Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

Women @ Energy: Chen Liao

May 21, 2015

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Chen Liao is an electrolyte scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory, working on lithium-ion batteries and other types of energy storage systems.

Chen Liao is an electrolyte scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory, working on lithium-ion batteries and other types of energy storage systems.

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Chen Liao is an electrolyte scientist in the Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory, working on lithium-ion batteries and other types of energy storage systems. Her focus is in developing new electrolyte materials that will enable high capacity batteries. Chen’s responsibilities include designing, developing, and synthesizing new electrolyte solutions for next generation lithium-ion and multivalent batteries with favorable properties. The lithium-ion battery has long been the battery of choice for all sorts of applications such as electronic devices and electric vehicles. This battery chemistry is being used in the batteries of next generation electric cars like the Tesla.

1)  What inspired you to work in STEM?

Science hooked me the day I saw the burning magnesium demonstration in a high school chemistry class. I always liked math and science, and it was clear to me that my end goal was to become a scientist where my natural talents could be developed.

2) What excites you about your work at the Energy Department?

Networking with other scientists and learning about innovations taking place in my field is certainly inspirational. I enjoy the freedom that scientists have to come up with new ideas and test those ideas and see where the exploration of these ideas will lead. As a researcher, my travel is mostly to attend technical meetings. I also do some travel to use other facilities such as the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, located in Berkeley, California.

3) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

A piece of wisdom I have gained from all my experiences is to focus on and appreciate the small things.