Tom Zawodzinski

Thomas A Zawodzinski

UT/ORNL Governor's Chair in Electrical Energy Storage

Thomas Zawodzinski is presently the Governor’s Chair in Electrical Energy Storage with a joint appointment at UT-Knoxville and ORNL.

Prior to his recent appointment, Dr. 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.

Dr. 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, Dr. Zawodzinski 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, Dr. Zawodzinski 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.


  • 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


Ph.D. (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.

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, U.S.-British discussion on Fuel Cell Partnership, 2002
  • U. S. 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