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Webinar Technology

Powering the future: Challenges and opportunities in creating next-generation battery technologies

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Powering the future: Challenges and opportunities in creating next-generation battery technologies

21 July 2021

12:00 p.m. ET

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Digital technologies have advanced at an astounding pace in the past few decades. Smartphones and other personal communication devices are now as ubiquitous as personal computers and TVs, often replacing them. Devices are more connected than ever, with huge amounts of information being collected and analyzed every second. Autonomous electric vehicles are no longer relegated to sci-fi movies and comics but will soon be parked in millions of driveways across the globe. All of these data-intensive technologies require a constant source of power—which is often stored in batteries. Today’s battery technology is lagging behind adjacent technological advances, with most devices using lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that bring with them a host of concerns. Li is a scarce and limited resource, and its mining has negative impacts on the environment. Li-ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway, potentially causing fires and explosions, and are also difficult to recycle, creating further environmental hazards. To create the much-desired unified energy platform of the future that brings together renewable energy resources, electric transportation, and a connected Internet of Things, a new solution for battery technology will need to be found. This webinar will explore how current challenges can be overcome through the application of advances in new materials, and what the future of battery technology might hold for building a better, greener, and fully interconnected world.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Lay out the current challenges for creating cheap, reliable battery technologies for the future
  • Describe how new polymer technologies can address many of the challenges found with today’s Li-ion batteries
  • Outline how recent breakthroughs in materials science are enabling greater optimization of battery requirements and the production of more earth-friendly, portable energy sources.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Jun Murai, Ph.D.

Keio University
Tokyo, Japan

Dr. Murai received his Ph.D. in 1987 from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, majoring in computer science, the internet, and computer communication. In 1984, he established the Japan University Network (JUNET), the first network in Japan connecting multiple universities, and 4 years later established the Widely Integrated Distributed Environment (WIDE) Project, a Japanese internet research consortium. He has long been engaged in research related to internet technology platforms and is known internationally as the “father of the internet in Japan” and has also earned the name “Internet Samurai.” Dr. Murai is currently a distinguished professor at Keio University and a special advisor to the Japanese Cabinet, serving on numerous governmental committees and taking an active role in several international scientific associations. He received the 2011 IEEE Internet Award and in 2013 was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame (as a “Pioneer”). In 2019, he was named a Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government and received the NEC C&C Prize in 2020.

Hideaki Horie, Ph.D.

Keio University and APB Corporation
Tokyo, Japan

Dr. Horie is CEO and chief architect at the APB Corporation. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1999, but has been researching advanced battery systems since 1990, in addition to studying naval architecture and elementary particle physics. He proposed and began R&D of the first lithium-ion battery (LIB) systems for electric vehicles (EVs) in 1991, developing a process for combining electric circuits with cells. He also invented the first battery management systems for monitoring and coherently stabilizing battery-cell capacities across a battery pack. Using computer simulations and real-world experiments, he demonstrated that LIBs can deliver far-superior output as compared to lead-acetate batteries, which led to the first demonstration (in the 1990s) of high-power LIB systems for use in plug-in hybrid EVs (HEVs) and parallel HEVs. In 1998, he created the “all-polymer battery,” an innovative battery that utilizes functional polymers and a bipolar structure, with the goal of making it a universal component of future energy-storage products. From 2006 to 2007, Dr. Horie developed the foundational design for an advanced EV, leading to the first mass-produced EV, the Nissan Leaf. He is also interested in commercialization of gigawatt-scale energy storage systems for power plants

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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