International Battery Seminar founder Shep Wolsky dies aged 91

Shep Wolsky, the founder of the International Battery Seminar, passed away on November 12 at the age of 91.

Wolsky was the inspiration behind the annual seminars, which will mark their 35th year next March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Wolsky’s experience in the battery industry goes back to the 1950s, when he quit the US Navy to work as a researcher into transistors for Bell Labs.

In 1962, he joined PR Mallory – now Duracell – where he became vice president of research and development. There he helped to introduce Li-metal, Li-sulfur dioxide and Li-thionyl chloride batteries. He also helped Sony when it introduced the lithium-ion battery, obtaining the first US government approval for their transport.

Wolsky wrote more than 100 technical papers and consulted on the development of batteries with clients all over the world.

But it is the international battery seminars for which Wolsky will be remembered, and in recognition of his contributions to the field, the annual battery innovator award given out each year at the seminars will be named the Shep Wolsky Battery Innovator Award.

“Working on the international battery seminar until his passing, his passion and impact on the worldwide battery community was profound and he will be deeply missed,” said Phillips Kuhl, president of the conference organizer Cambridge Enertech.

Wolsky was a Bostonian sports fan, loved Gilbert and Sullivan and published short stories and plays that were performed as recently as last year.

A celebration of his life will take place at on November 19.