MSDE Emerging investigator – Gary Koenig

Gary Koenig began an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2012, and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. In addition to teaching and professional service commitments, Gary is the principal investigator of a group which researches energy storage materials and systems. Gary completed a B.S. from The Ohio State University and then a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with both degrees in Chemical Engineering. Before starting at University of Virginia, Gary was a Postdoctoral Associate at Argonne National Laboratory. Gary has published over 50 research articles. His expertise span from probing fundamental materials properties to grid scale energy storage evaluation, and includes both experimental and simulation tools.

Find out more about Gary’s research on his webpage

Follow Gary on Twitter at @ChemEBattery

Read Gary Koenig’s Emerging Investigator article, ‘Improving high rate cycling limitations of thick sintered battery electrodes by mitigating molecular transport limitations through modifying electrode microstructure and electrolyte conductivity‘, DOI: 10.1039/D1ME00082A

1. How do you feel about MSDE as a place to publish research on this topic?

MSDE was a good fit for for this paper, given the breadth of the molecular systems audience and the applications/technology significance component of the journal scope, which fits well with the energy storage applications of our research.

2. What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

This work investigated an electrochemical system that has significant ion transport restrictions, and what is exciting is pushing the limits in such a system to understand how fast the overall electrochemical process can be driven. The most challenging aspect for this paper was identifying a suitable electrolyte to evaluate which improved the ion transport properties without causing other cell stability limitations.

3. In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

There are many in the broader field of battery research. Most specific to this research report is how to best optimize the trade-off between electrode designs that increase energy density while still maintaining reasonable charging times/rates. This ties in more broadly to other bigger challenges with regards to safety and reliability of battery cells.


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