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Binghamton University professor Whittingham shares Nobel Prize for chemistry

By Eric Reinhardt


M. Stanley Whittingham
M. Stanley Whittingham

VESTAL, N.Y. — M. Stanley Whittingham, a professor of chemistry and materials science at Binghamton University, is one of three people sharing the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden.

Whittingham shared the honor along with John Goodenough of the University of Texas and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University in Japan, per a Wednesday news release from Binghamton University.

The group won the prize for pioneering research leading to the development of the lithium-ion battery.

“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,” Whittingham said in the school’s release. “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.”

New York’s top official also recognized Whittingham’s accomplishment.

About Whittingham

Whittingham came to Binghamton University in 1988 after several years at Exxon Research and Engineering Company, as well as Schlumberger-Doll Research.

It was during his time at Exxon that Whittingham received the patent for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Binghamton said.

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,” per the release.

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 U.S. Department of Energy.

Whittingham has also helped to establish the materials science and engineering program at Binghamton, bringing his “creativity and innovation” to the University’s graduate curriculum as well as to its laboratories.

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