Chief scientist of Chinese battery maker Narada Power, Dr Herbert Giess, has received the International Lead Award for his contributions to the lead and lead-acid battery industries.
The award from the International Lead Association (ILA) was presented by ILA associate, David Rand, at last week’s Asian Battery Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Giess is one of only 15 scientists to have received the honour, which is awarded to those who have made “a significant contribution to science and practice in areas such as lead production and recycling, lead alloy development, or battery design and performance”.
Giess (pictured, centre) was praised for his “lifetime of cutting-edge research on the material science and electrochemistry of lead-acid batteries”.
Giess’s first job and taste of electrochemistry was with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), where he was involved in determining ion diffusion coefficients, including for lead.
The scientist first became involved with lead-acid batteries working for Batelle— at a time when the first so-called ‘maintenance-free’ automotive batteries appeared on the market. “Early designs suffered from capacity failures, and Battelle gathered together 12 battery companies from Europe, Japan and the US to launch a fundamental research effort in which Giess demonstrated the beneficial action of tin in the positive grid alloy,” the ILA said.
Giess went on to work on advanced lead-acid batteries for US Navy submarines with Gould Inc., near Chicago, before he returned to Europe in 1983 as head of R&D at Switzerland’s Accumulatoren-Fabrik Oerlikon, where he helped launch the company’s valve-regulated lead-acid battery range.
“Giess’s experience proved invaluable in formulating the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium’s first major research programme— addressing premature capacity loss in automotive batteries,” the ILA said.
Giess also served on the International Electrotechnical Commission Committee TC21 where, under his chairmanship, standards were written and published for the technical requirements demanded from stationary valve-regulated lead–acid batteries and for their use as renewable grid-connected energy storage.