About every eight minutes in Venkat Viswanathan’s laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University’s mechanical engineering department, two robots—Otto and Clio—complete an experiment that could help accelerate breakthroughs in lithium-ion batteries. Viswanathan, 35, studied mechanical engineering in Chennai at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras before turning to fluid dynamics and batteries at Stanford. Now he leads a group at Carnegie Mellon focused on improvements that could help power passenger aircraft with a technology that, 30 years ago, was only for camcorders…
Viswanathan also has insights into looming advances as an adviser to QuantumScape Corp., the developer in San Jose that raced to a $20 billion valuation with a promise to increase the range of battery-powered electric cars by 50%, and as chief scientist for Aionics Inc., which is using artificial intelligence to speed up battery development.
He spoke with Bloomberg Markets in June about what he sees coming next.