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Tesla’s new battery research partner is receiving the prestigious Governor General’s Innovation Award

tesla battery cells

Last year, Tesla and Jeff Dahn’s battery-research group at Dalhousie University announced a new partnership that will see the group transition from their 20-year research agreement with 3M to a new association with Tesla under the newly formed ‘NSERC/Tesla Canada Industrial Research’.

Just as the new partnership with Tesla is about to start next month, a year after it was announced, Canada’s Governor General now announces that Dahn will be one of the recipient of the prestigious Innovation Awards.

Governor General’s Innovation Awards are meant to “celebrate excellence in innovation across all sectors of Canadian society”.

The organisation shared Dahn’s impressive bio, which led to him receiving the award:

“A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Jeff Dahn is Canada’s most distinguished scientist in the field of advanced batteries. He has authored over 610 refereed journal papers and has had patents issued or filed for 65 inventions. Mr. Dahn worked at the National Research Council of Canada (1982-85) and at Moli Energy Limited (1985-90) before joining the Physics Department at Simon Fraser University in 1990. He was named the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council/3M Canada Industrial Research Chair at Dalhousie University in 1996, where he subsequently became a Canada Research Chair in 2003. In 2016, he will hold the NSERC/Tesla Canada Industrial Research Chair where he will focus on low-cost, long-lifetime Li-ion batteries.

Jeff Dahn and his dedicated team of researchers have pioneered the method of high-precision coulometry to rank the life span of Li-ion cells in a few weeks of testing. Not only has this development allowed researchers worldwide to speed up the R&D process and create a better and longer-lasting Li-ion cell, but it will also contribute to the switch of our energy sources from fossil fuels to renewable resources.”

Dahn, along with 6 other recipients, will receive the award at a ceremony in Ottawa next week.

Starting next month, Dahn’s research team at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is expected to work closely with Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s Director of Battery Technology, and his own team of experts, to increase the energy density and lifetime of Li-ion batteries in order to drive down costs of Tesla’s automotive and grid energy storage products – something both Dahn and Kelty have been working on since the early days of li-ion batteries.

In the 1990s, Kelty was the founder and director of Panasonic U.S. battery R&D lab, which was an extension of the Japanese battery R&D lab. He worked for Panasonic’s battery division until 2006, when he joined Tesla to lead its battery technology effort. He has been the lead negotiator of all of Tesla’s multi-billion dollar battery cell supply agreements with Panasonic.

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