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Renowned Cockrell School of Engineering professor John B. Goodenough has been honored with The Franklin Institute’s 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry. The award, given out once a year, recognizes individuals who have made pivotal achievements in science, technology and industry.

Goodenough was selected “for his development of the first practical, rechargeable lithium-ion battery cathode material, lithium cobalt oxide, which has revolutionized lightweight, portable electric power.” Thie 1979 discovery propelled the wireless era of cell phones, tablets and portable devices, completely transforming much of what we do and how we do it.

Goodenough’s impact on the world of electronics dates back to his tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, where he helped to develop random-access memory, a crucial component in the performance of computers. It was later, when he joined the Inorganic Chemistry Lab at the University of Oxford, that he made his monumental lithium-ion battery discovery. Goodenough is now a professor in the Cockrell School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering where he continues to pursue the next breakthrough in battery technology.

Founded in 1824 “in honor of America’s first scientist,” Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the country. The Institute’s Awards Program recognizes those who continue Franklin’s legacy. Goodenough will be joining notables such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall and Bill Gates in the growing list of laureates.

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