Robert Kostecki

Robert Kostecki

Division Director: Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division
Senior Scientist: Battery Group
Scientific Division Director


Robert Kostecki is a Senior Scientist and Division Director of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources (ESDR) Division in the Energy Technologies Area in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

He is responsible for ESDR scientific, programmatic and strategic leadership in the areas of energy and environment through expanding existing research programs, assistance with development and maintenance of sponsor and partner relationships and creating new research initiatives.

His research interests focus on fundamental phenomena that determine electrochemical performance of electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems and water treatment technologies. Robert is often recognized for his pioneering work in the field of characterization of electrochemical interfaces and electrochemical systems engineering, especially in bridging the gap between fundamental science and applications of significant technological importance e.g., batteries, fuel cells and water treatment processes. He develops novel in situ and ex situ optical spectroscopy and imaging methodologies to sense basic properties of advanced materials and electrochemical interfaces at an atom, molecular or nanoparticle level.

In his work he develops novel in situ and ex situ spectroscopy and imaging methodologies to probe basic properties of electrical energy storage materials and electrochemical interfaces at an atom, molecular or nanoparticulate level. He applies new experimental approaches to characterize fundamental issues affecting rechargeable battery performance, study the nature of physico-chemical properties of interfaces, nanostructures, and the mechanism of electrochemical and chemical phenomena that control the behavior of the electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems. His R&D efforts are directed toward technology development, and the use of state-of-the-art characterization tools to support the science and engineering of sustainable energy systems.

Robert received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 1994. He has (co-)authored  more than 110 papers in refereed journals, 16 conference proceedings papers, more than 240 meeting presentations and 30 patents and invention disclosures. He is Vice President of the International Society of Electrochemistry and an active member of numerous scientific societies and committees; organizer and chair of numerous symposia; and workshops and government-university-industry research meetings.

Find out more about Robert Kostecki and his research at


2022 R&D 100 Award: Quick-Release™ Binder for Recyclable Batteries -  August 22nd 2022

The Quick-ReleaseTM Binder solves a major challenge of materials recovery for Li-ion battery direct recycling. The current recycling process, which includes shredding, grinding, and pyrolysis of the materials, is highly energy intensive and has a large environmental footprint. The Quick-Release Binder eliminates these processes–as well as the production of toxic gases–by using water processes for manufacturing and recycling. All the battery components simply dissociate in pH adjusted water and are easily recovered and reprocessed. As a low-cost, nontoxic, and effective product, the Quick-Release binder represents a major technological advancement, and it facilitates the use and expansion of green energy storage, supporting international efforts to create a circular economy.

2016 International Battery Association Research Award -  March 28th 2016

Robert Kostecki received a 2016 International Battery Association Research Award for his “outstanding research on battery materials and characterization of fundamental electrochemical phenomena.” The IBA Awards honor significant contributions to battery research that have advanced the development of energy storage systems.

Electrochemical Society Fellowship -  September 10th 2015

Robert Kostecki was honored by the Electrochemical Society (ECS) for his groundbreaking work in the fields of electrochemical energy storage, conversion systems, photocatalysis, and water treatment technologies.  He has served as officer and Chair of the ECS San Francisco Section and he is currently Chair of the ECS Battery Division.

5th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, Creativity Prize -  October 8th 2012

The award citation noted that Gadgil received his recognition for “research [relating to] one of the greatest problems currently facing the water supply: the arsenic contamination of groundwater.” The citation continues: “The Creativity Prize is being awarded to Dr. Ashok Gadgil’s team at UC Berkley for developing an economical and effective way to treat arsenic contamination and restore the groundwater supply to potability for millions of poor people around the globe. Together, these achievements promise to save countless lives.”

Affiliations: Susan Addy and Case van Genuchten, UC Berkeley; Professor Joyashree Roy from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India; and Ashok Gadgil and Robert Kostecki from EETD/Berkeley Lab.