Seminar - 03012013


Achieving Extreme Energy Density -
Rechargeable Lithium-Air Batteries for Electric Cars

March 1, 2013
ME Auditorium

Dr. Winfried W. Wilcke

Senior Manager, Nanoscale Science and Technology
Chairman, Almaden Institute on Energy Storage
IBM Research Division 


TThe Lithium/Air battery has recently garnered much attention as a potential power source for very long-range electric cars - such as in the Battery 500 project of IBM Research and the US National Laboratories. (500 stands for the target range in miles between recharge). The talk will discuss the motivation of the project as well as experimental and theoretical approaches taken. It describes the surprisingly encouraging results of both aprotic and aqueous Lithium/Air implementations achieved recently.


Winfried W. Wilcke works at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. He received a Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics in 1976 and worked at the University of Rochester, Lawrence Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos, co-authoring over 100 papers on nuclear reactions and muon physics. In 1983 he joined IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, where he played a key role in launching IBM's research on message-passing computers. This work led to the very successful IBM SP supercomputer line, which dominated high end computing throughout the nineties. In 1991, Wilcke joined HAL Computer Systems at its inception. He was initially Director of Architecture and later CTO. HAL was instrumental in creating (with Sun Microsystems) -the 64-bit Sparc architecture, now the foundation of Sun's and Fujitsu RISC system businesses. Wilcke retired in 1996 and embarked on a long tropical sailing/diving voyage. But he missed the fun of High Tech and rejoined IBM Research at Almaden, where, in 2001, he launched the Ice-Cube project and a spinout company. In 2008, he returned to IBM physical sciences and is currently responsible for the Almaden Nanoscience and Technology area, which is engaged in a wide variety of activities, ranging from novel memory and storage devices to research on synaptic devices and nano-fabrication. In 2009, he initiated the IBM Lithium/Air research effort for electric cars, also known as Battery 500. Wilcke is an avid pilot and hopes to add an electric airplane to his collection of aircraft in the not too distant future!


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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