// ZSW Researcher Garners International Award for Work on Batteries

Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, recipient of the 2020IBA Technology Award. Photo: ZSW / Rampant-pictures.de

IBA Technology Award 2020 goes to Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens in Ulm

Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, Head of Accumulators Materials Research at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), has been awarded with one of the most prominent awards in the field of battery research. The International Battery Materials Association (IBA) singled out the ZSW scientist for its 2020 Technology Award, noting that her efforts have contributed significantly to recent decades’ advances in the state of the art. Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, a 63-year-old researcher who holds a PhD in chemistry, has been developing advanced battery materials and manufacturing methods at the ZSW for 30 years. She shares the honor of winning the 2020 award with Boryann Liaw of the Idaho National Laboratory, a leading research institute in the USA. The IBA presented the prices it to the recipients online at a virtual symposium.

“I’m delighted with this award,” says Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens. “Beyond merely honoring my contribution, it also goes to recognize the relentless and successful efforts underway at the ZSW for decades now.” The IBA is the most prestigious association of battery researchers worldwide; the recipients of the IBA award are among the distinguished scientists in the field. 

IBA awards centered on lithium-ion battery materials, cells and systems

The IBA bestows its annual awards to honor the commitment and outstanding achievements of people who have impacted the advancement of electrochemical energy storage systems. The 2020 award winners include last year’s Nobel Prize laureates for chemistry, Stanley Whittingham, John B. Goodenough and Akira Yoshino, who received the IBA Medal of Excellence for their exceptional and lifelong contributions to the advancement of lithium-ion technology.

Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens has engaged in research at ZSW’s Ulm facility since 1990. Her outstanding contributions in applied, industry-centric research and development of batteries earned her the IBA Technology Award. Her R&D focuses on developing materials and processes for lithium-ion batteries and post-lithium storage systems, exploring manufacturing methods, and investigating lithium-ion batteries’ aging mechanisms.

The constraints imposed by the COVID-19 situation compelled the IBA to postpone its international conference for battery researchers, originally scheduled in March 2020. Instead, the organization held a virtual event in late November, which included online awards ceremonies.

More about Dr. Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens

In addition to leading the ZSW’s Accumulators Materials Research department, Wohlfahrt-Mehrens is also the principal investigator who heads up the battery materials research group at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm and the spokesperson of a research group at the Post-Lithium Storage (POLiS) excellence cluster. A cofounder and member of the boards of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe (CELEST) and the Ulm Center for Energy Research and Technology (ZET), she also holds other positions in national and international projects and battery networks.

Tomorrow’s battery technologies, in the works today

Batteries are indispensable to smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles, and renewable electricity storage systems. Demand is sure to grow, especially as E-vehicles gain traction around the world. The ZSW is researching and developing cost-effective battery materials, novel storage systems, and manufacturing processes for the industry to put into practice. A current priority is to develop lithium-ion batteries that require very little cobalt or none at all. Cobalt is a rare and controversial mineral mined in just a few countries, sometimes under horrendous conditions.

Learn more about the award and the conference at www.iba2020.org/index.php/iba-awards