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Earth Institute Staff Directory

Alan West

Co-Director , The Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center (CEEC) , Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Electrochemistry

USA

BIOGRAPHY: Alan C. West creates, analyzes, and develops electrochemical technologies used for materials, sensors, energy storage and conversion, and the sustainable production of chemicals. He has worked on the design of novel electrodes for next-generation batteries and has collaborated extensively with industry on electrochemical metallization methods used in semiconductor manufacturing. West has developed novel methods that couple electrochemical and biological technologies that may potentially be used to produce fuels from renewable electricity, to convert inorganic waste streams to fuels, and to enable alternative processes for use in copper mining. Of particular interest to West are the experimental and numerical methods used to characterize transport phenomena and reaction mechanisms in electrochemical systems. He has simulated and analyzed a variety of metallization and dissolution processes, including studies by which the design of the electrolyte composition controls film growth and nucleation, and thus properties in geometries of relevance to the manufacturing of electronic devices. He has developed models of battery electrodes that capture experimental observations ranging from the atomistic scale to the mesoscale to the full scale of the electrode. Due to the multi-scale, complex nature of batteries, West works closely with a range of scientists and engineers, including chemists, material scientists, physicists, and mechanical and electrical engineering.

West received a BS in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve in 1985 and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989. He is a fellow of the Electrochemical Society, and in 2014 he received the society’s Electrodeposition Award. He joined the faculty of Columbia Engineering in 1992.