38th Annual Huggins Science Seminar

Thursday, April 5/2018 - 7:00pm K.C. Irving Centre Auditorium - Reception to Follow

Our Energy Future, Lithium-Ion Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Storage - JEFF DAHN


Thank goodness the world is shifting more and more to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and tidal. However, the sun does not always shine, the wind does not always blow and tidal flows are zero periodically.  Electrochemical energy storage (in batteries) is needed to deal with this variability when the fraction of renewables on the energy grid becomes large.  In this talk, I will highlight Canadian contributions to the science and technology of lithium-ion batteries that are helping with the transformation to renewable energy and electric vehicles.  I will also provide a few sobering perspectives on the scale of this transformation.


Jeff Dahn is recognized as one of the pioneering developers of the lithium-ion battery that is now used worldwide in laptop computers and cell-phones. Dahn's recent work has concentrated extending the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries so they last decades. 

Jeff Dahn was born in Bridgeport, Conn. in 1957 and emigrated with his family to Nova Scotia in 1970. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from Dalhousie University (1978) and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1982.  Dahn then worked at the National Research Council of Canada (82-85) and at Moli Energy Limited (85-90) before taking up a faculty position in the Physics Department at Simon Fraser University in 1990.  He returned to Dalhousie University in 1996 as a Professor of Physics.  He is presently a Canada Research Chair and the NSERC/Tesla Canada Industrial Research Chair.

Jeff and his wife Kathy’s twin daughters, Tara and Hannah are graduates of Dalhousie Medical School and are currently in their residency program. Their son, Jackson, is also a Dalhousie graduate (Engineering), who works at a startup company, Novonix, in Dartmouth.

Jeff Dahn was awarded the inaugural Governor General Innovation Award (Canada) in May, 2016 and the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal in Science and Engineering (Canada’s top science award) in 2017 among many other awards.

Read more …

37th Annual Huggins Science Seminar

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18/2016 at 7:30pm in Huggins Science Hall Room#10   -   Reception to Follow


Abstract: Biological molecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins do remarkable things in our cells, from information processing and communication to transportation. Just as we carve, weave or otherwise fashion useful and beautiful things from natural materials, it is fascinating to explore what we could create from nature's tiny and versatile bio-molecules.

In this talk I'll describe how principles of computer programming can support such exploration, and the exciting progress to date in the nascent, interdisciplinary field of bio-molecular computation. I'll invite you to imagine a future in which programmed molecular technologies will be as integral to our daily lives as silicon-based computer technologies are now.

Dr. Anne Condon is a Professor of Computer Science at University of British Columbia, where she has served as Department Head and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science.  She holds a Bachelor's degree from University College Cork, Ireland and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

The Huggins Science Seminar was established in 1972 on the initiative of Acadia graduate, Dr. Charles Huggins, Nobel Laureate and former Acadia Chancellor.

Read more …