Upcoming Nanomaterials for Energy Symposium

Upcoming Nanomaterials for Energy Symposium – Sponsored by the University of Toronto and KAUST.

This event will bring together leading researchers who develop nanomaterials for applications in energy harvesting and storage. It will include thought leaders from relevant commercial sectors as well – venture capital investors and leading solar and battery companies.


The event will further elevate the University of Toronto’s and KAUST’s joint stature as world leaders in nanomaterials for energy and will further strengthen UofT-KAUST ties.

Confirmed Speakers:


Michael Grätzel, Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. 

    Prof. Grätzel won the 2010 Millennium prize “For his invention and development of dye-sensitized solar cells, known as ‘Grätzel cells’. Valued at one million euros, the Millennium Technology Prize is the world’s biggest technology prize. It is awarded by Technology Academy Finland, an independent fund established by Finnish industry and the Finnish state in partnership. Finland’s tribute to life-enhancing technological innovations, the prize has been established to steer the course of technological development to a more humane direction. In particular, the prize seeks to highlight innovations that assist and enrich our everyday lives today as well as in the future.

   The excellent price/performance ratio of Grätzel cells gives them major potential as significant contributor to the diverse portfolio of future energy technologies. Grätzel cells are likely to have an important role in low-cost, large-scale solutions for renewable energy. Besides photovoltaics, the concepts of Grätzel cells can also be applied in batteries and hydrogen production, all important components of future energy needs.” 

    Prof. Grätzel has received prestigious awards, including the Balzan Prize, the Galvani Medal, the Faraday Medal, the Harvey Prize, the Gerischer Award, the Dutch Havinga Award and Medal, the International Prize of the Japanese Society of Coordination Chemistry, the ENI-Italgas Energy-Prize and the year 2000 European Grand Prix of Innovation. He was selected by the Scientific American as one of the 50 top researchers in the world. He received a doctor’s degree in Natural Science from the Technical University Berlin and honorary doctors degrees from the Universities of Hasselt, Delft, Uppsala and Turin. He has been the Mary Upton Visiting Professor at Cornell University and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He was an Invited Professor at the University of Berkeley, the Ecole Nationale de Chachan (Paris) and Delft University of Technology. In 2009 he was named Distinguished Honorary Professor by the Chinese Academy of Science (Changchun) and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Peidong Yang, Department of Chemistry, MSE, University of California, Berkeley and Department Head, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. Dr. Yang is also an Associate Editor; Journal of the American Chemical Society. He is a recipient of numerous awards Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (1999); 3M Faculty Award (2000). Research Innovation Award (2001); Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2001); NSF CAREER Award (2001); Hellman Family Faculty Award (2001); ACS ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Award (2001); Beckman Young Investigator Award (2002). MIT Tech. Review TR 100 (2003); ChevronTexaco Chair in Chemistry, Berkeley (2003); First Chairperson for American Chemical Society, Nanoscience subdivision (2003); Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2004); Dupont Young Professor Award (2004), Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics (2004), MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award (2004), ACS Pure Chemistry Award (2005), University of Wisconsin McElvain Lectureship (2006), Chinese Academy of Science Molecular Science Forum Lectureship (2006), NSF A. T. Waterman Award (2007), Scientific American 50 Award (2008).

John Rogers, Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He currently serves as the Director of a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on nanomanufacturing, funded by the National Science Foundation. He is also a founder of Active Impulse Systems, Inc.. His awards include MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (2009), the George Smith Award from the IEEE (2009), the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense (2008), the Daniel Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois (2007) and the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award from the American Chemical Society (2007). Rogers is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and he is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE; 2009), the American Physical Society (APS; 2006), the Materials Research Society (MRS; 2007) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2008)

Colin Nuckolls, professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University. He received his Ph. D. in 1998 from Columbia University. He was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California until he joined the Faculty at Columbia University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2000. In 2006, Nuckolls was promoted to the rank of Professor, and in July 2008 he assumed the Chairmanship of Columbia’s Department of Chemistry. His research focuses on integrating reaction chemistry into electrical devices. He is a founding member of the Columbia University Nanoscience Center. Amongst other awards, he is a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, a 2008 ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the 2009 ACS Baekeland Award.

Michael Strano, Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Michael Strano was ranked among the top 20 chemists of the last decade, according to data (published by Thomson Reuters) based on citation impact scores of chemistry publications. His awards include 2009 Brilliant 10, Popular Science Magazine, 2009 Thiele Lectureship, Notre Dame University, 2008 Allen P. Colburn Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2008 Office of Naval Research, Young Investigator Award, 2008 Colburn Memorial Lectureship, University of Delaware, 2008 Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Materials Research Society, 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, 2007 National Academy of Engineers, Frontiers of Engineering, 2007 American Chemical Society Unilever Award for Colloidal Science, 2007 Henry and Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2006 Collaboration Success Award from the Council of Chemical Research, 2006 Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2006 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 2006 Coblentz Award for Excellence in Molecular Spectroscopy, 2005 Young Investigator Award, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum, AIChE, 2005 Top 1% of Highly Cited Researchers, Essential Science Indicators/Web of Science, 2005 National Science Foundation Career Award, 2004 Top Young Innovator Award, MIT Technology Review (TR100), and 2004 Dupont Young Investigator Award.

Yi Cui, Professor, David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University & Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, His awards include 2011 Wilson Prize (Harvard University), 2010 David Filo and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar, 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship, 2009 The Global Energy and Climate Energy Project Distinguished Lecturer, 2008 King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Investigator Award (Among twelve top scientists selected around the world, Yi Cui is the only assistant professor), 2008 ONR Young Investigator Award, 2007 Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV) Innovators Award, 2005 Terman Fellowship, 2004 World Top 100 Young Innovator Award, MIT Technology Review, 2003 Miller Research Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 2002 Distinguished Graduate Student Award in Nanotechnology, Foresight Institute, 2001 Gold Medal of Graduate Student Award, Material Research Society.

