Jeff Dahn moves from Tesla’s Advanced Battery Research group to advisory role at Novonix

Posted on February 13, 2021 by Charles Morris

Professor Jeff Dahn is a celebrity in the battery field, and with good reason—he has co-authored over 730 papers and holds some 73 patents. Since 2016, Professor Dahn and his research group at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia have had an exclusive research partnership with Tesla. 

Above: Jeff Dahn in the driver's seat of a Tesla (Source: Dalhousie University)

Now Professor Dahn has announced plans to step down from his leadership role at Tesla’s Advanced Battery Research group, and to become Chief Scientific Advisor at Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, a company that was spun out of Dahn’s research group in 2013 by Dr. Chris Burns (now Chief Executive of Novonix).

Professor Dahn and his research team will continue to work alongside Tesla.

“We are extremely excited to have Professor Dahn join the Novonix team and become involved in our initiatives to develop and supply world-leading materials to the lithium-ion battery sector,” said Dr. Burns. “I am personally pleased to have the opportunity to work together with Professor Dahn again as his insights, industry contacts and experience will be a huge asset for our business.”

Novonix recently filed patent applications for dry particle microgranulation (DPMG) technology, which is expected to lower the cost and increase the efficiency of manufacturing of anode and cathode materials.

Novonix is scaling development of this material at a pilot cathode processing facility. In addition to its Canadian operations, Novonix operates the PUREgraphite anode material plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is ramping up capacity to 2,000 tons/year of synthetic graphite.

Above: Jeff Dahn talks about the new chairs at his Advanced Battery Research group which works with Tesla (YouTube: Office of Research Studies)

Dalhousie University has extended its contract with Tesla for the Advanced Battery Research group to 2026 and announced two new chairs.

Dr. Chongyin Yang is an energy conversion and storage specialist formerly of the University of Maryland. His research group will focus on developing materials for Li-ion batteries, including sustainable electrode materials that contain no transition metals.

Dr. Michael Metzger, a graduate of the Technical University of Munich, developed methods to study the lifetime and aging of lithium-ion batteries in collaboration with BASF and BMW, and also worked as a research engineer for Tier 1 supplier Robert Bosch. Dr. Metzger’s research group will focus on developing novel methods to study the performance and lifetime of lithium-ion batteries, lithium metal batteries and desalination batteries, with the goal of developing new electrode materials and electrolytes.

Professor Dahn, who will be working closely with Yang and Metzger, called the two “outstanding scientists and charismatic leaders, who bring new ideas, new methods, and new expertise as well as a full commitment to electric transportation and renewable energy to the partnership.”

“Our goal is to continue to help Tesla develop better advanced batteries for its products,” said Professor Dahn.

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This article originally appeared in Charged. Author: Charles Morris. Sources: Novonix, Electrek

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