SUNY Recognizes Three of the Nation’s Top Scientists in Clean Energy

July 17, 2018

Binghamton University and Stony Brook University Researchers Selected to Help Accelerate U.S. Energy Security

Albany – Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson recognizes three of the nation’s top scientists in clean energy within The State University of New York system. Binghamton University Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham, and Stony Brook University Distinguished Professor Esther S. Takeuchi and Professor John B. Parise are the lead researchers for three of the nation's 42 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), which will help accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to expand clean energy research and energy security.

"Universities have a unique role to play in pursuing fundamental research that addresses our world’s most challenging and imminent problems," said Chancellor Johnson. "Congratulations to Binghamton University and Stony Brook University and its world-class researchers leading these Energy Frontier Research Centers. Clearly, energy and sustainability is a SUNY strength."

The EFRCs in New York State received $24.75 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as significant commitment from Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Matt Watson, Director of NYSTAR said, "We are proud to support the scientists researching clean energy and energy storage technologies at New York State’s EFRCs, which are strengthening the state’s innovation ecosystem and generating dynamic economic growth."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "These awards are evidence that under Governor Cuomo's REV initiative, New York is leading the country in clean energy innovation and developing the solutions for a clean energy future. The transformation of New York’s clean energy ecosystem continues to propel forward and continued investments in projects like the Energy Frontier Research Centers are critically important to furthering renewable energy for the benefit of all New Yorkers. I congratulate these accomplished professors on this recognition of their leadership and expertise."

"Smart energy basic research is crucial if we are going to meet current societal demands and remain competitive in today's global economy," said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "We are so proud of the work accomplished to date by Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham and his Energy Frontier Research Center and grateful for the continued support from the Department of Energy."

"Finding new ways to harness and use energy more efficiently remains a global concern, and only through research will the momentum of new energy technologies grow," said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., President of Stony Brook University. "Stony Brook University is proud to be a leader on the advanced energy stage, and it is a great testament to Esther Takeuchi and John Parise that the Department of Energy renewed and selected their respective proposals. This work will transform energy storage technology and materials, and contribute to the solutions that will address the most pressing issue our world is facing right now: climate change."

The Binghamton University and Stony Brook University teams will focus on the following scope of work within the EFRCs:

  • Binghamton University, NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES): Professor Whittingham, inducted this year as Member, National Academy of Engineering and one of the inventors of the lithium-ion battery, leads a team to understand the rates and limits of the transformations that occur in an electrode composite structure throughout the lifetime of a functioning battery. His team recently found that two lithium ions, rather than the usual one, can be inserted into a new cathode material, potentially increasing the energy density of a battery by 50 percent. This EFRC began in 2009 and was recently awarded a two-year extension by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Stony Brook University, A Next Generation Synthesis Center (GENESIS): Professor Parise and his team will work to accelerate the discovery of functional materials by integrating advanced in-situ diagnostics and data science tools to interrogate, predict, and control the pathways that govern synthesis. GENESIS will harness the power of modern radiation sources, such as NSLS-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, to "look inside" vessels that contain reacting chemicals, thereby mapping the pathways taken from reaction start to finish.  These data will form the basis for machine assisted, and eventually machine initiated, routes to new and better functional materials. This is a new EFRC to be developed with funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Stony Brook University, Center for Mesoscale Transport Properties (m2M): Professor Takeuchi, Member, National Academy of Engineering and renowned energy storage researcher, will create a scalable electrochemical energy storage systems with high energy, power, and long life by probing transport properties in materials and across interfaces under dynamic conditions. This work will help solve for the challenge of combining high capacity and high power in one battery system. Enabling the combination would help improve the energy output of a battery, while reducing the overall cost of the battery system. The work will also help design safer energy storage systems, including batteries. This EFRC began in 2014 and was recently renewed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2017, more than 430,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served nearly 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2016-17 academic year. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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