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Adam Heller Named Honorary Member of Electrochemical Society

Adam Heller, chemical engineering research professor and professor emeritus in the Cockrell School, has been named the 78th Honorary Member of the Electrochemical Society (ECS). This prestigious recognition is only bestowed upon long-standing ECS members who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of electrochemistry and allied disciplines.

Heller’s work in electrochemical engineering has impacted both industry and academia and has touched the lives of people across the globe. As the inventor of the first painless diabetes blood monitor, his developments in health care have had an enormous societal and economic impact. Heller’s work spans a range of technologies, touching areas related to batteries and energy – including solar cells, the lithium battery and photoelectrocatalysis.

Heller began his career with GTE Laboratories and Bell Laboratories, where he headed the Electronic Materials Research Department. He transitioned into academia soon after when he joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1988. During this time, Heller invented and co-founded the company that built the painless blood-glucose monitoring system.

Additionally, Heller’s research also resulted in the first paper on the lithium thionyl chloride battery, which would be used in implanted medical and defense systems that required a shelf life of greater than 20 years or a higher-than-average energy density. This achievement, along with many others, earned him the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2008.

“Adam Heller’s contributions to electrochemistry make him one of the greatest scientists of our time,” said Roque Calvo, executive director and CEO of the Electrochemical Society. “ECS is proud to recognize his achievements by naming him the 78th Honorary Member in our 113-year history.”

Of the 20 living ECS Honorary Members, Heller joins three other Longhorns represented on the list — Larry Faulkner (2003), Allen Bard (2013) and John Goodenough (2013).

ECS recognized Heller for his honorary membership, as well as for winning the ECS Europe Section Heinz Gerischer Award, at its 228th ECS Meeting in October of 2015.