Dmitri Talapin, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, The University of Chicago. Talapin’s research focuses on the chemistry, physics and materials science of inorganic nanostructures. He and his collaborators have developed an “electronic glue” that could accelerate advances in semiconductor-based technologies, including solar cells that convert sunlight into electrical energy. UChicago licensed the underlying technology to Evident Technologies Inc. in 2009. Talapin and associates also were the first to create quasicrystals out of self-assembling nanoparticles. He received his doctorate degree from University of Hamburg, Germany in 2002 under supervision of Horst Weller. In 2003 he joined IBM Research Division at T. J. Watson Research Center as a postdoctoral fellow to work with Chris Murray on synthesis and electronic properties of semiconductor nanostructures. In 2005 he moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a staff scientist at the Molecular Foundry, newly founded DOE Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. In http://redmillburgers.com/images/flash/blog/index.php?=doxycycline-over-the-counter/ 2007 he accepted faculty position at the University of Chicago. His research interests revolve around colloidal inorganic nanomaterials, spanning from synthetic methodology to device fabrication, with the desire of turning colloidal nanostructures into useful electronic materials. His honors include 2009 fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

David Mitzi, Manager, Photovoltaic Science and Technology, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. David Mitzi received a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1990. In 1990, he joined the I.B.M. T. J. Watson Research Center where he initiated a program examining crystal structure-property relationships and low-cost thin-film deposition techniques for a variety of electronic materials. Currently, he manages the Photovoltaic Science and Technology group at IBM, with a focus on developing solution-processed high-performance inorganic semiconductors for thin-film PV devices. He holds a number of patents and has authored or coauthored more than 140 papers and book chapters.

Philippe Guyot-Sionnest, Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Chicago and the James Franck Institute. His awards include 1990 Prix National des Lasers. Societé Francaise de Physique, 1992 David and Lucille Packard Foundation fellowship, 1996 Sloan Foundation fellowship, 2001 American Physical Society Fellowship, 2006 Joliot visiting professor, Ecole de Physique et Chimie Industrielle de Paris, and 2006 Palmes académiques

Greg Scholes, Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Chemistry. He is Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2009; Dean’s Excellence Award, University of Toronto, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007; Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry, 2007; NSERC Steacie Memorial Fellow, 2007–2009; Visiting Fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2006; Chemical Institute of Canada Keith Laidler award, 2006; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 2004–2006; Research Innovation Award (Research Corporation) 2002; Premier’s Research Excellence Award 2000; Ramsay Memorial Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 1995–1997.

Husam Alshareef, Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University. Following graduation from NC State in 1996, Dr. Alshareef worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratory. He then joined Micron Technology, where he worked on various aspects of semiconductor memory device fabrication. In 2001, he joined Texas Instruments where he worked on several projects in microelectronic process development and integration. The author of more than 155 articles, he has over 50 issued patents. He has won the Seth Sprague Physics Award, the U.S. Department of Education Electronic Materials Fellowship Award, and the SEMATECH Corporate Excellence Award. His research interests are in emerging electronics and nanoelectronic devices as well as energy harvesting and storage. Dr. Alshareef is a senior member of the IEEE and is a member of the materials Research Society.

John Asbury, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The Pennsylvania State University. Asbury’s research focuses on development of new ultrafast electro-optical spectroscopies to identify and overcome fundamental challenges in emerging photovoltaic materials. He specializes in linking molecular information about emerging materials with their corresponding electronic properties to guide rational development of new materials through directed synthesis and processing. Targeted materials include colloidal quantum dot and organic photovoltaics. His awards include Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant, and U.S. National Science Foundation Career Award.

Pierre M. Beaujuge, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Materials Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST). Pierre Beaujuge received his M.S. from École Nationale Supérieure de Chimieet de Physique de Bordeaux (2006) and his Ph.D. from University of Florida (2009). His doctoral research was directed toward developing novel organic materials for optoelectronic applications. He worked as a post-doctoral associate at University of California, Berkeley (2009-2010) and in the Materials Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2010-2011), before joining KAUST in the Spring 2011. His research interests span the development of (i) polymeric materials and (ii) self-assembling organic and organic-inorganic systems that can address important challenges in the broad areas of Energy, and Surface/Interface Engineering.

Aram Amassian, Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST). He holds a B.Eng. (2001) as well as Ph.D. (2006) in Engineering Physics from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (EPM). He completed his doctoral training in the Functional Coating and Surface Engineering Laboratory headed by Ludvik Martinu at EPM, where he investigated and developed low-temperature reactive plasma processes for optical, telecommunications and aeronautics and aerospace applications. He then joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University as NSERC postdoctoral fellow, where he worked in the area of organic electronics in the group of George Malliaras. Dr. Amassian‘s research goals are to (1) accelerate the design and discovery cycle of molecular materials for electronics and energy applications and (2) to develop robust, low-cost solution-based manufacturing processes for the same.

Ted Sargent, Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. He received the B.Sc.Eng. (Engineering Physics) from Queen’s University in 1995 and the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Photonics) from the University of Toronto in 1998. He is Professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. His book The Dance of Molecules: How Nanotechnology is Changing Our Lives (Penguin) was published in Canada and the United States in 2005 and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Arabic. He is founder and CTO of InVisage Technologies, Inc. He is a Fellow of the AAAS “…for distinguished contributions to the development of solar cells and light sensors based on solution-processed semiconductors.” He is a Fellow of the IEEE “… for contributions to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronic devices.”