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Kuala Lumpur
Posted on : Sep 21, 2017

Herbert Giess, a leading lead battery expert with 50 years experience, has been recognised for his exceptional contributions to the lead and lead-acid battery industries through a lifetime of cutting-edge research on the material science and electrochemistry of lead-acid batteries with the International Lead Award.

He was presented the award at the Asian Battery Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Each year the Award is presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to science and practice in areas such as lead production and recycling, lead alloy development, or battery design and performance.

Dr Geiss’s first job and taste of electrochemistry was with EURATOM ― the European Atomic Energy Commission where he was involved in determining ion diffusion coefficients, including for lead. 

But it was at Battelle that Giess first became involved with the lead-acid battery.  His appointment was at a time when the first so-called ‘maintenance-free’ automotive batteries appeared on the market.  Early designs suffered from capacity failures, and Battelle gathered together 12 battery companies from Europe, Japan and the USA to launch a fundamental research effort in which Giess demonstrated the beneficial action of tin in the positive grid alloy.

His next move was to Gould Inc. near Chicago where he worked on advanced lead–acid batteries for US Navy submarines, before moving back to Europe in 1983 as Head of R&D at Accumulatoren-Fabrik Oerlikon, where he helped launch the company’s valve-regulated lead acid battery range. 

Giess’s experience proved valuable in formulating the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium’s  first major research program – addressing premature capacity loss in automotive batteries.  Moreover, through his own research, he not only identified the reason for failure but also provided a remedy through changes to the manufacturing process.

In 2006, Giess became an independent consultant, deploying his wealth of experience in lead battery projects across the world.

He served the industry for many years in the International Electrotechnical Commission Committee TC21. Under his chairmanship, standards have been written and published for the technical requirements demanded from stationary valve-regulated lead–acid batteries and for their use as renewable grid-connected energy storage.

Presenting the Award, long-time associate David Rand said: “There is every reason that his 50-year love affair with lead and the ‘black magic’ of the lead–acid battery should be acknowledged here today.”

Addressing the conference, Giess reflected fondly on the many dedicated colleagues he has worked with, and indeed continues to work with today in the continuing innovation of the lead battery.

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