Resnick Institute

2015 Resonate Award Winners

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Yi Cui

Yi Cui

Resonate Award recipient for engineering enhanced batteries and other sustainable energy related devices through innovations in nanotechnology.


Yi Cui is an Associate Professor in Materials Science at Stanford University. His Resonate Award winning work focuses on the design of nanomaterials for energy conversion and storage. He is a highly prolific materials scientist and has published over 290 research papers. His work has had a very large impact and he is among the top most cited scientists in the world. Cui is also an Associate Editor of Nano Letters and co-director of the Bay Area Photovoltaics Consortium, which is funded by the US Department of Energy. In 2008, He founded Amprius Inc., to commercialize high-energy battery technology that could potentially revolutionize portable electronics and transportation applications.

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Joel Dawson

Joel L. Dawson

Resonate Award recipient for innovations solving key power challenges in the cellular communications industry.


Joel L. Dawson is the CTO and co-founder of Eta Devices, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company in Cambridge, MA. Eta Devices spun out of Joel’s research at MIT, where he was an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science until 2012. This work is the conduit for his Resonate Award winning work in mobile power architecture, which drastically reduces the energy inefficiencies laden in radio communications. Joel received his S.B. and M. Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Upon graduation, he co-founded Aspendos Communications, a fabless semiconductor company that was acquired by Beceem Communications. As a MIT faculty member, Joel received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008 and was selected for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2009.

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Tsutomu Ioroi

Tsutomu Ioroi

Resonate Award recipient for innovating enhanced materials for next-generation fuel cells.


Tsutomu Ioroi is a Japanese electrochemist. His Resonate Award winning work has improved the durability and efficiency of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Ioroi pioneered titanium oxide-based corrosion-resistant electrocatalysts, giving rise to their global adoption and increasing the commercial viability for PEFC systems, which operate with near-zero emissions. Tsutomu received his master’s degree from Kyoto University and doctor of Engineering from Kyoto University. He joined the Osaka National Research Institute, AIST, Japan in 1997 after finishing university. Ioroi is currently still at AIST, where he is partnered with the Japanese government and the fuel cell industry to advance PEFC research.

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Mika Järvinen

Mika Järvinen

Resonate Award recipient for pioneering a CO2 sequestration process that converts a low-value steel-manufacturing by-product into a valuable resource for industry.


Mika Järvinen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Energy Technology at Aalto University and an Academy of Finland Research Fellow. His team’s Resonate Award winning process sequesters CO2 by mineral carbonation using steel slag (a by-product of steelmaking) as raw material. Järvinen’s Doctoral student Arshe Said worked as the main researcher on this project. Using waste slag and CO2 flue gas as resources, the team’s process yields high valued precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which is useful to many industries. Järvinen is a graduate of the Department of Energy Technology at Lappeenranta University of Technology. Prior to his postdoctoral studies in the Aalto University, he worked at the Ahlstrom Machinery Corporation as a research engineer. In addition to carbon capture and storage by mineral carbonization, Järvinen’s group researches biomass combustion, circulating fluidized bed gasification of waste, and advanced modeling of industrial processes, mainly for energy and metallurgical applications.

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Delia J. Milliron

Delia J. Milliron

Resonate Award recipient for leveraging nanomaterials to improve the carbon reduction capabilities of smart windows.


Delia Milliron is an Associate Professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of the Henry Beckman Professorship. Her Resonate Award winning work explores how nanomaterials can enhance energy technologies and lower their costs. By embedding nanocrystals in electroresponsive glass, she was the first to demonstrate that smart window technology could be made that independently controls heat and light coming from the sun, which can save energy and optimize thermal comfort in buildings. Delia received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and later worked for IBM’s research division and for the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where she served as the Director of the Inorganic Nanostructures Facility and later as the Deputy Director. In 2012, she co-founded Heliotrope Technologies, a start-up company developing smart window technology.

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Watch the Discussion: "Will Tech Save the Planet?"

The 2015 Resonate Awards were presented in Aspen and the winners participated in a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival.


Overview: The primary paradigm of our time is that high-tech solutions will eventually solve all of our environmental, social, and economic woes. Can modern technology alone save us in the presence of continued economic growth, population expansion, and climate change? Do we even have a choice anymore? Caltech’s 2015 Resonate Award winners — all world leaders in advancing sustainable solutions to global environmental challenges — discuss the issue. They examine what technologies are most needed to address today’s challenges, shedding light on the barriers technologists face and what is most needed to accelerate technological solutions in both the short and long term. Learn what future technologies could be game-changers and what other factors technologists think must be considered if technology is indeed to save us.