Rising Technical Contributor Award

Yuliya Preger, Ph.D.

Sandia National Laboratories

For leadership and technical contributions to energy storage technology; for groundbreaking research in the reliability, safety, and reuse of lithium-ion batteries; and for outreach activities that support SWE and STEM.

Yuliya Preger, Ph.D., is a senior research and development chemical engineer in the Energy Storage Technology and Systems Group at Sandia National Laboratories. She has served as the principal investigator for multiple projects funded by the Department of Energy on the safety and reliability of grid energy storage systems. She is also leading a multiyear commercial lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery study representing the most comprehensive electrochemical and materials data sets to be reported in open literature. Her research interests include battery degradation and abuse response and application of power electronics to battery safety.

In the last three years, Dr. Preger has contributed to 16 publications, three book chapters, and 22 presentations on various aspects of energy storage safety. She has translated her research to guidance for agencies, including the California Energy Commission and the Electric Power Research Institute. Her work has resulted in three patent applications.

Dr. Preger is passionate about open-sourcing battery data and software tools. She co-founded BatteryArchive.org, the first public repository for visualization and comparison of battery degradation data across institutions. Since its launch in 2019, the site has been used by thousands in more than 50 countries to understand Li-ion battery performance and save money in their own testing.

Beyond projects focused on the science of Li-ion batteries, Dr. Preger has collaborated extensively with electrical engineers on system-level challenges. She has partnered with power systems engineers to incorporate real battery data into improved technoeconomic analysis and control of energy storage systems, and with power electronics engineers to develop better ways of managing batteries. To further work in this important new field, Dr. Preger has spent more than a year developing a new laboratory focused on the interface of power electronics and battery modules. This has involved procuring new equipment, designing new test stations, establishing specifications for laboratory renovations with a design firm, and developing technical work documents.

Dr. Preger has been active in external professional organizations. A proponent of the Society of Women Engineers and a supporter of STEM outreach, she joined SWE as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served as co-chair of a middle school outreach program that received a Society-level award. Later, as vice president of outreach, she oversaw six programs that reached more than 1,000 Boston-area youth.

Outside of SWE, Dr. Preger has worked with professional associations and has led the organizing of symposia and tutorials for the Materials Research Society, the Electrochemical Society, and Resilience Week conferences.

Dr. Preger, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her thesis work focused on catalyst and reactor design for aerobic oxidation.

Apart from work, Dr. Preger likes to hike and cultivate extremely tall plants in her backyard.