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SEMINAR: Enabling Multifunctional Materials and Energy Systems
February 14, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
I aim to enable the design and manufacturing of multifunctional materials and energy systems. Nature leverages multifunctionality in its energy-storage systems. For example, animals store energy as fat that provides insulation and shock absorption. In contrast, human-made energy-storage technologies are typically designed to perform only one function—to store and release energy. A multifunctional battery in an electric vehicle could reduce vehicle weight by replacing sections of the vehicle’s frame or exterior while providing impact absorption and vibration suppression. Wing or fuselage-shaped structural batteries for aircraft or spacecraft could bear loads. Heavy, bulky batteries required for robots, implants, wearables, personal electronics, or bionic limbs could be eliminated with a multifunctional replacement that acts as device casing. In this seminar, I will present my current research related to the realization of multifunctional zinc-based batteries and touch on my past work related to grid and off-grid storage batteries.
Dr. Brandon Hopkins is a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory working on rechargeable zinc-based batteries with Dr. Debra R. Rolison. Hopkins received his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he worked on aqueous metal–air batteries with Professors Yang Shao-Horn and Douglas P. Hart. As a master’s candidate also at MIT, he was part of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) where he designed and fabricated gravity-driven flow batteries using semi-solid suspensions with Professors Yet-Ming Chiang and Alexander H. Slocum. He received his bachelor’s from Harvard University and interned at Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.