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Tom Zawodzinski

Governor's Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage, UTK


Thomas Zawodzinski is presently the Governor’s Chair in Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage, with appointments in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dept. at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and at ORNL.

Dr. Zawodzinski’s current work focuses on Energy Conversion and Storage, such as PEM Fuel Cell Materials and Devices including membranes and electrodes, Advanced Batteries such as Lithium-Air Batteries, Redox Flow Batteries, Bio-Fuel Cells and a variety of other emerging areas, especially those involving membranes and electro-catalysis.  A variety of methods are used in this research but key focal points include electrochemistry and advanced NMR methods for diffusion and imaging studies.  Modeling of processes and systems is often a feature of the work.

He previously was the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Fuel Cells, Director of the Case Advanced Power Institute, and the founding Director of the Wright Fuel Cell Group. Dr. Zawodzinski led research projects on fuel cell materials, including development of new polymeric membranes for automotive applications at elevated temperature and low relative humidity, electro-catalysis, gas diffusion media and fuel cell durability. He directed an ARO-MURI on ‘An Integrated Experimental and Computational Approach Toward Catalyst Design for Fuel Cell Systems.’ As Team Leader for Fuel Cells at LANL until 2002, Dr. Zawodzinski led a comprehensive program with R&D components related to automotive, stationary and portable power applications of PEM and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells. In addition to his continuous involvement in the fuel cell program, he initiated and led programs including preparation of new electrolytes and new methods for studies of transport and electrode materials in Li batteries; self-assembled monolayers for device preparation; biosensors and chemical sensors for chemical warfare agents and simulants; artificial muscles and electrochemical reactors.

He has published more than one hundred refereed papers, holds two patents, has co- edited several books on fuel cells and a number of book chapters, and has been an active public speaker with hundreds of presentations and short courses given around the globe on fuel cell, electrochemical device and sensor-related topics and research.  Dr. Zawodzinski received his Bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His Bachelor’s studies were in Chemistry and Cell/Molecular Biology and his Ph.D. work, under the supervision of Robert Osteryoung, focused on Room Temperature Chloro-aluminate Molten Salts.

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