Whittingham International Energy Award

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Prof. Rachid Yazami


Rachid Yazami has developed electric car lithium batteries that take only 10 minutes, breaking the previous world record of 20 minutes.

Prof. Rachid Yazami, a native of Fez, Morocco, received his MS in electrochemistry and PhD in graphite intercalation compounds for lithium batteries at France’s Grenoble Institute of Technology, and then began his career at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), also in Grenoble, where he rose to research director. He has been a visiting associate in materials science and chemistry at Caltech, in collaboration with JPL/NASA, for 10 years, and in 2010 joined the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore as a visiting professor in materials science. His current research addresses lithium batteries and “beyond lithium” future battery technologies, including liquid anode alkali metal-air and fluoride-ion batteries.

He is a founder of CFX battery, Inc. (now Contour Energy Systems), a primary and rechargeable lithium and fluoride battery start-up in Azusa, California; director of energy storage programs at the Energy Research Institute; and principal investigator of battery research at the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) Center for Electromobility, jointly managed by NTU and the Technological University of Munich. In 2011 he founded KVI PTE, Ltd., a start-up in Singapore dedicated to battery life and safety enhancement for mobile electronics, large energy storage, and electric vehicle applications.

In 1979–1980 Yazami invented the lithium graphite anode, now used in commercial Li-ion batteries, a $15 billion/year business. He is listed as inventor on more than 70 patents related to battery technology, including nano-Si- and nano-Ge-based anodes for ultra-high rate charge lithium batteries, the lithium-carbon fluoride battery for space and medical applications, and more recently liquid anodes. He has coauthored more than 250 papers on batteries and their materials and systems. He has received scientific awards from NASA, NATO, IBA, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and IEEE, among others.

Yazami is the recipient of several research awards, including NATO (Science for Peace Award), NASA (two Technical Innovation Awards), IBA (Research Award), and the Hawaii Battery Conference. He is the main Founder of CFX Battery, Inc. (now Contour Energy Systems, Inc.) a Caltech-CNRS start-up company in Azusa, California and of KVI PTE LTD in Singapore. Yazami is the winner of 2012 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies.

In 1980, Yazami was the first scientist to establish the reversible intercalation of lithium into graphite in an electrochemical cell using a polymer electrolyte.

In 2011, Yazami found a new start-up company in Singapore, KVI, PTE LTD, which develops and commercializes battery equipment and components.

In 2014, Rachid Yazami was appointed by HM the King of Morocco a corresponding Member of the Hassan 2nd Academy of Sciences and Technologies of Morocco.

In 2016, Yazami was awarded the title of Chevalier de la Legion of honor of France.

In 2017, he received the Honors Award of the Moroccans of the world.

In 2018, he was the recipient of the Takreem Award for Science and Technological Achievement considered as the Arab Scientist of the year.

In 2019, Yazami received the Arab Investor Award in the "Green Application category".

In 2020, Yazami won the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence in the UAE.

Prof. Rachid Yazami, Receiving the Whittingham International Energy Award from Dr. Florian Kongoli at FLOGEN SIPS 2022

Dr. Florian Kongoli congratulating Prof. Rachid Yazami on his award at FLOGEN SIPS 2022

Prof. Rachid Yazami, Delivering his acceptance speech to Dr. Florian Kongoli during the FLOGEN SIPS 2022 ceremony

FLOGEN SIPS 2022 Awards: Dr. Rachid Yazami, President, KVI PTE Ltd, Singapore