How an award-winning Halifax professor nurtured a network of battery entrepreneurs – by Michael Tutton (Globe and Mail – October 23, 2023)

They call themselves the “Dahn lab” graduates, and they’re powering an unlikely, Halifax-based research hub for batteries designed to replace fossil fuels.

At the tightly wired network’s heart is Jeff Dahn, a professor of chemistry and physics at Dalhousie University, who on Oct. 9 was presented with the Olin Palladium Award from the Electrochemical Society for a lifetime of working to improve rechargeable batteries. The prestigious prize has previously been won by Nobel laureates.

According to the award citation, the 66-year-old researcher is an author or co-author of 78 inventions with patents issued or filed, and has trained over 65 PhDs and 30 post-doctoral researchers, many of whom now hold senior positions in battery firms around the globe.

They’re scientists who delve deeply into chemistry and physics, yet Dahn describes the mission driving the work in fairly simple social terms. “It’s a war on climate change. We need every sensible energy storage technology to store energy from solar and wind,” he said after receiving his prize at the Electrochemical Society’s biannual gathering in Sweden.

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