Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry Today
Groundbreaking Research in Lightweight Lithium-Ion Batteries has 'Laid the Foundation of a Wireless, Fossil Fuel-Free Society,' According to the Committee
Invention's Applications Could Help New York Achieve Ambitious Clean Energy Goals
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today congratulated Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham for receiving the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Professor Whittingham won the prize for his work leading to the development of the lithium-ion battery along with John B. Goodenough, Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and Akira Yoshino, an honorary fellow for the Asahi Kasei Corporation in Tokyo and a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan. Professor Whittingham joins 15 other SUNY faculty members who have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
"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."
"I had the pleasure of meeting with the 'father of the lithium battery' several times at Binghamton University to discuss our strides in battery storage for our energy future," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "New Yorkers are proud of Professor Stanley Whittingham's well-deserved recognition, and I congratulate him and his co-recipients for being honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry."
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “On behalf of NYSERDA, we want to congratulate Professor Cunningham on his 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Professor Cunningham is truly a pioneer in the energy storage sector and his work has left an inedible imprint on the world’s transition to cleaner energy. His dedication will inspire a new generation of scientists and industry leaders as we continue to push the boundaries in our pursuit of climate and clean energy solutions to benefit generations to come.”
Chair of SUNY Board of Trustees Dr. Merryl H. Tisch said, "Professor Whittingham is a role model for researchers across the world, and we are proud he leads and inspires his peers and students within Binghamton University and across all of our SUNY campuses. His Nobel Prize exemplifies the importance of public higher education and we congratulate Professor Whittingham and join all of SUNY today in celebrating his great accomplishments."
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "Winning the Nobel Prize is an outstanding accomplishment earned by so relatively few within the research world. Distinguished Professor Whittingham has worked diligently on his craft for 30 years, and at the same time he has dedicated his time to help others pursue their research through his past work with the SUNY Research Foundation and on campus. Today, I am honored to call him a Nobel Prize winner. He shows our students what can be accomplished."
Professor M. Stanley Whittingham said, "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. 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."
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said, "Binghamton is very proud that the Nobel committee has chosen to award Distinguished Professor of Chemistry M. Stanley Whittingham with the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on lithium-ion batteries. Professor Whittingham's work has fundamentally changed the way the world stores and utilizes energy, making possible a revolution in consumer and industrial technologies. For nearly thirty years, Professor Whittingham has been one of the most visible and productive researchers at the University, and all of us at Binghamton congratulate him on this great honor."
About Distinguished Professor Whittingham
Professor Whittingham came to Binghamton University in 1988 after 16 years at Exxon Research and Engineering Company, where he received the patent for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and Schlumberger-Doll Research. In his 30-plus year career, he has been a pioneer in the development of lithium-ion batteries and his work has been called foundational by colleagues at all levels.
He holds the original patent on the concept of the use of intercalation chemistry in high-power density, highly reversible lithium batteries - work that provided the basis for subsequent discoveries that now power most laptop computers - and his research has been called 'world-leading.
With more than 200 publications in some of the leading scholarly journals and 16 patents, Professor Whittingham has earned a national and international reputation as a prolific scientist. His research in the area of synthesis and characterization of novel transition metal oxides for energy storage and conversion, separations or as sensors has been continuously supported since his arrival in Binghamton, with over $7 million in federal research grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
At Binghamton University, Professor Whittingham has also helped to establish the Materials Science and Engineering Program, bringing his creativity and innovation to the University's graduate curriculum as well as to its laboratories.
Since joining the faculty at the SUNY university center, Professor Whittingham has sustained his ground-breaking research. Working a great deal with ambient temperature, he and his research group emphasize novel approaches to synthesis which often allow structures to be formed that are unstable under the high temperatures normally used for preparing oxides.
Professor Whittingham has been recognized by his peers with two major awards in recent years. In 2002, he was honored with the Battery Research Award of the Electrochemical Society for his many contributions to "Intercalation Chemistry and Battery Materials," and 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; and 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.
About The State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.