Professor Donald Sadoway’s research seeks to establish the scientific underpinnings for technologies that make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound manner. The overarching theme of his work is electrochemistry in nonaqueous media. Specific topics in applied research are environmentally sound electrochemical extraction and recycling of metals; rechargeable batteries for stationary storage or mobile applications; synthesis of thin films or of nanoparticles in cryogenic media.
Professor Sadoway did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto, earning his PhD in chemical metallurgy in 1977. Later that year he went to MIT to do postdoctoral research, and in 1978 he joined the faculty at MIT. For 16 years he taught 3.091 (Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry)—and his animated lectures, peppered with references to music, art, and literature—doubtless contributed to the subject’s popularity. Among the many accolades bestowed on Professor Sadoway in his 44 years as a teacher and researcher at MIT was a compliment by Bill Gates: “best chemistry lessons anywhere. Unbelievable.” In 2012, for the invention of the liquid metal battery, he was named by Time magazine one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” He is a member of several professional organizations, including The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) and The Electrochemical Society. In 2021, TMS established the Sadoway Award for Materials Innovation and Advocacy recognizing scholars with outstanding materials science achievements.