Smart Mobility Summit 2018 > Award

Smart Mobility Summit 2018 29 - 30 October, Habima Theater, Tel-Aviv

Award

The 2018 SAMSON - PRIME MINISTER’S PRIZE FOR INNOVATION IN ALTERNATIVE FUELS FOR TRANSPORTATION
The $1 million prize is the largest monetary prize awarded in the field of alternative energy.

THE WINNERS OF THE ERIC and SHEILA SAMSON PRIME MINISTER’S PRIZE FOR INNOVATION IN ALTERNATIVE FUELS FOR TRANSPORTATION

The Eric and Sheila Samson Prize, totaling one million US dollars, is the world’s largest monetary prize awarded in the field of alternative fuels and is awarded yearly to scientists who have made critical advancements towards achieving this goal. The winners are selected from a long list of worthy candidates recommended for the prize by university presidents and CEOs in industry, from Israel and from around the world. The winners are selected by a committee of international experts who submit their recommendation to a board of trustees, headed by former Technion President, Professor Yitzhak Apeloig.

 

2018 Winners
Doron Aurbach
Doron Aurbach
Chemistry Department, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Doron aurbach, full professor, chemistry, BIU, Israel, leads the electrochemistry group since 1985, develops high energy density batteries for electro-mobility, large energy storage and water desalination technologies, published > 600 papers, dozens of patents. 55 PhD and 80 MSc students received degrees under his supervision. Leads INREP-Israel National Research center for Electrochemical Propulsion (23 research groups, 6 institutions), senior editor, journal of the Electrochemical Society ,ECS, ISE, MRS fellow, recipient of Israel Chemical Society prize of excellence (2012),  IBA E. B. Yeager Award (2014),  the Electrochemical Society Alan Bard Award (2017), the International Society of Electrochemistry Alexander Frumkin medal (2018). 
Dr. Lars Peter Lindfors
Dr. Lars Peter Lindfors
Senior Vice President, Technology, Neste

Lars Peter Lindfors received his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers University of technology, Sweden in 1989. He received his doctoral degree with honors in the field of chemical reaction engineering, from Åbo Academy, Finland, in 1994, while working as a researcher in catalysis at Neste.
He held several researcher and managerial research positions at Neste (1989–2001), both within the Oil & Gas and the Chemicals division. He then moved to the Perstorp Group, where he was Executive Vice President, Renewal, Technology and Development (2001–2007). He then joined Neste for the second time in 2007, taking on the responsibility as Vice President for the company's Research and Development unit (2007–2009). Now he is the Senior Vice President, Technology, being responsible for, among other units, the Research & Development, on the Corporate level. Previously he served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy (2009–2012).
He has had a key role in leading the Technology development related to the Renewable Business since 2007, regarding the broadening of the feedstock base and developing process technology.
In 2013 Lars Peter Lindfors received the Finnish ‘Energy Initiative of the Year Award’ and in 2014 he was recognized with the ‘2014 CTO of the Year Award’, by the Technology Academy Finland. In 2015 he received the Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland, mark of honor by the President of Finland. 

Dr. Lindfors is a board member of e.g. the Fortum Foundation and Neste Engineering Solutions 

Doron Aurbach
Doron Aurbach
Chemistry Department, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Doron aurbach, full professor, chemistry, BIU, Israel, leads the electrochemistry group since 1985, develops high energy density batteries for electro-mobility, large energy storage and water desalination technologies, published > 600 papers, dozens of patents. 55 PhD and 80 MSc students received degrees under his supervision. Leads INREP-Israel National Research center for Electrochemical Propulsion (23 research groups, 6 institutions), senior editor, journal of the Electrochemical Society ,ECS, ISE, MRS fellow, recipient of Israel Chemical Society prize of excellence (2012),  IBA E. B. Yeager Award (2014),  the Electrochemical Society Alan Bard Award (2017), the International Society of Electrochemistry Alexander Frumkin medal (2018). 
Dr. Lars Peter Lindfors
Dr. Lars Peter Lindfors
Senior Vice President, Technology, Neste

Lars Peter Lindfors received his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers University of technology, Sweden in 1989. He received his doctoral degree with honors in the field of chemical reaction engineering, from Åbo Academy, Finland, in 1994, while working as a researcher in catalysis at Neste.
He held several researcher and managerial research positions at Neste (1989–2001), both within the Oil & Gas and the Chemicals division. He then moved to the Perstorp Group, where he was Executive Vice President, Renewal, Technology and Development (2001–2007). He then joined Neste for the second time in 2007, taking on the responsibility as Vice President for the company's Research and Development unit (2007–2009). Now he is the Senior Vice President, Technology, being responsible for, among other units, the Research & Development, on the Corporate level. Previously he served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy (2009–2012).
He has had a key role in leading the Technology development related to the Renewable Business since 2007, regarding the broadening of the feedstock base and developing process technology.
In 2013 Lars Peter Lindfors received the Finnish ‘Energy Initiative of the Year Award’ and in 2014 he was recognized with the ‘2014 CTO of the Year Award’, by the Technology Academy Finland. In 2015 he received the Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland, mark of honor by the President of Finland. 

