Light Bites: What’s happening in LEDs and lighting – July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022
Quick takes on DOE funding for lab projects, lighting design scholarship, and staffing updates across several markets.

LEDs Magazine delivers snack-sized stories on the latest in U.S. Department of Energy funding that will impact the development of clean energy technology, advancing national climate objectives; the winner of the 10th annual Jonathan Speirs Scholarship; and two new hires in controlled environment agriculture consultancy and commercial & industrial lighting.

Clean tech funding targets carbon reduction goals

The DOE recently announced more than $18 million in funding across several national laboratory projects in support of clean energy commercialization intended to support the Biden Administration’s net-zero carbon emissions objective by 2050.

The Office of Technology Transitions coordinated the funding with nine DOE program offices, including the Office of Nuclear Energy; the Office of Electricity; and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies, Geothermal Technologies, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, Solar Energy Technologies, Water Power Technologies, and Wind Energy Technologies Offices.

Five national labs will participate, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, generating a total of seven projects to address barriers, gaps, and root causes of commercialization challenges. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm indicated in a press statement that the labs will coordinate R&D and intellectual property steps for clean energy solutions and develop skilled personnel to manage new energy infrastructure needs that are identified.

More information is available in the detailed DOE release.

Scholarship celebrates designer’s cool materials

The trustees of the U.K.-registered Jonathan Speirs Scholarship fund have selected Ernest Chin Yang as the 2021/2022 scholarship grant recipient in its tenth year. A student at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Chin has worked on the relationship between ice and light in his final project, designing a festival of ice set on Lågskär Island (part of Finland), to demonstrate its potential as a building material and leverage its unique ability to change the visitor experience through light.

Chin plans to launch his post-graduate career at the Housing Development Board in his native Singapore and continue exploring ways to integrate lighting into city architecture and enhance residents’ experience and interactions within the built environment.

The scholarship was established in 2013 after the passing of architectural lighting designer Jonathan Speirs of Speirs + Major. Speirs advocated for lighting design as an emerging profession and encouraged the development of architectural students’ technical and creative design skills to engage them in the lighting design field.

Learn about past scholars and their portfolios on the JSSF website.

RII lands CEA consultant

Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a nonprofit energy and water benchmarking organization, and organizer of the 2022 Resilient Harvests Conference, has hired experienced greenhouse consultant Rob Eddy. Eddy will serve as technical director, overseeing the firm’s technical advisory council, and leading development of a design and construction professional credential program.

Eddy has worked with a number of CEA clients on greenhouse and cultivation facilities design, applying a multidisciplinary approach to environmental conditions, hardware and equipment specification, and operations efficiency. His prior experience includes the role of Plant Growth Facilities manager at Purdue University, where he managed crops on a large scale, and previously expanded species research as a horticulturist at Dow AgroSciences.

“Rob brings a wealth of horticultural experience to the RII community. His expertise will be a tremendous resource for producers of a variety of crops,” said Derek Smith, RII executive director  and Resilient Harvests program director. “As controlled environment agriculture continues to mature as a discipline and new technologies are developed, Rob’s background in facility management and research will be invaluable to ensuring RII continues to provide leading-edge information and practices.”

Smyles heads up government sales for Energy Focus

A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Naval Flight Officer, Bob Smyles has been appointed as senior director, head of government sales for lighting and controls provider Energy Focus.

Energy Focus continues to develop lighting and controls technology capable of serving in demanding military applications, alongside its commercial offerings. Chairman and interim CEO Steve Socolof said, “This is a strategic hire to reinvest in the military maritime channel for the company as we sustain and grow our government and military business. Bob really impressed us with his record of success in selling technology to U.S. armed forces and government agencies.”

Smyles has experience in selling energy management services to municipal and federal government entities, including bringing technology solutions to the U.S. Navy, Army, and Coast Guard. “Building a team to sell innovative lighting technologies and products that will enhance the health and protect the men and women who serve through our military and government agencies is a winning scenario that I am extremely happy and honored to be a part of,” he said.

About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.