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Career Pathways

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Battery science is the study of an electrochemical reaction that takes place in a battery cell when coupled to a device. Count Alessandro Volta first discovered this in 1799 when he created a battery of alternating disks of zinc and copper, with pieces of cardboard soaked in brine between the metals. The voltaic pile, as it was called, was the first battery to produce a reliable electrical current. Since the time of Volta, scientists have made great strides in improving Volta’s original design. Batteries are now made from a number of different materials, come in different shapes and sizes, and are ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

Today at Argonne, a multidisciplinary team of scientists are working on creating safer, higher-energy density lithium-ion batteries and are developing new technologies that move beyond lithium-ion batteries. This multidisciplinary team includes chemists, physicists, materials scientists, engineers, and computer scientists, all of whom are working toward the next generation of energy storage systems for mobile and stationary applications. Their research also covers all levels of development, from basic materials research to diagnostics to scale-up processes, and finally deployment by industry.

Portrait of Chen Liao smiling at the camera.

Science hooked me the day I saw the brilliant white light from the burning magnesium demo in high school chemistry. Working with numbers and retaining information always came easy to me. Pair that knowledge with my enthusiasm for math and...

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Portrait of Daniel Abraham smiling at the camera.

From an early age I was interested in science and mathematics; this interest was nurtured by my mother through the elementary and high school years. My college journey began at the Indian Institute of Technology, where I benefited immensely...

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Portrait of Eric Coleman smiling at the camera.

Since I can remember, I have had a natural interest in how things work. I have never been satisfied with the “black box” approach to learning things. I always want to learn everything as comprehensively as possible. This was the driving force for me to enter...

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Portrait of Liza Booker smiling at the camera.

I have a natural interest in new technology that originated in my childhood. When my father and grandmother collaborated to purchase a desktop computer for me at a young age, I immediately became enthralled with creating new digital projects...

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Portrait of Panos Prezas smiling at the camera.

Since childhood, I have always been curious about how things worked. This may explain why I always felt the need to take everything apart, even though I wasn’t able to put everything back together. Fortunately, my father always encouraged my...

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Portrait of Roland Varriale smiling at the camera.

I was exposed to computers and software systems from a young age. In the early 1990s, you needed to be able to understand and execute system commands in order to interact with computers. Understanding how the basic components of computers worked...

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