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University of Agder appoints leader of battery initiative

Associate Professor Johannes Landesfeind starts as head of the Agder Battery Project at the University of Agder on 1 January 2022.

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New leader of Agder Battery Project, Johannes Landesfeind.
Associate Professor Johannes Landesfeind starts as head of UiA’s battery research unit the Agder Battery Project in January 2022.

“I look forward to building a strong research group. A collaboration with industry in Norway, developing, constructing and producing batteries and UiA’s strong background in mechatronics creates a unique opportunity for relevant battery research. After all, a major share of lithium-ion battery improvements since the 90s is a result of meticulous optimization rather than revolutionary cell chemistries, says Johannes Landesfeind (33).

From January next year he will be responsible for gathering battery experts at the University of Agder (UiA) in a separate research unit, the Agder Battery Project. The Faculty of Engineering and Science at UiA has planned for the project to appoint four professors and three researchers. In addition, they will have six research fellows, either doctoral or postdoctoral fellows.

UiA has already carried out several research projects on battery management. A good collaboration has also been established with Morrow Batteries and other companies in the region.

Interdisciplinary education and research

The Agder Battery Project will work in three areas.

Bildet av batterisjef Johannes Landesfeind som besøker kollegaer.

Together with his wife Stefanie Landesfeind, Johannes Landesfeind recently visited UiA and met industry partners and new colleagues. UiA Professor Hugh Middleton on the right.

First, UiA will continue its collaboration with Morrow Batteries and other companies through this new unit.

Secondly, Landesfeind and his colleagues will develop a bachelor's degree in battery technology together with the University of Stavanger. The two universities have in fact applied for funding for this from the Research Council of Norway through their initiative ‘Kapasitetsløftet’.

And thirdly, the newly appointed head of the unit is looking forward to launching new research projects.

“I look forward to having a research group in place quickly and start new research projects. Once the Agder Battery Project has been set up administratively, it will be a great reward to see progress in the scientific projects, in the end, this is the fun part”, he says.

Bildet viser Johannes Landesfeind som besøker kollegaer på UiA.

Associate Professor Martin Choux shows some of the equipment he used in his research on the safe disassembly of lithium-ion batteries. From the left: Martin Choux, Johannes Landesfeind, Associate Professor Tore Sandnes Vehus, Stefanie Landesfeind, Even Askildsen and Professor Hugh Middleton.

Industrial and academic experience

Landesfeind finished his doctoral dissertation three years ago. The research focused on the elucidation and mitigation of performance limiting processes, for example hindering faster charging of lithium-ion batteries, as well as aging studies of novel cell chemistries.

He joins from the position of researcher in battery development at the power tool company Hilti (Liechtenstein). At their site in Kaufering (Germany) he was working closely with the development on improving the power performance of lithium-ion batteries for harsh discharge applications.

The dean at UiA's Faculty of Technology and Science is pleased that the head of the Agder Battery Project has both industry and academic experience.

“Experience from both industry and academia was important to us when we developed research on mechatronics in collaboration with the oil, gas and supply industry in the region. And it will be just as important to us now that we plan to develop research and expertise on lithium-ion batteries in collaboration with the industry”, says Michael Rygaard Hansen, dean of UiA’s Faculty of Engineering and Science.