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Lithium-ion battery inventor finally runs down

by on27 June 2023

At age 100

The splendidly named inventor of the lithium-ion battery, John B. Goodenough has died. He was 100.

Goodenough, a professor at The University of Texas at Austin, was a brilliant yet understated inventor. His discovery led to the wireless revolution and put electronic devices in the hands of people worldwide, despite what Apple fanboys will tell you.

Goodenough was born in Jena, Germany, to American parents. After graduating from Yale University, Goodenough served as a U.S. military meteorologist in World War II. He obtained his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago, became a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and later the head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford.

In 2019, Goodenough made national and international headlines after being awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his battery work, an award many of his fans considered a long time coming, especially as he became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize.

UT Austin President Jay Hartzell said Goodenough’s legacy as a brilliant scientist was immeasurable -- his discoveries improved the lives of billions of people worldwide.

"He was a leader at the cutting edge of scientific research throughout the many decades of his career, and he never ceased searching for innovative energy-storage solutions.”

Goodenough served as a faculty member in the Cockrell School of Engineering for 37 years, holding the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair of Engineering and faculty positions in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Throughout his tenure, his research focused on battery materials and addressed fundamental solid-state science and engineering problems to create the next generation of rechargeable batteries.


Last modified on 27 June 2023
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