Berkeley Lab

Celebrating Black History Month at the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center

In celebration of Black History Month, the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center wants to highlight African American and African researchers who have made an impact on energy storage, from research to deployment:

  • Denise Gray – President of LG Chem Michigan Inc. Tech Center (LGCMI), which is the North American subsidiary of one of the world’s largest lithium ion battery producer, LG Chem. Under her leadership, the organization developed and launched the battery system that powered the original Chevrolet Volt.1, 2, 3
  • Lonnie Johnson – inventor of the Super Soaker water gun, president and founder of Johnson Battery Technologies, and former research engineer at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His company is developing a new solid-state lithium metal battery.4,5,6,7
  • Kwabena Bediako – Faculty scientist at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley’s Cupola Era Professor in the UC Berkeley College of Chemistry. Kwabena is pushing the frontiers on solid-liquid interfaces, with applications to electrolyzers, fuel cells, and other energy conversion and storage devices.8,9
  • Joe Armstead – Deputy Director of Business Development at Oceaneering Technologies (OTECH) which designs, builds, and operates systems for unique deepwater environments. Joe is a subject matter expert in batteries, fiber optics, and complex underwater systems.10,11
  • Eric Detsi – University of Pennsylvania’s Stephenson Term Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering. Eric’s lab is laying new ground in manganese-, sodium, and potassium-ion batteries through sustainable synthesis of nanostructured materials.12
  • Gilbert Campbell – Co-Founder of Volt Energy, a renewable energy firm that finances and develops solar projects through power purchase agreements (PPAs). His company also designs and implements energy storage solutions.13,14
  • Annie Easley – former Computer Scientist at NASA and “computer” for the Centaur rocket stage that led to a successful flight of the Cassini spacecraft to Saturn, launched in 1997. Annie later wrote code that modeled “efficient energy storage and conversion systems for solar power and hybrid vehicle batteries”.15
  • Lyndon Archer – Cornell University’s James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering. Lyndon’s lab, supported by DOE’s ARPA-E, is working to overcome “capacity fade” in lithium-air fuel cells.16
  • Mkhulu Mathe, Manager of Energy Materials at the Council for Scientific and industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. The organization is identifying, characterizing, and testing materials – including nanomaterials – for fuel cell and battery applications.17,18
  • Corie Cobb – University of Washington’s Washington Research Foundation Innovation Associate Professor of Clean Energy & Mechanical Engineering. Corie’s research focuses on developing innovative fabrication solution” for lithium-ion battery materials.19

Our past, present, and future would not be the same without these critical efforts in energy storage! Many thanks to Dawn Robinson, Kristin Persson, Robert Kostecki, Michael Brandt, and Lady Idos at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for providing helpful information and connections. Know of other individuals to highlight? Email Noël Bakhtian, Executive Director, Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center at – and happy Black History Month!