Michael Makepeace Thackeray is a materials chemist who has contributed significantly to advancing battery science and technology over a distinguished 46-year career. At the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa (1973-1994), Thackeray was a Group Leader in the Ceramics Division of the National Institute for Materials Research and then a Manager and Senior Research Officer in the Battery Technology Unit, Materials Science and Technology Division. At Argonne National Laboratory (1994-present), he has been a Group Leader in the Electrochemical Energy Storage Department, Director of the Center for Electrical Energy Storage, Deputy Director of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science, and Argonne Distinguished Fellow and Senior Scientist. He is now an Argonne Emeritus Scientist and Argonne Associate.
Through his studies and understanding of structure-electrochemical relationships, Thackeray has pioneered the discovery, design, and development of new and improved battery materials for industry, particularly lithium metal oxide electrode structures for lithium-ion battery systems. He is an author on over 200 scientific papers and holds 60 patents. Six of his scientific papers received more than 1000 citations. He also authored a memoir, Running with Lithium — Empowering the Earth.
Thackeray received his BSc, MSc, and PhD (Chemistry) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Awards and Honors
2019 – International Battery Association, Medal of Excellence
2019 – US Department of Energy, Career Excellence Award
2018 – Argonne National Laboratory, Lifetime Achievement Award – Commercialization Excellence
2018 – Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), South Africa, Fellow
2017 – National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt), Lifetime Achievement Award
2017 – International Battery Association, Honorary Lifetime Service Award
2016 American Chemical Society, E V Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
2015 – R&D100 Award (with three others): “Versatile Hard Carbon Microspheres Made from Plastic Waste”
2014 – University of Cape Town, South Africa, DSc honoris causa
2014 – Electrochemical Society, Fellow
2011 – International Battery Association, Yeager Award for life-long achievements in lithium battery electrode materials research and development
2010 – US Department of Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies R&D Award
2009 – R&D100 Award (with five others): “Composite Electrode Materials for Plug-in Hybrid- and All-Electric Vehicle Batteries”
2005 – Electrochemical Society, Battery Division Research Award
2005 – Recognized on the commemorative wall and by a street name in The Innovation Hub in South Africa, Africa’s first internationally accredited science park, for South African contributions to world science and technology
2003 – University of Chicago, Distinguished Performance Medal for contributions to lithium battery technology
1993 – International Battery Association, Research Award for significant contributions to the development and understanding of manganese oxides and vanadium oxides
1990 – Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa, Outstanding Achiever Award
1983 – South African Institute of Physics, Silver Medal for significant achievements for a scientist under the age of 35