POLiS Award of Excellence given to María Arnaiz
For the fourth time, the Award of Excellence for Female Researchers was presented at the annual POLiS conclave. This year's recipient of the award is María Arnaiz, Associate Researcher at CIC energiGUNE in Spain. Until the end of July 2023, María Arnaiz is a visiting scientist at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Her work at ZSW focuses on the aqueous processing of positive electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.
María Arnaiz received her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain in 2019. As part of her PhD, she spent four months at Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena, Germany, where she gained hands-on experience in the preparation and characterization of different electrolytes such as ionic liquids or alternative solvents. She also investigated their viscosity, conductivity, and thermal and electrochemical properties for later use in lithium and sodium ion capacitors. During a later one-month stay at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), she deepened her knowledge of other post-lithium technologies in the group of Dr. Sonia Dsoke.
In 2019, María Arnaiz was awarded the VI Antonio Aldaz Prize for the best PhD thesis in the field of electrochemistry by the Real Sociedad Española de Química (RSEQ).
Currently, María Arnaiz is deputy coordinator and leader of a work package of an EU-funded project. The research in this project focuses on the development of materials for sustainable sodium ion capacitors. She also regularly participates in STEAM activities at schools to raise awareness among future scientists. She is particularly keen on highlighting the role of women in science.
After having received the award María Arnaiz said: “I am very happy to receive this award as it not only recognizes my research until now, it also pushes my career development. Moreover, we are aiming to find gender equality on science-technology field, and this award helps to enhance the female presence on it.”
The POLiS Award of Excellence for Female Researchers is given annually to an outstanding female early and mid-career researcher working in one of the scientific topics of the POLiS Cluster. It entails up to 70,000 € for one or several research stays at one of POLiS participating institutions (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ulm University, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and University of Giessen) to establish and strengthen international collaborations.