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Alumnus and lithium-ion battery pioneer endows Olivet scholarship

Posted: Apr 26, 2017


Olivet Nazarene University alumnus Dr. K.M. Abraham is the principal of E-KEM Sciences and a professor at Northeastern University in Boston. He and his wife, Deborah, have endowed a scholarship in the ONU Foundation.


While on campus recently, Dr. K.M. Abraham (R) had the opportunity to reconnect with Dr. John Hanson, his Olivet professor and mentor.

“I was at Olivet Nazarene University 49 years ago, working as a lab instructor while also studying Christian education and the American way of life,” says Dr. K.M. Abraham ’71, a native of India and a pioneer in the development of the lithium-ion battery. Today, he is the principal of E-KEM Sciences, a battery consulting company in Needham, Massachusetts, and a professor at Northeastern University in Boston. He holds 16 U.S. patents and is the author of more than 200 published articles and papers. The Royal Society of Chemistry, NASA, Tufts University and the Electrochemical Science and Technology Society have honored him.

One of his greatest achievements of all, however, is the opportunity for his career success to benefit Olivet students.

Dr. Abraham and his wife, Deborah, recently established an endowed scholarship in the ONU Foundation. Their gift is in honor of Dr. John Hanson ’57, a retired Olivet chemistry professor, who was a supervisor and mentor for Dr. Abraham. This scholarship is designated for students who are preparing for careers in chemistry and chemical engineering.

“I thank Olivet and Dr. Hanson for all the help they gave me in getting the opportunity to live a life filled with blessings,” Dr. Abraham says. “Having Dr. Hanson as my mentor was a big morale booster for me. He encouraged me to go on for an advanced degree in chemistry.” Dr. Abraham holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Tufts University and conducted post-doctoral research at Vanderbilt University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

During a special presentation to Olivet students on campus, Dr. Abraham gave an overview of his 40 years of work with the rechargeable lithium and lithium-ion batteries, which began in 1979 at EIC Laboratories, Inc. He told students that, when it comes to the lithium-ion battery, scientists continue to address the question: “What better thing can you give me for tomorrow?” He also referenced the need to find new batteries for electric cars and his work in the current development of the Lithium-Air battery, which would be the ultimate battery.

Dr. Abraham told students: “All these problems are opportunities for you to work and make a career for yourself.”

To learn more about Olivet’s areas of study in chemistry and engineering, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Acres that comprise Olivet's beautiful, park-like campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois