Philipp Simons, a second year PhD student at Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), has been selected as 2018 Broshy Fellowship recipient. Philipp received $40,000 to develop his project, An All-Solid-State Glucose Micro Fuel Cell as an Implantable Power Source for the Human Body, with his advisor, Jennifer Rupp.

Philipp’s project focuses on developing a novel type of highly miniaturized glucose fuel cell, which is based purely on solid state materials. This fuel cell aims to harvest the glucose readily available in the blood stream of the human body, and convert it into electricity, thereby powering implants such pacemakers, implantable bio-sensors or electroceuticals. The fuel cell is extremely small, with a thickness of only 300 nm, and is fabricated fully on-chip to be easily integrated with the next generation of highly miniaturized bioelectronic devices.

Philipp works in the lab of Professor Jennifer Rupp, who is the Thomas Lord Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She believes that Philipp’s work is highly important to future preventive medicine and healthcare. She said “Philipp is an outstanding experimentalist and really creative scientist who is currently doing ground- breaking experiments… Given his experience, I rate his intellectual capability and creativity to suggest the concept of the first solid state glucose bio-fuel cell as outstanding and impactful for society and future medicine.”

In addition to his innovative research, Philipp is an excellent student, team player, and strong supporter of the DMSE community. His nominator wrote “…it is a delight for the team and me to work with him [Philipp] on this new exciting research direction.”

Philipp is very excited and honored to receive the 2018 Broshy Graduate Fellowship. “It is a great honor to be selected for this fellowship among all the outstanding work that is done here at MIT. I want to thank IMES for selecting me to be the recipient of this fellowship, and also a very big thank you Eran Broshy for his generous donation. This fellowship will enable me to continue working on my research in the Electrochemical Materials Laboratory of Professor Jennifer Rupp with a greater degree of independence. With the support of the Broshy fellowship, I plan to characterize and engineer my fuel cell in order to get it closer to a marketable prototype,” says Philipp.

The Broshy Fellowship program, named for Eran Broshy, MIT alumnus and member of the MIT Corporation and IMES Visiting Committee, aims to support the research and education of an exceptional graduate student whose work focuses on a novel, interdisciplinary project that has a good likelihood of being translated into an innovative commercial product and/or service that positively impacts healthcare outcomes and cost.

This year’s recipient receives a one-year $40,000 award to support tuition, stipend, and research costs. Requests for nominations for the 2019/2020 award year will be announced in early spring 2019.