Prominent Waterloo chemist appointed University Professor at Spring Convocation

Friday, June 17, 2016

University Professor Linda NazarThe University of Waterloo honoured Canada Research Chair Linda Nazar with the title University Professor at this year’s Spring Convocation for her outstanding career achievements in Solid State Materials and advanced battery research.

The rare title is reserved for Waterloo’s most internationally pre-eminent faculty. Nazar, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, is the third Faculty of Science member to receive this lifetime honour since its inception in 2003. Former Dean of Science Terry McMahon and NSERC Industry Research Chair Jansuz Pawlisyn were named University Professors in 2005 and 2010, respectively.

Linda Nazar is very deserving of this award for her energy storage research,” says Professor Robert Lemieux, Dean of the Faculty of Science. “She truly exemplifies world-class research.

Professor Nazar has published more than 230 papers which have been cited more than 17,000 times, statistics that place her within the top one per cent of researchers internationally in the field of Material Science, according to Thompson Reuters’ 2014 Highly Cited Researchers and Most Influential Scientific Minds.

She has held the Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials since 2004. In 2011, she was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and last year she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Nazar is best known for her work on lithium and sodium battery systems. In 2009, she demonstrated the feasibility of lithium-sulphur batteries that could eventually double the range of electric cars from today’s 200 miles to 400 miles on one charge. Her recent discovery of a key reaction behind sodium-oxygen batteries has implications for the development of the lithium-oxygen battery, the holy grail of electrochemical energy storage.

Her group is also exploring cheaper alternatives to expensive lithium-based batteries for large-scale electricity grid storage.

Professor Nazar is a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. She is also a member of BASF’s Research Network on Electrochemistry and Batteries and serves as a lead scientist on the US Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.