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The College of Engineering: Integrative Systems + Design

Battery Manufacturing

The U-M Battery Lab: Where invention and manufacturing meet
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Learn the Key Skills Needed to Scale Up Battery Innovations

This four-day course covers the fundamentals of battery cell manufacturing, giving you an understanding of energy storage technologies and teaching you the skills to scale up battery innovations at your organization. Through hands-on sessions in the University of Michigan Battery Lab and instruction from faculty and industry experts, you will gain exposure to the aspects of building a battery from start to finish.

Program Agenda

Day 1: Introduction to Battery Design and Safety

The course begins with a description of the basic components of batteries and their key parameters that determine battery performance and safety. The hands-on portion will demonstrate the first step in the battery manufacturing process, battery slurry preparation.

Instructor: Dr. Larry Beck

  • What are the key components of a battery?
  • What is a good electrode design?
  • Overview of active materials
  • Overview of electrolyte systems
  • How do you safely handle batteries in a prototyping environment?
  • What are the variables that affect battery performance and safety?

Hands-on Battery Lab Session

Instructor: Dr. Greg Less

  • Preparing battery slurry for anode and cathode

Day 2: Mixing and Rheology

Next, we will take a deeper dive into understanding anode and cathode slurry preparation and rheology testing. We will measure the quality of the slurry started on day one and demonstrate the battery coating process.

Instructor: Dr. Bernhard Stalder

  • Mixing and rheology testing of electrode slurries
  • Wet grinding of lithium-ion battery (LIB) precursors and active materials
  • Introduction to the various coating methods

Hands-on Battery Lab Session

Instructor: Dr. Greg Less

  • Measure slurry quality
  • Foil and slurry loading
  • Coating (reverse comma)
  • Calendering
  • Analysis of coating quality

Day 3: Battery Electrochemistry

This day consists of an explanation of battery electrochemistry, followed by an exploration of next generation battery chemistries presented by University of Michigan faculty.

Battery Electrochemistry

Instructor: Prof. Bart Bartlett

  • Battery components and electrochemical cells
  • Capacity (Faraday’s Law) and voltage (Nernst equation): Electrodes
  • Diffusion, Migration, and Transference Number: Electrolytes
  • Voltage drop and electrode geometry
  • (Fully) Interpreting Charge-discharge Curves
  • Characterization tools relevant to battery development

Next Generation Battery Chemistries

  • Solid state batteries (Instructor: Prof. Jeff Sakamoto)
  • Metal-air batteries (Instructor: Prof. Neil Dasgupta)
  • Flow batteries (Instructor: Prof. Levi Thompson)

Day 4: Battery Testing

On the final day, we will cover the equipment and the procedures used to test batteries. We will discuss how to analyze test results. For the hands-on session, we will assemble our coated material into cells and prepare them for testing.

Instructor: Dr. Tal Sholklapper

  • Review of major tester brands
  • Common test protocols
  • In-depth analysis of test results.
  • Cycling protocols, rate characterization, hybrid pulse power characterization, and impedance analysis

Hands-on Battery Lab Session

Instructor: Dr. Greg Less

  • Cell assembly and testing
  • Electrode punching
  • Z-fold stacking
  • Tab welding
  • Electrolyte fill
  • Sealing
  • Formation

Who should attend

Participants in this unique program will gain the key skills needed to scale up battery innovations. Engineers, chemists, and material scientists will benefit from this course, particularly those that work for companies developing batteries for a range of applications: automotive, consumer products, grid-scale storage, and more.


Larry Beck has twelve years of experience in energy storage and lithium-ion battery development. He has lead several battery projects from early state R&D, through scale-up and into global manufacturing. As a Principal Scientist at A123Systems, Larry was the co-inventor of high-power NanoPho...
Education/Degree: Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology About The growing demand for energy world-wide has brought increasing attention to developing clean, efficient, renewable fuels. Challenges inherent in the production, storage, and transport of energy are perfectly suited to be sol...
Greg Less is the Technical Director at the Energy Institute’s Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility, responsible for the day-to-day operation of the laboratory. Greg received a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Energy Institute, he was a...
Dr. Tal Sholklapper is the CEO and co-founder of Voltaiq, Inc. Prior to founding Voltaiq, he worked as the lead engineer on a DOE ARPA-E funded project at the CUNY Energy Institute, developing an ultra low-cost grid-scale battery. Before joining CUNY, Dr. Sholklapper co-founded Point Source Power...
Jeffrey Sakamoto is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UM, he was a faculty at Michigan State University for six years. Prior to that, he was a Senior Engineer at the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion...
Neil P. Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and a Faculty Affiliate of the Michigan Energy Institute and the Applied Physics Program. He is the faculty advisor of the UM Solar Car Team. The Dasgupta research group (http://dasgupta.engin.umich...
Research Interests Research in his group focuses on the design, synthesis and characterization of chemicals and nanostructured materials for catalytic and energy storage applications. Of particular interest is the development structure-function relationships that enable the design of highly effi...


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