The Electrochemical Society

The Battery Community Connects in New Ways

Venkat Viswanathan - Online Battery Symposium Inspires Action
30-Jul-2020 1:35 PM EDT, by The Electrochemical Society

Newswise — In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, Venkat Viswanathan shares stories of unexpected opportunities and inspiration. To help early career researchers make progress while labs are shuttered and new lab work isn’t possible, he is creating opportunities to showcase their latest work to academic and industry.

Online Battery Symposium Inspires Action

Venkat Viswanathan is a Faculty Fellow at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He was scheduled to speak at the second Oxford Battery Modelling Symposium (OBMS) on March 16-17, 2020, just two days after CMU officially went remote. Most speakers could not travel—but they all participated when the event format switched to an interactive, real time webinar. Online participation included over 150 previously registered attendees.

“The webinar format worked great for participants. One positive of the format is that you can answer many more questions using the chat—maybe a factor of five or more—than I could answer in person. Questions were more to the point than the questions that would come at an in person meeting.”

“At the end of the symposium, we all felt like we had great momentum. I was inspired to start a Battery Modeling Webinar Series, a weekly one-hour webinar using my CMU Zoom account. We had several already and they are fantastic—a great lead up to Tesla Battery Day. Speakers (are) booked through June (with) two talks scheduled on the trajectory of battery costs. About 150 people have attended each webinar so far—even with people being flooded with webinar meetings now.”

Creating Opportunity for Early Career Researchers

“One of the most challenging aspects of this time is managing my group remotely. A few people are looking for their next postdoc positions and PhD students have concerns while research labs are closed. I started my PhD in 2008 during the last recession, so I understand how difficult the economic uncertainty is for them.”

“The Battery Modeling Webinar Series features only early career researchers… to provide an opportunity for people who are just graduating or completing a postdoc to showcase their research… I think the students and postdocs enjoy the depth of the talks. These are intentionally organized to bring together people from academia and industry—and from around the world. We host them at 3 pm GMT to reach all the time zones—though that’s 11 pm in China, which is a bit late!”

Making New Connections

“One of my goals for this series was to go beyond the circle of people I already know. The last two talks were from people that had recently shared a paper or (published) a preprint. Through Twitter, I’m making new connections. I attended another meeting that went remote for the machine learning community. What they did with poster sessions was interesting. There were separate Zoom rooms for each poster, so you could pop in and talk to the person briefly and move on to the next room. It sort of replicated the poster environment at a meeting.”

“My research group has been creating a sense of place and working together every day like in the lab. They’ve created a room called 3404—to match the room on campus that they work in. People log in and do their work to get some white noise, as they would if they were working together. We also have more small group soft check-ins. We broke out of the technical realm so people could showcase other talents. We did a musical day and had a series of performances on piano, violin, and flute.”

The Biggest Challenge for Research

“We can find creative ways to keep our community connected. Our biggest challenge is getting back to experimentation—either in our own group or through collaborators. Projects have stalled now as we aren’t getting new data. We need to work with our institutions, funding organizations, and partners to address our finite resources. So much hinges on demonstrating the next state, which then allows you to scale up or get others interested in that work. We’re partnered with start-ups who can drive the economy forward. We need to solve the problem of project dollars running out before the work is done.”

What's Next?

“Some elements of in-person events can’t be replicated. Chance meetings. Personal introductions. I very much want to attend PRiME 2020 in Honolulu. I hope we can travel by then. I have fond memories of the 2012 meeting. It’s special because it brings together people from different continents. I think adding an online aspect could bring a more inclusive, diverse, and larger group together. With travel budgets, we can never send as many people as we would like.”

“ECS is my home community in terms of my research; ECS has been very generous to me over the years. I received the ECS San Francisco Section Daniel Cubicciotti Award in 2010 and was an ECS Herbert H. Uhlig Summer Fellow in 2009.”

“What gives me hope is that many ECS members are working on problems related to sustainability. We can see air quality—and therefore people’s health—improve in cities around the world with the (current) decrease of transportation. Transitioning to sustainable transportation is possible. It could lead to economic growth and better quality of life. We are already rethinking transportation where batteries are powering the transition to electrochemical storage. We can start thinking about electrochemistry transforming the creation of fertilizers for food, and even how building materials like cement are produced. The Electrochemical Society plays an important role—and all the work of the people in our community can make a difference for the next century.”

