Andrew Ilott, a research investigator at Brisol-Myers Squibb, is among the three winners of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences announced today. He received the award for the research he conducted while a postdoctoral fellow in NYU’s Department of Chemistry.
Ilott is a physical chemist who is being honored for developing novel MRI techniques to scan electrochemical devices, which improve our understanding of battery failure mechanisms, the Blavatnik Family Foundation said in announcing his selection for the prize in chemistry.
“We are delighted to honor and support this year’s outstanding winners and finalists as they pursue their remarkable scientific careers,” said Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “Their ongoing discoveries will have an enormous positive impact on the global scientific community for years to come.”
In 2016, Ilott and his colleagues, which included NYU Chemistry Professor Alexej Jerschow, developed a method to yield highly detailed, three-dimensional images of the insides of batteries. Based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it offers an enhanced approach to monitor the condition of these power sources in real time.
In 2014, Ilott, Jershchow, and others devised a method for examining the inner workings of battery-like devices called supercapacitors, which can be charged up extremely quickly and can deliver high electrical power. Their technique, also based on magnetic resonance imaging, establishes a means for monitoring and potentially enhancing the performance of such devices.
“While we have expanded our awards program to recognize outstanding young scientists from across the nation and around the world, we began in the New York area because the region has one of the world’s highest concentrations of top-level research universities,” said Ellis Rubinstein, president and CEO of the Academy and chair of the awards’ Scientific Advisory Council. “Many of the most talented young researchers seek out these leading institutions to begin their journeys of scientific discovery.”
Established in 2007, the awards are given annually by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists from institutions across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Three regional winners and six finalists are chosen from the fields of Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences and Engineering. Each winner is awarded $30,000, and each finalist receives a $10,000 prize. In 2017, 161 nominations for the Blavatnik Regional Awards were received from 28 academic institutions in the New York tri-state area.