Nobel Prize-winning professor Goodenough says he’s grateful for UT’s support


A photo of John Goodenough in his lab in 2015. Courtesy UT Austin.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize had quite the week, and the University of Texas at Austin is continuing the celebration.

UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves hosted Professor John Goodenough in a news conference Monday morning.

This followed Goodenough receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry last Wednesday for his work in developing lithium-ion batteries.

READ MORE: KXAN chatted with the professor over the phone that day after he received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in London.

Fenves introduced Goodenough and pointed out that all of the smartphones students can’t seem to live without, use a lithium-ion battery. To that effect, Fenves gifted Goodenough with a UT Longhorns phone case.

Goodenough was asked about his relationship with the UT system, he said he is most thankful for the faith the university put in him to complete his work.

“UT is..I have enjoyed being here for many reasons not merely the good weather and the nice city but also because everybody at UT Austin has been very supportive and allowed us to do what we set out to do,” said Goodenough. “So they left us alone, they didn’t give us milestones saying you’ve got to do this by then, they just allow you to do your thing. It’s wonderful to have that kind of support.”

Goodenough didn’t think he would win this award and was pleasantly surprised when he received the call from the Norweigan Nobel Committee.

“You never think you’re going to receive a nice award but it happens in life. All I can tell you is if you live long enough you never know what’s going to happen.”

Goodenough said at 97-year-old he has no problem taking life one day at a time.

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