World-class honor

Chemist Stanley Whittingham, right, stands next to Gunter Czisch (CDU), Lord Mayor of Ulm, at an international battery congress. Mr. Whittingham, a SUNY Binghamton professor, was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Sebastian Gollnow/DPA via ZUMA Press/Tribune News Service

Ivy Leagues schools usually receive a lot of publicity for the work done by their faculty members and the awards they garner.

But we shouldn’t overlook researchers closer to home. A professor in Central New York has been named one of the top individuals in his field.

M. Stanley Whittingham, distinguished professor of chemistry and materials sciences at SUNY Binghamton, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with John B. Goodenough, Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University in Japan. They were recognized for their research leading to the development of the lithium-ion battery, according to a story on SUNY Binghamton’s website.

“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,” Mr. Whittingham was quoted as saying in the article. “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.”

Mr. Whittingham has been at SUNY Binghamton since 1988. He spent 16 years at Exxon Research and Engineering Co., where he obtained the patent for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and at 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,” according to SUNY Binghamton’s story. “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, Whittingham has earned a national and international reputation as a prolific scientist.”

Mr. Whittingham’s achievement attests to his dedication as a scientist and reflects well on the SUNY system. Developing the lithium-ion battery has revolutionized the energy industry. We commend him for this distinction and look forward to seeing where his continued work will lead to in the future.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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