Drexel Doctoral Candidate Preparing ‘Green’ Supercapacitor Research for National Conference

Boris Dyatkin presents at a conference in France in 2015.
Boris Dyatkin presents at a conference in France in 2015

In a couple of weeks, a Drexel doctoral candidate’s research into “green” supercapacitors will suddenly find a much bigger audience.

Boris Dyatkin, a materials science and engineering doctoral candidate in the College of Engineering, is the first Drexel student ever and one of four students in the U.S. this year to receive the Ciba Travel Award in Green Chemistry, a highly selective travel award given by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Having received the funding and opportunity to attend the 250th ACS National Meeting, Dyatkin is now gearing up to attend the conference, held Aug. 16–20 in Boston.

“I am proud to represent Drexel and to show some of the great work that the university is doing on sustainable materials, ‘green’ chemistry and engineering, and renewable energy sources and electrical storage mechanisms,” Dyatkin said.

Dyatkin’s research area focuses on environmentally friendly batteries and a supercapacitor composed entirely of “green” materials.  He will discuss his work in three different talks at the conference, which is expected to have more than 10,000 attendees. Although one of the presentations has already been published, he is still writing papers on the other two.  

“ACS features many experts in chemistry, engineering, and materials science from very different fields — presenting at the conference would be a good way for me to increase visibility of my research and solicit feedback for my dissertation,” Dyatkin said.

Dyatkin heard about the award a year ago. To apply, he wrote a personal statement about his motivation for this “green” research. His advisor, Distinguished University and Trustee Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi, PhD, submitted a recommendation on his behalf.

“Right around then, I was publishing a paper on a ‘green’ energy storage system. I had presented my research at the Materials Research Society Conference earlier that year,” Dyatkin said. “It was well received by scientists who were working on sustainable materials and environmental engineering. Last summer, I completed a research visit to Army Research Laboratory to design a more ‘green’ battery. I felt that, with a track record of two successful energy and sustainability projects and several publications, I would be a good candidate for this award.”

Dyatkin feels all those whose research is relevant to the field should apply for the CIBA Travel Award to get such a good opportunity.

“The Drexel Nanomaterials Institute, led by Professor Gogotsi, has an incredibly strong record of successfully developing novel materials and concepts for electrochemical energy storage,” Dyatkin said. “We have contributed many high-impact patents, publications and presentations to the important field of sustainable nanomaterials, and I look forward to showcasing some of that work.”

Dyatkin recently received a National Research Council (NRC) Post-doctoral fellowship for a position at the Naval Research Laboratory, where he will begin his post-doctoral research. Having recently completed his PhD pre-defense, he is preparing the final results of his work for publication and dissertation later this year.