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  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication of the Brno University of Technology
    would like to invite you to

    24th International Conference
    Advanced Batteries, Accumulators and Fuel Cells [ABAF 24]

    August 27th - 30th, 2023
    Brno University of Technology
    Technická 12, Brno
    Czech Republic

    Professor Jiří Vondrák

    Jiří Vondrák

    (1935 - 2019)

    Long-time chairman of the ABAF conference, Jiří Vondrák, passed away at the age of 83 on June 30, 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Jiří received his master degree in chemistry at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague in 1958. He then joined the Czech Academy of Sciences and started doing research at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry. He was dealing primarily with the electrochemistry of hydrogen evolution and electrochemistry of transition metal oxides and their intercalation compounds. In 1966, he completed his PhD in inorganic chemistry and continued with his research at IIC.

    Over the years, he moved his focus towards the intercalation and insertion compounds and further towards the electrochemistry of secondary battery systems such as lithium-ion, high voltage and lithium-sulfur batteries with emphasis on material, electrode and cell optimization. He worked on his research also during several internships in various institutions all over Europe, e.g. at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (Russia), at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland), at the Universita La Sapienza in Rome (Italy), at the Imperial College in London (UK) and at the Laboratoire d’Electrochimie Moléculaire du CNRS in Paris (France). In addition to these internships, he was an active participant of many international projects, meetings and conferences.

    "Jiří was a scientist who in his gentleness showed a profound chemical preparation and sharpness and a great enthusiasm for research" says Professor Vito Di Noto from the University of Padova (Italy). "It was always my pleasure to meet Jiří and talk to this very kind, polite and modest person. Our topics included the recent achievements in lithium batteries, upcoming conferences, politics and much more" remembers Professor Boris Markovsky from the Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv (Israel).

    After reaching his second doctorate title in 1998, Jiří started his work at the Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic), where he founded a research group dealing with modern electrochemical power sources. An important part of his professional life was also his teaching. He was leading many students in the preparation of their bachelor, master and PhD theses. Many of his students became leaders in their own fields in academic research and in the industry. In 2000, he reached the Assoc. Professor degree and 5 years later, the full Professor degree.

    Since its creation in 2006, Jiří was the faculty advisor of the Student Chapter of the Electrochemical Society at BUT. This Chapter was one of the first Student Chapters based outside of the US. He was the author or co-author of 66 articles in ECS Transactions and 78 articles in other scientific journals. He is also a co-author of 14 inventions registered at the Czech patent office.

    For 20 years, Jiří was the main organizer and chairman of the ABAF (Advanced Batteries, Accumulators and Fuel Cells) International Conference organized annually in Brno (Czech Republic) in cooperation with ISE and ECS. In 2019, this conference had its jubilee 20th edition and even at his high age, he was actively helping with its preparation.

    "We knew Professor Vondrák not only from his fundamental and interesting scientific publications, but also from our meetings during the ABAF conferences. He was their heart and energy source. I will always remember his energy, smile, humor and great performances full of new original ideas in various areas of science and technology" says Professor Elena Shembel, president of the Enerize Corporation (USA) and Head of the Research Laboratory of Chemical Power Sources of USUCT (Ukraine).

    Due to his high level of expertise, Jiří was a popular reviewer of many scientific projects and papers. He devoted the majority of his lifetime to scientific work and he spent also his final hours writing reviews of scientific publications.

    Professor Doron Aurbach from the Bar Ilan University (Israel) sums it up: "The electrochemistry / power sources community is losing an important colleague and friend. For many years, Jiří promoted high level scientific discussions in an excellent and most enjoyable atmosphere in Brno. He was the voice of truth in many scientific debates related to power sources. He was always able to distinguish between the signal and the noise. He knew how to address important directions, educated young scientists, contributed to useful and fruitful discussions and supported a smooth flow of information within the electrochemical and power source community. We will miss his sense of humor, his hospitality in the international meetings in Brno and his wisdom."

    Jiří Vondrák will be deeply missed by his wife Jana, his two children Jana and Jiří, his colleagues and students at the Brno University of Technology and by the whole scientific community.