Battery researcher Kristina Edström wins KTH Great Prize

20 June 2018

Leading battery researcher Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Uppsala University, has won the KTH Great Prize for 2018. Her research has brought the world closer to a solution to the problem of energy storage. The award citation also notes her great commitment to inspiring and mentoring promising young researchers.

Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry,
has won the KTH Great Prize for 2018.
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

“Energy is a critical issue for the future and by her thorough research and extensive knowledge, Kristina Edström has brought the world considerably closer to a solution to the problem of energy storage. By charging her research with integrity and assiduity in equal measure, Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, has achieved world-leading battery research. By inspiring younger researchers and sharing her creative skills with them, she also guarantees continued high quality in the future.”

This is why Kristina Edström has been awarded the KTH Great Prize for 2018, according to the citation.

“I feel completely overwhelmed,” says Edström. “It’s such an honour to be singled out by a university other than my own. It feels particularly important right now, when I’m striving to coordinate European battery research. It gives extra legitimacy to what I’m trying to do. And I’m especially grateful for the emphasis on my work with young researchers. It’s so important to encourage a new generation of researchers to get inspired by research on batteries.”

Kristina Edström is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Uppsala University, where she leads the largest battery research group in the Nordic region, the Ångström Advanced Battery Centre. The development of the next generation of energy storage technology and battery technology for applications in the automotive industry are two areas in which her research team has achieved particular prominence. The goal of the research is to develop new battery chemicals that can give us more powerful, safer and cheaper batteries than we have today, without causing too great a drain on the world’s natural resources.

Edström is Director of SwedNess, the graduate school for neutron scattering, in the area of materials science and life sciences, which is in operation between 2016 and 2021. The graduate school is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and its purpose is to train a group of young researchers in various neutron scattering methods to prepare them to make active use of the advantages offered by ESS, the European Spallation Source being constructed in Lund.

The President of KTH, Sigbritt Karlsson, thinks Kristina Edström is an excellent choice for the KTH Great Prize.

“Her basic research is of benefit to society and of use here and now in a world that is searching for sustainable solutions in the area of energy. Her research is highly relevant and significant for Sweden and of course internationally. Moreover, as a woman of science, she is a shining example to many,” she says.

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Facts

  • The KTH Great Prize will be awarded at the Conferment Ceremony in Stockholm Concert Hall in November.
  • The prize, which is worth SEK 1.2 million, is awarded to a Swedish citizen who, through epoch-making contributions or discoveries and the creation of new values, particularly in technology but also in science and art, furthers the well-being of the Swedish people.
  • The prize has been awarded since 1945. Previous prize winners include Hannes Alfvén (researcher in physics and Nobel Laureate, 1947), Assar Gabrielsson (founder of Volvo, 1955), Elise Ottesen-Jensen (sex education pioneer and founder of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, 1971), Lennart Nilsson (medical photographer, 1972), Alva Myrdal (politician and diplomat, 1975), Håkan Lans (inventor, 1996), Robin Miriam Carlsson (recording artist, 2013), Max Tegmark (physicist and cosmologist, 2015), Jonas Gardell (writer, playwright, comedian and artist, 2017).