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U of I Grads, INL Researchers Win R&D 100 Awards

January 05, 2023

U of I Grads, INL Researchers Win R&D 100 Awards

University of Idaho College of Engineering graduates Steven Herrmann ’20 and Meng Shi ’19 won R&D 100 Awards for research to solve some of the world’s biggest clean energy challenges.

Herrmann and Shi earned their doctorates in chemical engineering at U of I and now work for the Idaho National Laboratory. Both are part of team research groups recognized by the R&D 100 program, which identifies and celebrates the top 100 revolutionary technologies worldwide of the past year.

Herrmann’s research focuses on a sustainable metal recycling method to reduce landfill waste and need for additional mining. The Robust Monolithic Anode technology provides long-lasting and highly efficient performance to support both consumer products recycling and spent nuclear fuel reprocessing.

Meng’s group formulated a technology to unlock green energy potential in lithium-ion battery recycling. The process uses no hazardous materials and has a low operating cost. The EC-Leach technology unlocks the green energy potential of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries at the end of their lives by allowing extraction and recovery of critical materials.

“We are very proud that our Vandal alumni are making valuable contributions and impacts to the nuclear energy and clean energy fields,” said Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Haiyan Zhao. “Collaborating closely with DOE national labs, U of I is committed to providing high quality training and education to our students and developing high quality workforce pipelines.”

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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