In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Subhash Chandra Singhal in the development of renewable energy in the world, and for integrating the electrochemistry researchers of the University of Tartu into the international electrochemical community, the University of Tartu has conferred on him the degree of Honorary Doctor of Chemistry.
Subhash Singhal was born on 26 June 1945 in Meerut, India. He graduated from Agra University, India in 1963 and obtained a bachelor of engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Science in 1965. In 1969 he defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Subhash Singhal started work at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, initially as a scientist and later as the manager of fuel cell technology. At Westinghouse he conducted major research, development and demonstration programmes in the field of advanced materials and energy systems. As the manager of fuel cell technology from 1984 to 2000, he was responsible for the development of solid oxide fuel cells for stationary power generation. In this role he led an internationally recognised group in fuel cell technology and brought this technology from a few-watt laboratory curiosity to fully integrated 200 kW power generation systems.
From 2000 to 2013 Singhal worked as a Battelle Fellow and director of fuel cells at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, and provided senior technical, managerial, and commercialisation leadership to the laboratory’s extensive fuel cell and clean energy programmes.
Subhash Singhal is currently the chief academic advisor at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China. He has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Utah, and a visiting professor at China University of Mining and Technology, and Tsinghua University in China, and the Kyushu University in Japan. He has served on the councils of several universities and institutes, as well on many national and international advisory panels, including those of the United States Department of Energy, NATO Advanced Study Institutes and NATO Science for Peace programmes, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Energy Agency, and the European Commission.
Professor Singhal is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a founding member and former president of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, a fellow of American Ceramic Society, The Electrochemical Society, ASM International, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a senior member of the Mineral, Metals and Materials Society. He served on the Electrochemical Society’s board of directors during 1992–1994. He received the society’s Outstanding Achievement Award in High Temperature Materials in 1994, the American Ceramic Society’s Edward Orton Jr. Memorial Award in 2001, an Invited Professorship Award from the Japan Ministry of Science, Education and Culture in 2002, Christian Friedrich Schoenbein Gold Medal from the European Fuel Cell Forum in 2006, the Fuel Cell Seminar Award in 2007, and the Grove Medal in 2008.
Subhash Singhal has authored 100 scientific publications, edited 21 books, received 13 patents, and given over 340 plenary, keynote and other invited presentations worldwide. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society, the Journal of Power Sources and ASME’s Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology. Since 1989 he has been the chief organizer and founding chair of the Electrochemical Society’s International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. In 2017 the Electrochemical Society’s High-Temperature Energy, Materials and Processes Division established the Subhash Singhal Award and its first recipient was Professor Singhal himself, in recognition and honour of his seminal and long-lasting contribution to the science and technology of solid oxide fuel cells.