Stan Ovshinsky

2007 Walston Chubb Award for Innovationovshinsky

Stan Ovshinsky is president and chief scientist and technologist of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics) in Rochester Hills, Mich. He and his wife, the late Iris M. Ovshinsky, founded ECD Ovonics in 1960 to continue his work in the field of amorphous and disordered materials, which he originated in 1955. His fundamental and basic contributions established the field, resulting in transforming the old approaches to glasses to one yielding unexpected new physical, chemical and electronic mechanisms of great scientific and industrial importance. His pioneering work in the field has become the enabling technology in four major areas: energy generation, including thin-film, triple-junction photovoltaics and regenerative non-noble metal fuel cells; energy storage, including Ovonic nickel metal hydride consumer and electric and hybrid vehicle batteries and solid hydrogen storage; information systems, including amorphous semiconductors, switching and phase-change memories, both optical and electrical; and, atomically designed synthetic materials for a wide variety of uses, including non-noble metal catalysts replacing platinum and palladium. Ovshinsky has over 300 U.S. patents and is the author of over 275 scientific papers. His many awards include the Diesel Gold Medal for Invention from the German Inventors Association, the Coors American Ingenuity Award, the Toyota Award for Advancement and the American Solar Energy Society Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award. He was named a "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine in 1999. He and his wife, Iris, were named as Heroes of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.