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Whittingham named distinguished professor
May 14, 2012Tweet
M. Stanley Whittingham, professor of chemistry and of materials science, has recently been appointed to the rank of distinguished professor — the highest system honors conferred upon SUNY faculty. He joins more than 70 Binghamton University faculty who have achieved distinguished rank.
Promotion to distinguished professor is reserved for those who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within his or her discipline.
Whittingham came to Binghamton University in 1988 after 16 years at Exxon Research and Engineering Company 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.’
“It’s a nice honor to have toward the end of your career,” said Whittingham of the distinguished ranking.
As director of the Northeastern Chemical Energy Storage Center (NECESC) that operates out of Stony Brook − one of 46 research centers established by the Department of Energy and funded with a five-year, $17 million grant – he expects to continue his research at least through the end of the grant. “We’re basically building a fundamental understanding of electrochemical energy storage. There has been little funding in recent years, so this is helping us decide our ultimate limitations. What can we hope for?
“I just had my 70th birthday and with another two-and-half years to go, I think we can make some big strides in energy in that time,” he said. “I’ve taken more of the leadership role nationwide, involving nine units around the U.S. I’m still deeply involved scientifically.”
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.
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, 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 Binghamton, 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.
He 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; 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.
Whittingham earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University, United Kingdom before coming to the United States as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University.