Yan Wang

WPI Professor and Innovator Yan Wang Elected to the NAI 2022 Class of Senior Members

Wang joins more than 80 academic inventors honored for bringing real impact to the welfare of society.
Media Contact
February 16, 2022

Yan Wang, William Smith Foundation Dean's Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been named to the National Academy of Inventors’ (NAI) 2022 Class of Senior Members. Wang, a globally recognized materials researcher, is one of 83 of the “world's best emerging academic inventors” elected to this year’s class. Wang was selected for his work on novel lithium-ion battery manufacturing and recycling technologies.  

“It is such an honor to be selected as one of the 2022 Class of Senior Members. Since I joined WPI 11 years ago, one of my main research goals is to impact society and industry through technology invention,” said Wang. “I am thrilled to see that some of our lab research is being industrialized by companies. We will continue doing the impactful research.”

According the NAI, the 2022 Senior Members are active faculty, scientists, and administrators from NAI Member Institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation-producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. They hail from 41 research universities and are named inventors on over 1093 issued U.S. patents.

As director of the Electrochemical Energy Laboratory, Wang’s research focuses on the study of new electrodes and materials including lithium-ion batteries. This research can lead to energy storage with high energy density, high power density, long life, low cost, and high safety. The work helps address a critical need for cleaner energy-producing equipment which is becoming a commercial necessity and will continue to grow in importance as demand for oil outpaces production capacity in the next decade. In addition to fundamental research, Wang has commercialized the technologies developed in his lab and currently has six patents that have been licensed to Ascend Elements (formerly Battery Resourcers) and two other patents licensed to AM Batteries through a joint invention with Missouri University of Science and Technology. Wang also submitted a few patent applications on new battery materials and solid state batteries.

Wang’s extensive research in the field of lithium-ion batteries has been supported by many funding agencies and industries in recent years through grants and cooperative agreements including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC—a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Council (MassCEC), He has also published papers in top energy research journals most recently in Joule.

Wang will be inducted into the Class of 2022 at the Senior Member Ceremony during the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors held June 14-15 in Phoenix, Arizona.