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Thomas A. Zawodzinski

Thomas Zawodzinski.

Thomas A. Zawodzinski

UT-ORNL Governor's Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage

Contact Information

Thomas Zawodzinski.

  • Office Address: 411B Science and Engineering Research Facility Building
  • Phone: 865-974-5137
  • E-mail:
Governor's Chair Website


  • PhD (Chemistry), SUNY/Buffalo: Electrochemical Devices for Energy Applications, including fundamental and applied studies of batteries and fuel cells; applications of NMR methods to the study of transport and structure in device components; preparing and understanding advanced functional materials; developing molecular device concepts.


Thomas Zawodzinski.

Thomas Zawodzinski is presently the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair in Electrical Energy Storage.

Prior to his recent appointment, Zawodzinski was the F. Alex Nason Professor of Engineering at Case, Director of the Case Advanced Power Institute, and the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Fuel Cells. His research group focuses on the fundamental science and application of fuel cells. Research includes efforts related to the understanding and development of high temperature membranes for fuel cells as well as on catalysis and durability issues in fuel cells.

Zawodzinski is the former Team Leader for Fuel Cells in MST-11 at LANL. He carried out research at LANL in the area of polymer electrolyte fuel cells for 13 years. As Team Leader, he served as the technical and programmatic leader of a comprehensive fuel cell program with R&D components related to automotive, stationary, and portable power applications of PEM and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells. He was also a member of the PNGV Technical Team on Fuel Cells.

In addition to his fuel cell work, while at LANL, he initiated and led programs addressing lithium batteries, including preparation of new electrolytes, new methods for studies of transport and electrode materials; self-assembled monolayers for device preparation; sensors for chem./bio agents and biologically important compounds; artificial muscles; and electrochemical reactors, as well as several other areas.

Professional Service

  • ECS, AIChE, ACS Member
  • Invited participant in the First U. S.-China Bilateral Meeting on Energy, Dalian, China, November 2008
  • Member of International Advisory Board for the NUME Italian National Fuel Cell Project, 2005-2008
  • Membrane Project Leader for International Partnership for Hydrogen Energy
  • University representative, US-British discussion on Fuel Cell Partnership, 2002
  • US Fuel Cell Technical Expert, DOE Fact-finding trip to Japan, 2000
  • Co-organizer of Asilomar Conference on Advances in Polymers for Fuel Cells, biannually 2003 to present, sponsored by ACS Polymer Division
  • Co-organizer of ACS Fuel Division Symposia on Fuel Cell Systems, ACS Fall National Meetings, 2006 and 2008.
  • Discussion Leader, Fuel Cell Gordon Conference, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009.
  • Co-organizer of Electrochemical Society Symposia ‘Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells’ 9


Thomas Zawodzinski.

  • Electrolytes and composite electrodes for fuel cells
  • Fundamentals of energy storage materials and systems
  • Water management in fuel cells
  • Application of NMR to chemical engineering problems
Google Scholar


  • B. Kienitz, H. Baskaran, T. A. Zawodzinski, “Modeling the Steady State Effects of Cationic Contaminants on Polymer Electrolyte membranes,” Electrochim. ACTA54, 1671, (2009).
  • R. Subbaraman, T. A. Zawodzinski and J. A. Mann, “Estimation of the Hamaker Coefficient for a Fuel Cell Supported Catalyst System,” Langmuir, 24, 8245, (2008).
  • A. Guha, W. J. Lu, T. A. Zawodzinski, D. A. Schiraldi, “Surface-modified carbons as platinum catalyst support for PEM fuel cells,” Carbon45(7), 1506, (2007).
  • R. Subbaraman, H. Ghassemi, T. A. Zawodzinski, “4,5-dicyano-1H-[1,2,3]-triazole as a proton transport facilitator for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells,” J. Am.  Chem. Soc.129(8), 2238, (2007).
  • H. Ghassemi, J. E. McGrath, T. A. Zawodzinski, “Multiblock sulfonated-fluorinated poly(arylene ether)s for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell,” Polymer47(11), 4132, (2006).