Past Winners

(2015) Dr. Jay Whitacre is a full Professor at CMU and the CTO of Aquion Energy. His work at CMU has been focused on developing and analyzing new materials and systems for electrochemical energy storage and conversion.  In 2008, a first-generation version of a new aqueous electrolyte battery chemistry was developed in his labs at CMU, and subsequent incubation work resulted in the spin out of Aquion Energy from CMU in late 2009. Whitacre has authored or co-authored over 60 peer-review papers, is an inventor on over 30 patents that are issued or pending, and was listed as one of the top 25 Eco-Innovators in the world by Fortune Magazine in 2014. He earned his BA in Physics from Oberlin College (1994), followed by a Master's (1997) and PhD (1999) in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan.

(2014) Scott Hanson is co-founder of Ambiq Micro and is an expert in ultra-low energy and variation-tolerant circuits. He championed the development of Ambiq Micro’s SPOT™ platform at the University of Michigan along with co-founders Dennis Sylvester and David Blaauw. Since Ambiq Micro’s inception, Scott has guided Ambiq Micro’s product development efforts and new technology development efforts. He speaks widely on energy-efficient circuits at trade-shows and conferences and has more than 30 publications and 7 patent filings on related topics. He received his PhD, Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Michigan.



(2013) Tetsushi Kanda is a general manager of building construction and materials research group at Kajima Technical Research Institute. KaTRI belongs to Kajima Corporation, one of the largest construction enterprises in Japan and in the top 20 in the world. Kanda received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1998, focusing on the design of super-ductile fiber reinforced cementitious composite, ECC, for anti-seismic structural elements. Kanda achieved the first large scale ECC application for high-rise buildings in the world by extending his thesis work. Kanda has also utilized research results in building construction industry with zero-shrinkage concrete and low carbon concrete. His achievements have been recognized by numerous academic and professional awards in Japan.