Dr. Lindfors is a board member of e.g. the Fortum Foundation and Neste Engineering Solutions 

2017 Winners
Prof. Jens Nielsen
Prof. Jens Nielsen
Systems and Synthetic Biology, Chalmers University of Technology

2017 Samson Prize Award Winner

Jens Nielsen has a PhD degree (1989) in Biochemical Engineering from DTU, and was appointed full Professor there in 1998. In 2008 he was recruited as Professor to Chalmers, Sweden, where he is currently directing a research group of more than 60 people. Jens Nielsen has published so far more than 600 papers that have been cited more than 42,000 times (current H-factor 102). He is inventor of more than 50 patents and he has founded several biotech companies. He is member of the seven academies including National Academy of Engineering and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon
Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon
Professor of Chemistry at the Collège de France
Prof. Jens Nielsen
Prof. Jens Nielsen
Systems and Synthetic Biology, Chalmers University of Technology

2017 Samson Prize Award Winner

Jens Nielsen has a PhD degree (1989) in Biochemical Engineering from DTU, and was appointed full Professor there in 1998. In 2008 he was recruited as Professor to Chalmers, Sweden, where he is currently directing a research group of more than 60 people. Jens Nielsen has published so far more than 600 papers that have been cited more than 42,000 times (current H-factor 102). He is inventor of more than 50 patents and he has founded several biotech companies. He is member of the seven academies including National Academy of Engineering and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon
Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon
Professor of Chemistry at the Collège de France
2016 Winners
Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos
Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, MIT, USA
Greg Stephanopoulos is the W.H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at MIT. He received his degrees from the National Technical University of Athens and Minnesota and taught at Caltech before joining MIT. His research focuses on metabolic engineering, the engineering of microbes for the production of fuels and chemicals. He has co-authored or –edited 5 books, more than 430 papers and 50 patents, and supervised more than 120 graduate and post-doctoral students. He has received more than 20 major awards including the Eni Prize for Renewable and non-Conventional Energy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Academy of Athens and serves presently as President of AIChE.   
Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis
Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis
Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University, USA
Mercouri Kanatzidis was educated in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1984. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University from 1985 to 1987. He currently is a Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Chair Professor at Northwestern University and a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.  Kanatzidis has been named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, Beckman Young Investigator, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teaching Scholar, Guggenheim Fellow, and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. 
Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos
Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulos
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, MIT, USA
Greg Stephanopoulos is the W.H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at MIT. He received his degrees from the National Technical University of Athens and Minnesota and taught at Caltech before joining MIT. His research focuses on metabolic engineering, the engineering of microbes for the production of fuels and chemicals. He has co-authored or –edited 5 books, more than 430 papers and 50 patents, and supervised more than 120 graduate and post-doctoral students. He has received more than 20 major awards including the Eni Prize for Renewable and non-Conventional Energy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Academy of Athens and serves presently as President of AIChE.   
Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis
Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis
Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University, USA
Mercouri Kanatzidis was educated in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1984. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University from 1985 to 1987. He currently is a Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Chair Professor at Northwestern University and a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.  Kanatzidis has been named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, Beckman Young Investigator, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teaching Scholar, Guggenheim Fellow, and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. 
2015 Winners
Prof. John B Goodenough
Prof. John B Goodenough
Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering

John Goodenough joined The University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He is known around the world for his pioneering work that led to the invention of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

He identified and developed the critical materials that provided the high-energy density needed to power portable electronics, initiating the wireless revolution. Today, batteries incorporating Goodenough’s cathode materials are used worldwide for mobile phones, power tools, laptops, tablets and other wireless devices, as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Goodenough currently serves as the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair of Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austinhe. He is the recipient of numerous national and international honors, including the Japan Prize (2001), the Enrico Fermi Award (2009), the Charles Stark Draper Prize (2014) and the National Medal of Science (2011).

 

Prof. Jay D Keasling
Prof. Jay D Keasling
University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Jay D. Keasling is a Professor of Chemical engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chief executive officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in synthetic biology, especially in the field of metabolic engineering.

Prof. John B Goodenough
Prof. John B Goodenough
Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering

John Goodenough joined The University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He is known around the world for his pioneering work that led to the invention of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

He identified and developed the critical materials that provided the high-energy density needed to power portable electronics, initiating the wireless revolution. Today, batteries incorporating Goodenough’s cathode materials are used worldwide for mobile phones, power tools, laptops, tablets and other wireless devices, as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Goodenough currently serves as the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair of Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austinhe. He is the recipient of numerous national and international honors, including the Japan Prize (2001), the Enrico Fermi Award (2009), the Charles Stark Draper Prize (2014) and the National Medal of Science (2011).

