Focus: Energy Storage Center at Berkeley Lab

April 5, 2021

Leaders profiled in Department of Energy feature


The future of energy depends on our ability to store it reliably, cheaply, and safely — whether to power electric vehicles, our buildings and factories, or to contribute to the clean grid of the future.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) -- including three lead scientists recently profiled by the Department of Energy (DOE) -- are working on next-generation energy storage technologies at the new Energy Storage Center, launched in late 2020. 

Their work contributes to DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive program aimed at sustaining American global leadership in energy storage. That challenge comes with an aggressive goal: to develop and domestically manufacture energy storage technologies that can meet all U.S. market demands by 2030.

DOE recently included three Berkeley Lab energy storage scientists in a feature spotlighting women working on energy storage:

  • Marca Doeff (second from right in picture), deputy director of Berkeley Lab’s Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division, is researching materials for batteries, particularly next-generation lithium-ion and “beyond lithium-ion” devices. She designed the first solid lithium battery using hard and soft solid electrolytes, which won an R&D 100 award in 2020.
  • Sumanjeet Kaur (second from left in picture),who is the founding director of the Thermal Energy Group, focuses on storage for thermal forms of energy in buildings, such as air conditioning and heating. Her cutting-edge research will enable thermal microgrids within a building system to make the U.S. electric grid more resilient and reliable.
  • Kristin Persson (far left in picture) is an expert in materials informatics who is specifically pursuing novel and optimized materials for energy storage applications. Among her many leadership roles, she is the director of the Materials Project, which provides free materials data and attracts over 100,000 users worldwide and where the battery cathode data is requested on average 400,000 times a month.

“Meeting the incredible women researchers across the Lab making groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to energy storage was the impetus for proposing this piece to DOE,” said Noël Bakhtian (pictured far right), the Energy Storage Center’s inaugural director and author of the feature. “I wanted to make sure the world is celebrating the people behind the technologies they use every day.”

Read more about these and other U.S. national lab researchers at the forefront of energy storage in the DOE’s Women’s History Month feature here. Learn more about Berkeley Lab’s new Energy Storage Center here.