Feature Story | 7-Mar-2022

Argonne’s Michael Thackeray elected Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Lithium-ion battery inventor honored.

One of the pioneers of lithium-ion battery research starting in the 1970s and continuing today, Michael Thackeray, an emeritus materials scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, has been inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election as an NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.

Thackeray contributed significantly to advancing battery science and technology over a distinguished 49-year career. His career began in South Africa, where he led early stage battery research at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) from 1973 to 1994.

Moving to Argonne in 1994, Thackeray worked as a group leader in the Electrochemical Energy Storage department, director of the Center for Electrical Energy Storage, deputy director of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science, and Argonne Distinguished Fellow and senior scientist.

Through his studies and understanding of structure-electrochemical relationships, Thackeray has pioneered the discovery, design and development of new and improved battery materials for industry, particularly lithium metal oxide electrode structures for lithium-ion battery systems. He has authored 230 scientific papers and holds 65 patents. Eight of his scientific papers have received more than 1000 citations in Google Scholar. He also authored a memoir, “Running with Lithium — Empowering the Earth.”

Thackeray received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

My thanks to the National Academy of Inventors for this unexpected honor, to my early mentors, Luigi Nassimbeni at the University of Cape Town, Johan Coetzer of CSIR and John Goodenough at Oxford University for their inspiration that led me to lithium-ion battery science and technology, and to the many colleagues who have accompanied me on my journey,” Thackeray said.

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