how the microstructure of electrodes influences the efficiency of batteries. Dr. Wood developed for this purpose a new image analysis method, upon which she created a new low-cost technique that is compatible with current manufacturing processes. Through her work, the scientist has decisively contributed to further improve the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries.

The award ceremony took place yesterday afternoon at Stanford University in California. The award was presented 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 Aktiengesellschaft, to Dr. Wood.

The Science Award Electrochemistry (www.science-award.com) 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.

“Batteries are small power plants that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. That is why better batteries need innovations based on chemistry,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “An optimal interaction between the anode, cathode, separator and electrolyte is crucial for a cell’s performance – something our researchers are working on intensively. As the leading chemical industry supplier to the automotive industry, we also want to be at the forefront of electromobility.”

“The Volkswagen Group intends to take e-mobility out of its niche position and make it attractive for as many customers as possible. The key to this is further advances in electrochemistry. We need battery technologies that permit greater energy density, less weight and lower costs. Along this road Volkswagen ultimately relies on close collaboration with the academic community. Against this background it is my great pleasure to present the Science Award Electrochemistry 2014 to Dr. Wood, an aspiring and promising researcher,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, at the awards ceremony in Stanford.