Tesla’s Advanced Battery Research group gets new leadership, Jeff Dahn to become advisor for Novonix

Professor Jeff Dahn is a star researcher in the battery field—he has co-authored 730 papers and holds some 73 patents. Professor Dahn and his research group at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia have had an exclusive research partnership with Tesla since 2016.

Now Professor Dahn is stepping down from his leadership role at Tesla’s Advanced Battery Research group, and taking on the position of Chief Scientific Advisor at Novonix Battery Technology Solutions, a company that was spun out of Dahn’s research group in 2013 by Dr. Chris Burns (who is now Chief Executive of Novonix).

Professor Dahn and his research team will continue to work alongside Tesla.

“We are extremely excited to have Professor Dahn join the Novonix team and become involved in our initiatives to develop and supply world-leading materials to the lithium-ion battery sector,” said Dr. Burns. “I am personally pleased to have the opportunity to work together with Professor Dahn again as his insights, industry contacts and experience will be a huge asset for our business.”

Novonix recently filed patent applications for dry particle microgranulation (DPMG) technology, which is expected to lower the cost and increase the efficiency of manufacturing of anode and cathode materials.

Novonix is scaling development of this material at a pilot cathode processing facility. In addition to its Canadian operations, Novonix operates the PUREgraphite anode material plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is ramping up capacity to 2,000 tons/year of synthetic graphite.

Dalhousie University has extended its contract with Tesla for the Advanced Battery Research group to 2026 and announced two new chairs.

Dr. Chongyin Yang is an energy conversion and storage specialist formerly of the University of Maryland. His research group will focus on developing materials for Li-ion batteries, including sustainable electrode materials that contain no transition metals.

Dr. Michael Metzger, a graduate of the Technical University of Munich, developed methods to study the lifetime and aging of lithium-ion batteries in collaboration with BASF and BMW, and also worked as a research engineer for Tier 1 supplier Robert Bosch. Dr. Metzger’s research group will focus on developing novel methods to study the performance and lifetime of lithium-ion batteries, lithium metal batteries and desalination batteries, with the goal of developing new electrode materials and electrolytes.

Professor Dahn, who will be working closely with Yang and Metzger, called the two “outstanding scientists and charismatic leaders, who bring new ideas, new methods, and new expertise as well as a full commitment to electric transportation and renewable energy to the partnership.”

“Our goal is to continue to help Tesla develop better advanced batteries for its products,” said Professor Dahn.

Sources: Novonix, Electrek