Congratulations to winners of 2019 Argonne Commercialization Excellence Awards
On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach Directorate (S&TPO) announced the winners of the 2019 Argonne Commercialization Excellence Awards during the 2019 Inventors and Innovators Luncheon at the Guest House.
Starting in 2018, S&TPO has issued awards for Lifetime Achievement, Delivering Impact and Rising Star(s).
Lifetime Achievement Award
Jeff Elam, a chemist in the Applied Materials division, took home this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award is presented to one or more mid- or senior-career researchers whose work has generated multiple partnerships and/or agreements between Argonne and industry.
Technology commercialization data was considered for this category, including:
- Inventions disclosed
- Patents applied for and issued
- Number and value of licenses executed
- Number and value of sponsored research agreements
- And external acknowledgments, including inquiries from external parties about technologies and awards won.
The Lifetime Achievement category is judged by Argonne’s associate laboratory directors.
Elam founded and directs Argonne’s Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) research program. The program, which includes research and development (R&D) as well as commercialization, develops ALD technologies for energy storage, concentrated solar power and water purification.
From FY12 to FY18, Elam reported 110 inventions, filed for 67 patents and managed 30 non-federal SPP efforts.
ALD technologies that were invented by Elam and colleagues have been successfully licensed and transferred to industry, and Elam has won seven R&D 100 Awards since 2008. To put that in context, Argonne as a whole has won 134 R&D 100 Awards since the competition began in 1964.
The judges noted that Elam’s contributions have already made an impact on his field and the industries that his work touches, but they also noted how his work holds promise for being meaningful for years to come.
Delivering Impact Award
The winners of this year’s Delivering Impact Award are Jeff Spangenberger, Linda Gaines and Bryant Polzin in recognition of their roles in Argonne’s creation and launch of ReCell, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) first lithium-ion battery recycling R&D center.
The Delivering Impact Award essentially is a success story that stems from execution through any commercialization model, including:
- A DOE program
- An internal lab program
- Sponsored research activity
- A cross-cutting initiative
- Or a regional incubator
This award is focused on impacts and outcomes. Consideration was given to details of the project execution, including:
- Types of programs utilized
- Complexity of the agreement
- Overall value of the agreement
- Volume of funding
- And potential for additional funding or future agreements
Members of Argonne’s Launchpad Program were judges for this category.
Spangenberger is group leader for Materials Recycling in the Applied Materials division. Gaines is a transportation system analyst in the Energy Systems division. Polzin is a process engineering specialist in the Chemical Science and Engineering division.
ReCell is helping the U.S. grow a globally competitive recycling industry and reduce our reliance on foreign sources of battery materials.
The use of recycled battery materials in new batteries reduces production costs by 10 to 30 percent, which could help lower the overall cost of electric vehicle batteries to DOE’s goal of $80 per kilowatt hour.
ReCell is a collaboration between Argonne, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several universities.
Collaborators from across the battery supply chain, including battery manufacturers, automotive OEMs, recycling centers, battery lifecycle management services and material suppliers, are working with the center.
Rising Star Award
This award is presented annually to one or more researchers who have been with Argonne for seven years or less and have demonstrated significant commitment to commercialization, including a combination of efforts and outcomes.
Commercialization commitment can take many forms. For this award, numbers of inventions disclosed, patents applied for and issued, as well as involvement in sponsored research projects and licensing activities, were reviewed.
Nominees were also asked to provide a personal statement citing their view on the importance of commercialization to the lab and the economy of the U.S.
Senior researchers with extensive experience in commercialization reviewed the nominees and made recommendations for the winners.
Shin is a principal process development engineer in the Applied Materials division. His research focuses on synthesis, particle morphology control, surface modification, process development and commercialization of nano- or micron-sized advanced materials.
Shin has industry experience, and he has brought that perspective to his work as principal investigator on multiple sponsored research projects. The judges deemed Shin’s work to be high-impact, as he has engaged in successful patenting and commercialization activities.
Yang is an assistant chemist in the Chemical Science and Engineering division. She has contributed to a high number of patents and inventions during her time at Argonne. In 2017, she won an Argonne Pacesetter Award for her exemplary work.
The judges felt Yang’s personal statement was particularly strong, as she well captured how Argonne and industry can work together to advance our knowledge in the field such that both parties benefit.
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