2014
Rachid Yazami
Dr. Rachid Yazami
Draper Prize
Research Director , Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
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  • Draper
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  • Draper
Awards
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
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Biography

Dr. Rachid Yazami, a native of Fez, Morocco, received his MS in electrochemistry and PhD in graphite intercalation compounds for lithium batteries at France’s Grenoble Institute of Technology, and then began his career at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), also in Grenoble, where he rose to research director. He has been a visiting associate in materials science and chemistry at Caltech, in collaboration with JPL/NASA, for 10 years, and in 2010 joined the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore as a visiting professor in materials science. His current research addresses lithium batteries and “beyond lithium” future battery technologies, including liquid anode alkali metal-air and fluoride-ion batteries.

He is a founder of CFX battery, Inc. (now Contour Energy Systems), a primary and rechargeable lithium and fluoride battery start-up in Azusa, California; director of energy storage programs at the Energy Research Institute; and principal investigator of battery research at the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) Center for Electromobility, jointly managed by NTU and the Technological University of Munich. In 2011 he founded KVI PTE, Ltd., a start-up in Singapore dedicated to battery life and safety enhancement for mobile electronics, large energy storage, and electric vehicle applications.

In 1979–1980 Yazami invented the lithium graphite anode, now used in commercial Li-ion batteries, a $15 billion/year business. He is listed as inventor on more than 70 patents related to battery technology, including nano-Si- and nano-Ge-based anodes for ultra-high rate charge lithium batteries, the lithium-carbon fluoride battery for space and medical applications, and more recently liquid anodes. He has coauthored more than 250 papers on batteries and their materials and systems. He has received scientific awards from NASA, NATO, IBA, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and IEEE, among others.

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Awards
  • Draper
  • 2014
  • For engineering the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that enables compact, lightweight mobile devices.