Hybrid vehicle battery creator Ovshinsky, 89, dies

Topics: From the Wires,

Hybrid vehicle battery creator Ovshinsky, 89, diesFILE - This Aug. 23, 2002 file photo shows Stanford Ovshinsky, center, co-founder of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. with his wife Iris, right, appeared with U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham at a news conference at the company’s offices in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Aug. 23, 2002. Stan Ovshinsky, 89, died Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at his home in Bloomfield Hills from complications of prostate cancer. (AP Photo/Kathleen Wayt, file)(Credit: AP)

DETROIT (AP) — Stan Ovshinsky, the self-taught inventor who developed the nickel-metal hydride battery used in the hybrid vehicle industry, has died at his home in suburban Detroit after a fight with cancer. He was 89.

Ovshinsky, who ran Energy Conversion Devices, a car battery development company, also created a machine that produced 9-mile-long sheets of thin solar energy panels intended to bring cheaper, cleaner power to homes and businesses.

His son, Harvey Ovshinsky, said his father was passionate about science and alternative energy, but also about civil rights and other social causes. He said his father died of complications from prostate cancer Wednesday night at his home in Bloomfield Hills.

“Here was a man who spent his youth and his adulthood determined to change the world,” the younger Ovshinsky said. “That’s not a 9-to-5 job. My father worked tirelessly 24-7, even up until he got sick, to change the world and its attitude toward sustainable energy and alternate platforms for information.”

Stan Ovshinsky, for whom ovonics was named, made possible such technological discoveries as the solar-powered calculator. Ovonics changes the electrical resistance and structure of materials in response to sunlight.

He never went to college, yet he earned about 200 U.S. patents and was a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received numerous honorary degrees.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Ovshinsky and his late wife, Iris, founded Energy Conversion Devices Inc. in 1960. The company developed and applied his inventions to the fields of information and energy.

“Back then the environment was not a problem,” he said in 2001. “The only answer is to generate new industry that answers the problems and provides jobs.”

Prior to his death, Ovshinsky was nominated to receive the 2012 Hans Bethe Award for his research and development in material science. He was to receive the honor next month.

But he was also was committed to human and equal rights, and took part in labor, civil rights and peace movements, his son said.

“Civil rights or a ban on nuclear testing, he was passionate,” Harvey Ovshinsky said. “Science was a key and so was civil rights and so was peace and so was equality. He would not give it up.



“As a father, he was really about the most supportive and encouraging person I’ve ever met. He always saw his colleagues’ potential. He looked at people regardless of who they were to do the best he could to bring out the best in them.”

Along with his son Harvey, Stan Ovshinsky is survived by his wife, Rosa; his other children, Ben, Dale, Robin, Steven, Angela and Vicki; six grandchildren; and his brother, Herb.

___

Online:

Virtual memorial: www.forevermissed.com/stanford-r-ovshinsky/

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>