Castner Medal Presentation (SCI HQ, London, 4 August 2011)

The Castner medal and lecture are given biannually, to recognise the achievements of an authority on applied electrochemistry. The prize is named after Hamilton Castner, who was himself a pioneer in the field of industrial electrochemistry. He developed a better process for the manufacture of caustic soda, by electrolysis of brine in the mercury cell (patented in 1892).

The recipient of the 2011 Castner Medal is Prof Maria Skyllas-Kazacos of the University of New South Wales, Australia. Maria clearly demonstrates the attributes of a Castner Medal recipient, with interests spanning metal extraction, electrode materials, membranes, and perhaps most famously her work on the vanadium redox flow battery. This invention is now regarded as one of the most feasible technologies currently available for efficient energy storage, to help in the global reduction of fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

From early in her research career, Maria had a particular concern about the environment. She has commented: "I really wanted to do something that I could see as important for the environment and for society. As a physical scientist, I suppose that the most important social contribution you can make is to the environment – particularly from my own area of expertise as distinct from the medical or other social areas."

Prof Skyllas-Kazacos has a vast amount of research experience. Her work to date has led to the authoring and filing of 250 publications and patents.

For further information about the medal recipient, please see: http://www.science.org.au/scientists/interviews/s/msk.html

The SCI Electrochemical Technology Group presented the Castner Medal to Prof Skyllas-Kazacos at a special ceremony held at SCI HQ (London, 4 August 2011). A video of her lecture will be shown at Electrochem 2011 (Bath, 5-6 September 2011).

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