UT professor who helped invent lithium-ion battery to share $1M award

A University of Texas professor who helped invent the modern-day lithium-ion battery will share a $1 million prize from Israel.

John B. Goodenough, who teaches in the engineering school, will donate his share of the money back to UT for research. He and professor Jay Keasling, of the University of California, Berkeley, will share the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation, which is awarded by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space.

“I am honored to receive this international award,” said 93-year-old Goodenough in a news release. “I look forward to donating the award to the University of Texas at Austin for supplementing my support of two research scientists associated with the university’s Texas Materials Institute.”

Texas Materials Institute does research on material science and engineering, including solar panels and biomaterials.

The prize is the world’s largest monetary prize in the field of alternative fuels. Officials from Netanyahu’s office will present it Nov. 10 at the Fuel Choices Summit in Tel Aviv.

Goodenough’s research has led to lithium batteries being used in cellphones, power tools, laptops and electric and hybrid cars. He received the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama in 2012. In 2009, he shared the Enrico Fermi Award, including a $375,000 honorarium, with a Stanford University professor.

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