The Zawodzinski Group in UT’s College of Engineering has established itself as a prominent player for research into and development of electrochemical energy systems.
Batteries, fuel cells, and membranes are a few of the areas taking leaps forward thanks to the group, led by Tom Zawodzinski, joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage.
For these contributions and others in chemical engineering, Zawodzinski himself has earned one of the highest honors in his field—being named a fellow of the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Science Division.
“It’s certainly a wonderful honor, but more than that it reflects that we are doing things the right way,” said Zawodzinski, who also serves as a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
The fellowship, established to recognize contributions to polymer science, puts Zawodzinski in select company, with only five others selected for the honor in 2015.
According to the ACS, the process is so selective that only the equivalent of 0.1 percent of the society’s members are named fellows in a given year.
“This year’s selected and inducted awardees truly demonstrate excellence in all ways that POLY members advance our field of polymer science, through scientific accomplishments and service to the profession,” the ACS said in a statement.
In addition to that recognition, the Journal of Power Sources named Zawodzinski to its International Advisory Board.
The journal is intended for researchers and technologists interested in all aspects of the science, technology, and applications of sources of electrochemical power, covering original research and reviews about the science and applications of primary and secondary batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, and photo-electrochemical cells.
Zawodzinski will play a key part in editing and reviewing papers submitted to the journal that fall within his area of expertise.
The achievements are just the most recent major honors for Zawodzinski. He was also selected to be a visiting fellow of the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering over the summer.
Despite all these recent kudos, Zawodzinski prefers to keep the focus on his group and its research rather than any personal accolades.
“We’ve got some incredible people working on advanced energy and electrochemistry breakthroughs,” said Zawodzinksi. “The things being researched have the potential to alter how we view energy and electronics for years to come.
“The research being done is the real star, and the researchers doing it in my lab are the fusion reactors that power it.”