Dr. M. Stanley Whittingham won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 with Drs. John B. Goodenough and Akira Yoshino.
Their prize was for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
Dr. Adam Wanekaya, professor of chemistry at Missouri State, knew Whittingham when Wanekaya was a PhD student at the University of New York, Binghamton.
Whittingham was the chair of Wanekaya’s PhD dissertation committee in October 2004.
Wanekaya also took one of Whittingham’s materials chemistry classes as a graduate student in the 1999-2000 school year.
Though Wanekaya didn’t participate in Whittingham’s research, he was around it.
“I used to visit my classmates in his lab,” Wanekaya said.
Wanekaya said that Whittingham was interested in alternative energy during the oil crisis when he was working for Exxon, known as Esso at the time.
“While there, he pioneered groundbreaking and transformative research in lithium-ion batteries,” Wanekaya said.
From that research, he added to it when he started at Binghamton in 1988.
“His research has led to the fabrication of rechargeable batteries that charge fast and hold on the charge much longer,” Wanekaya said. “The impact of his research has been tremendous and widespread, from long lasting batteries for cell phones and wireless technology to electric cars, just to mention a few.”
Wanekaya was excited that his professor was recognized for his work.
“Dr. Whittingham is a very hard-working, humble, soft spoken man that was passionate about research and teaching,” Wanekaya said. “He likes working and training students. He always sees things in a positive way and offers constructive criticisms.”