Follow Venkat Viswanathan on Twitter (@Venkvis and @cmuenergy) and LinkedIn.

Join the next Tuesday Battery Modeling Webinar Series (#BMWS #battery) at 3 pm GMT, 11 am EDT, and 8 am PDT here: Visit the webinar page and calendar link for more details. 

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2781
Released: 4-Aug-2020 11:55 AM EDT
ACTG Announces Launch of Novel Clinical Trial Testing Multiple Therapeutics to Treat COVID-19
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) has initiated the ACTIV-2 Outpatient Monoclonal Antibodies and Other Therapies Trial. ACTIV-2 includes both phase 2 and phase 3 evaluations of multiple promising investigational agents for treating early COVID-19 in a single trial.

Newswise:Video Embedded covid-19-study-confirms-low-transmission-in-educational-settings2
Released: 4-Aug-2020 11:20 AM EDT
COVID-19 study confirms low transmission in educational settings
University of Sydney

The rate of COVID-19 transmission in New South Wales (NSW) educational settings was extremely limited during the first wave of COVID-19, research findings published today in The Lancet Journal of Child and Adolescent Health have shown.

Newswise: Droplet Spread from Humans Doesn’t Always Follow Airflow
31-Jul-2020 3:15 PM EDT
Droplet Spread from Humans Doesn’t Always Follow Airflow
American Institute of Physics (AIP)

If aerosol transmission of COVID-19 is confirmed to be significant, as suspected, we will need to reconsider guidelines on social distancing, ventilation systems and shared spaces. Researchers in the U.K. believe a better understanding of different droplet behaviors and their different dispersion mechanisms is also needed. In Physics of Fluids, the group presents a model that demarcates differently sized droplets. This has implications for understanding the spread of airborne diseases, because the dispersion tests revealed the absence of intermediate-sized droplets.

Released: 4-Aug-2020 10:30 AM EDT
COVID-19 study confirms low transmission in educational settings
University of Sydney

The rate of COVID-19 transmission in New South Wales (NSW) educational settings was extremely limited during the first wave of COVID-19, research findings published today in The Lancet Journal of Child and Adolescent Health have shown.

Newswise: Researchers develop new mouse model for SARS-CoV-2
Released: 4-Aug-2020 10:00 AM EDT
Researchers develop new mouse model for SARS-CoV-2
The Rockefeller University Press

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine have developed a new mouse model to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease and to accelerate testing of novel treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The study, published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), also suggests that, rather than protecting the lungs, key antiviral signaling proteins may actually cause much of the tissue damage associated with COVID-19.

Newswise: Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2
Released: 4-Aug-2020 10:00 AM EDT
Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2
La Jolla Institute for Immunology

A new study led by scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) shows that memory helper T cells that recognize common cold coronaviruses also recognize matching sites on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Newswise:Video Embedded protocol-needed-to-monitor-covid-19-disease-course
Released: 3-Aug-2020 9:05 PM EDT
Protocol needed to monitor COVID-19 disease course
University of Washington School of Medicine and UW Medicine

Patients with underlying conditions such as asthma or other lung problems should be checked on regularly by pulmonologists or primary-care doctors for at least six months. Some will need to be monitored for one to three years, according to a new opinion piece posted online today in The Lancet-Respiratory Medicine.

Newswise: UM Cardiology Researchers Studying How COVID-19 Affects the Heart
Released: 3-Aug-2020 3:10 PM EDT
UM Cardiology Researchers Studying How COVID-19 Affects the Heart
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

COVID-19 is shown to impact the heart and, in some cases, have long-lasting cardiac effects. To discover the extent to which COVID-19 affects the heart, cardiologists and researchers with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have begun multiple studies.

Newswise: Tackling the Bioethics Challenges Raised by COVID-19
Released: 3-Aug-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Tackling the Bioethics Challenges Raised by COVID-19
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The diverse situations experienced by health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic often present serious ethical challenges. From the allocation of resources and triage protocols to health-care worker and patient rights and the management of clinical trials, new ethical questions have come to the forefront of today’s global public health emergency.

Showing results

110 of 2781