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Stan Ovshinsky 1922 - 2012

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The inventor of nickel-metal hydride chemistry has died. Stanford Ovshinsky, a self-taught scientist, died of prostate cancer aged 89 on 17 October 2012.

Stanford Ovshinsky

Widely regarded as a genius, if not a savvy businessman, he developed the NiMH battery licensed companies worldwide.

His pioneering work spanned the development digital memory, battery technology, optical media, solar energy and hydrogen storage.

Born in 1922 in Ohio to Lithuanian parents, Ovshinsky was a self-taught scientist; his curiosity of how things work led him to spend much time in libraries. 

One of his earliest papers covered the links between machine and human intelligence, and this resulted in a research job Wayne State University.

Alongside this, he founded a product development company called Energy Conversion Devices in Detroit with his second wife Iris. Here he developed the nickel-metal hydride battery chemistry that he patented in 1998.

His innovation continued throughout his life including solar energy laminates and panels, flat screen liquid crystal displays, rewritable CD and DVDs and nonvolatile phase-change memory.

Ovshinsky is survived by his third wife Rosa, seven children and six grandchildren.

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