Cheng wins Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 Award

Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

Lei Cheng, an assistant chemist in the Materials Science division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has received a Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 Award.

These awards recognize 40 emerging leaders in the Midwest for their contributions to the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Cheng said. ?”Working along with my Argonne colleagues toward a cleaner energy future has given me great motivation and passion in my daily work.”

Cheng’s research at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), which is led by Argonne, is focused on developing the next generation of batteries for the clean energy economy. ?”Rather than trying to develop new battery materials in the lab, which is an expensive and time-consuming process, we simulate the materials on the computer,” she said. ?”These computer simulations allow chemists to select and synthesize the best candidates for further development in the lab.”

“[Cheng] is truly one of the rising stars in the Materials Science division and at the laboratory.” — John Mitchell, interim director of Argonne’s Materials Science division

George Crabtree, director of JCESR, said the award reinforced the considerable impact of Cheng’s scientific work. ?”This award is a wonderful recognition of her skills and contribution to JCESR, Argonne and society,” he said.

“We are extremely proud of Lei’s accomplishments recognized by this award,” added John Mitchell, interim director of Argonne’s Materials Science division (MSD). ?”She is truly one of the rising stars in the Materials Science division and at the laboratory.”

In the award, Cheng was also recognized for her work with the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science, whose aim is to facilitate the transformation of early stage scientific discoveries into energy storage solutions, and to identify technological solutions that meet the needs of industrial partners. In addition to her research efforts, the award mentions her volunteer work encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in clean energy science and technology.

“Winning this award would not have been possible without the great support and mentorship from the research and operations team of JCESR and MSD,” Cheng said.


Recipients of the award were honored on September 17 at Coalition: Energy in Chicago. Cheng’s research is supported by the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences Program.

The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, is a major partnership that integrates researchers from many disciplines to overcome critical scientific and technical barriers and create new breakthrough energy storage technology. Led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, partners include national leaders in science and engineering from academia, the private sector, and national laboratories. Their combined expertise spans the full range of the technology-development pipeline from basic research to prototype development to product engineering to market delivery.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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