 

Prof. Jay D Keasling
Prof. Jay D Keasling
University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Jay D. Keasling is a Professor of Chemical engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chief executive officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in synthetic biology, especially in the field of metabolic engineering.

2014 Winners
Prof. Michael Grätzel
Prof. Michael Grätzel
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Professor Michael Grätzel, is the director of the photonics laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Professor Grätzel has developed a new type of solar cell named the Grätzel Cell. This cell is based on dye-sensitive particles that imitate the photosynthesis process and convert light energy into electric energy that can be used directly for electrical propulsion or to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used in fuels for transportation. These cells are attributed the highest efficiency in the utilization of solar energy and their production is much less expensive than regular solar cells.
Prof. Thomas Meyer
Prof. Thomas Meyer
The University of North Carolina, USA
Professor Thomas Meyer, of the University of South Carolina and director of the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center in Solar Fuels and Next Generation Photovoltaics. He is a leader and pioneer in the fields of artificial photosynthesis and the development of solar fuels based on the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. His groundbreaking studies have led to greater understanding of the transfer of electrons through exposure to sunlight - a central process in converting solar energy into electricity. Meyer’s extensive comprehensive fundamental research has made a critical contribution to the technological development of cells for “artificial photosynthesis”.
Prof. Michael Grätzel
Prof. Michael Grätzel
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
Professor Michael Grätzel, is the director of the photonics laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Professor Grätzel has developed a new type of solar cell named the Grätzel Cell. This cell is based on dye-sensitive particles that imitate the photosynthesis process and convert light energy into electric energy that can be used directly for electrical propulsion or to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used in fuels for transportation. These cells are attributed the highest efficiency in the utilization of solar energy and their production is much less expensive than regular solar cells.
Prof. Thomas Meyer
Prof. Thomas Meyer
The University of North Carolina, USA
Professor Thomas Meyer, of the University of South Carolina and director of the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center in Solar Fuels and Next Generation Photovoltaics. He is a leader and pioneer in the fields of artificial photosynthesis and the development of solar fuels based on the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. His groundbreaking studies have led to greater understanding of the transfer of electrons through exposure to sunlight - a central process in converting solar energy into electricity. Meyer’s extensive comprehensive fundamental research has made a critical contribution to the technological development of cells for “artificial photosynthesis”.
2013 Winners
Prof. George A. Olah
Prof. George A. Olah
University of Southern California, USA
American chemist George A. Olah was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1994. While working at Dow Chemical's laboratories, he devised a method for extending the intermediate phase of rapid hydrocarbon reactions, and found that the introduction of an extremely strong acid could preserve carbocations (ions with a positively-charged carbon atom) for as long as months. His work allowed the mass production of synthesized high-octane gasoline, and uncovered new ways for the petroleum industry to use hydrocarbons.
Prof. G.K. Surya Prakash
Prof. G.K. Surya Prakash
University of Southern California, USA
Professor G. K. Surya Prakash primary research interests are in superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic & organofluorine chemistry, with particular emphasis in the areas of energy and catalysis. He is a co-inventor of the proton exchange membrane based direct oxidation methanol fuel cell and a co-proponent (with Professor Olah) of the Methanol Economy concept. Professor Prakash is a prolific author with more than 630 peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds 30 patents. He has also co-authored or edited 10 books. He has received many awards and accolades including two American Chemical Society National Awards: in 2004 for his achievements in the area of fluorine chemistry and in 2006 for his contributions to hydrocarbon chemistry.
Prof. George A. Olah
Prof. George A. Olah
University of Southern California, USA
American chemist George A. Olah was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1994. While working at Dow Chemical's laboratories, he devised a method for extending the intermediate phase of rapid hydrocarbon reactions, and found that the introduction of an extremely strong acid could preserve carbocations (ions with a positively-charged carbon atom) for as long as months. His work allowed the mass production of synthesized high-octane gasoline, and uncovered new ways for the petroleum industry to use hydrocarbons.
Prof. G.K. Surya Prakash
Prof. G.K. Surya Prakash
University of Southern California, USA
Professor G. K. Surya Prakash primary research interests are in superacid, hydrocarbon, synthetic organic & organofluorine chemistry, with particular emphasis in the areas of energy and catalysis. He is a co-inventor of the proton exchange membrane based direct oxidation methanol fuel cell and a co-proponent (with Professor Olah) of the Methanol Economy concept. Professor Prakash is a prolific author with more than 630 peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds 30 patents. He has also co-authored or edited 10 books. He has received many awards and accolades including two American Chemical Society National Awards: in 2004 for his achievements in the area of fluorine chemistry and in 2006 for his contributions to hydrocarbon chemistry.
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