Dalhousie University’s Office of Research Services has shared a video of Jeff Dahn, who is a professor of physics and atmospheric science at Dalhousie University. Dahn, who is involved in a research partnership with Tesla to help create better lithium-ion batteries for Tesla’s projects, announced new chairs in the video.
“I’m excited and pleased to welcome Chongyin Yang and Michael Metzger as new assistant professors and chair holders here at Dalhousie University. They’re both outstanding scientists and charismatic leaders and they’re going to join our partnership with Tesla,” Dahn said. He added that Tesla’s partnership with the university will be renewed until 2026.
“They bring us new ideas, new expertise, new methods, and a renewed commitment to renewable energy and electrified transportation, so I’m just thrilled to have them join us here,” Dahn added. He spoke of the importance of continuing advanced battery research at the university and noted that he recently turned 64 and didn’t want to see the laboratory “go into the ocean.” Dahn noted that over the next five-year period, Yang and Metzger will take over the laboratory operations and continue the partnership with Tesla.
Dahn also mentioned that in July of this year, Tesla will allow him to work with select local Nova Scotia businesses and this made him very happy. The reason why he couldn’t interact with them previously was due to exclusive industrial contracts. “I’m very happy about that because it will help us grow the economy here even more.” Dahn also stressed the importance of completely transitioning away from fossil fuels.
“We need electrified transportation. We need grid energy storage so we can store the power from solar panels and wind turbines for use when the wind is not there and the sun is not shining. And the batteries for those applications need to last as long as possible, be as cheap as possible, and be as sustainable as possible. And that’s what we work on here. We’re really trying to help the world transition to clean energy and eliminate fossil fuels. ”
Synergy & Bringing Tesla Forward
Both Yang and Metzger were interviewed last month by The Chronicle Herald. The two scientists shared their enthusiasm and excitement about their new positions, their hopes for the future of lithium-ion batteries, and how they want to help bring Tesla forward.
Metzger, who graduated from the Technical University of Munich, collaborated with BASF and BMW to develop methods to study the lifetime and aging of lithium-ion batteries while pursuing his graduate studies.
He spoke about the exciting synergy that he, Yang, and Dahn can create and how it will help bring Tesla forward. “Chongyin has obviously a lot of great experience making very innovative materials for lithium-ion batteries,” Metzger stated. “I, myself, probably tend more towards the method development side — creating new analytic tools to study lithium-ion batteries. And with Jeff’s background of being really a pioneer in the battery field over many decades, I think it could be a really exciting synergy that we can have between us, and I think it can really help to bring Tesla forward. That’s the idea and the end goal, I think.”
Yang, whose research seeks lower-cost batteries that last longer and also higher energy density battery technologies, spoke about what a great opportunity this was for him and Metzger.
“This (is) a very good opportunity for both of us, of course, as young scientists to start with,” he said. “This kind of laboratory and this kind of culture with the best EV company — Tesla — it’s going to be a very good job opportunity for us.” Yang foresees a team in Halifax that will focus on more fundamental research while attracting more companies to work on lithium-ion batteries. “If that’s going to be true in the future, it will be like — there is Silicon Valley in California, so I guess there would be some kind of Battery Valley here,” he said.
Metzger noted that the future is exciting, particularly since Tesla renewed this partnership. “In general, I just think it’s going to be a really exciting future here … especially since Tesla has now renewed our partnership and we can all three contribute and bring new techniques and materials, new ideas to this whole project,” he said. “I think it will be a real push and I’m really excited to see where all this takes us.”