Callie Babbitt, an assistant professor in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, has received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award from the National Science Foundation to study the sustainable management of lithium-ion batteries that are discarded after use in electric vehicles and modern consumer electronics.
The CAREER Program is an NSF-wide activity that supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities, the foundation states, build a firm base for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
Babbitt will use the $400,000 award over the next five years to investigate potential environmental impacts of reusing, recycling and disposing of lithium-ion batteries after they have been used in electric vehicles. The increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles has received a lot of attention related to their potential benefit for the environment—not to mention money saved at the gas pump—but much less thought has been given to how to manage and recycle the systems powering them, according to Babbitt.