May 2, 2017
News Release

PNNL Inventors Recognized for Technology Development

Jun Liu, Vince Sprenkle among those honored at PNNL celebration of innovation


PNNL researchers Jun Liu (center) and Vincent Sprenkle (left) are honored for their scientific innovations and technology development by PNNL Laboratory Director Steven Ashby (far right, back to the camera).

Two seasoned researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been recognized for their long list of technological and scientific innovations.

Jun Liu was named PNNL Inventor of the Year and Vincent Sprenkle became PNNL's newest Distinguished Inventor of Battelle at an April 28 ceremony. The two were among 165 PNNL staff honored at the lab's annual celebration of staff accomplishments in scientific innovation and technology commercialization.

This is the second time Liu has been named PNNL Inventor of the Year; he was previously bestowed with the honor in 2012 and was also named a Distinguished Inventor of Battelle in 2007. Liu holds a total of 50 U.S. patents in multiple research areas that range from new nanomaterials for environmental cleanup and breakthroughs in energy storage. He currently leads the Battery500 consortium, which is developing the next generation of lithium-metal batteries to drive electric cars farther on a single charge.

Sprenkle joins researchers from other Battelle-managed national labs to be recognized for receiving numerous patents for technologies they have developed. He holds a total of 21 U.S. patents for his work on fuel cells, batteries and electrochemical devices. He was previously named PNNL Inventor of the Year in 2014 and currently serves as a manager of PNNL's energy storage research.

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Published: May 2, 2017