Western News – Joshua Pears Open Source, Sustainable Technology

Westerners are consolidating their expertise in open source, sustainable technology research this harvest season, advocating for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship.

Joshua M. Thompson, the new chairman of John M. Thompson in Information Technology and Innovation, will be a major focus of Western research projects in creating sustainable, sustainable, and shared technology for solar energy development.

Pearce comes from Michigan Tech, where he has spent the last 10 years as an engineering professor. Perce’s Western appointments include work at the Thompson Center for Engineering and Innovation and the Ivy Business School. Participates in a number of research projects in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Western News He met Perseus to discuss his role, his research, and his love for sustainable technologies.

Western News – What attracted you to the West?

Joshua Pierce

Joshua Pierce – I have known about Western brilliance for some time. When I first married, my wife, Jane, was operating as a surgeon here. What pulled me back was Thomson’s chair in information technology and innovation. It gives me the opportunity and, in fact, the power to help Westerners buy the future open source technology. Free and open source technologies are publicly available technologies that allow anyone to study, develop, distribute, work, and sell their design, software, or hardware based on that design. The source of the technology, the design, is available for upgrade and comes with a license to share improvements based on design. Open Source Technology gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and promoting business through open design exchange.

It is also an advanced technology, which is why most large companies are now contributing to open source projects. It is a major current trend using Fortune Global 500% and 90%. All supercomputers, 90 percent cloud servers, 82 percent smartphones and 62 percent embedded systems run on open source operating systems. More than 70 percent of the Internet of Things (IOT) devices also use open source software. Digital innovations such as 3D printers are now an open source in the physical world. My own work in free and open source hardware shows that it is growing approximately 15 years behind and above its software counterpart. Creating successful businesses with open source technology is the future, although not as straightforward as conventional business models. It takes a little bit of ingenuity – and that’s where the fun part comes from.

I am truly impressed by the fact that the Western faculty are not only enthusiastic about cooperation and new ideas, but also that the staff and management are genuinely supportive of our success. I can’t communicate with the students. I have been blessed with some wonderful students in the past, but it would be incredible to have a laboratory team made up of Western students with razors.

WN: Can you tell us a little bit about your two roles at Iway Business School and the Thompson Engineering Leadership and Innovation Center?

JP: I look at my approach to engineering and business using open source technology as a lever to help things get faster. My reputation in this space – all my work is open and free to use for everyone – makes collaboration very easy for me. This is good academically but also good in business. Imagine a campus where everyone with an idea for the product would be able to prototype and follow up on the work of an organization. We in the West can do that. That will be very exciting, and I am happy to be a part of it.

Technological advancement pushes us towards sustainable development. – Pierce

WN Your research areas are focused on sustainable and open source technologies. What led you to this special educational need?

JP: When I looked at the world’s problems, it was clear to me that low-cost renewable energy was the answer for many. That’s why I did my PhD in low-cost solar photovoltaics. In my opinion, it is our best opportunity to continue to enjoy our energy-rich lifestyle and to do the same without destroying the planet.

Later I came to open source technology. I started using my own custom laboratory equipment: an open source 3D printer called RepRap, which reproduces its own components. It worked well (using open source technology can generally reduce the cost of laboratory equipment by about 90 percent), I jumped on both legs. I wrote a book – the Open Source Laboratory – To explain how other scientists and engineers can use it. And then I laid the foundation Hardware X, Which is Elsavier’s main scientific instrument magazine – all technologies must be open source.

WN: When it comes to sustainability and carbon footprint, technological innovations can be a double-edged sword. How can we continue to work harder for sustainable technology?

JP: Fortunately, in at least two areas I focus on – split and reuse and further production (drum) and solar photovoltaic (PV) – technology development is pushing us towards sustainable development. I have done careful life cycle analyzes (LCAs) on both technologies. For drums, in your community or more radically, you can reduce the amount of energy involved in your entire home by recycling your waste into more expensive products. My research shows that this is not only good for the environment but also a great economic feeling. True, there are 3D printing failures, but my current research using AI and computer vision in this area also alleviates that problem.

For PV, I only do the finishing work on a new type of floatovoltaics LCA – flexible solar cells floating on the surface of the water. The water cools the PV so it becomes more efficient and prevents the PV from evaporating, which can be a big help in water conservation. Most importantly, the new design I am working on removes all the usual shelf space, which greatly reduces the footprint. In addition, we have looked at agrivoltais, which includes both green electricity and high economic output per hectare in addition to PV and conventional agriculture. If the long-term, outdoor experiment in the Western field works as we expected, we will still have green solar energy — this is already a very deep green shade.

WN: You wrote a book together with Loni Graffman entitled Catching the Sun. What is the story behind this book?

JP: Lonny is the founder of Appropedia.org, the largest wiki-based website dedicated to solutions in collaboration for sustainable development, poverty reduction and global development. Together with our longtime friends and colleagues, we decided to write a book that would help accelerate the adoption of solar energy. To catch the sun It’s a collection of stories that inspire communities to come together to use their own solar energy, and how you can do the same.

Solar photovoltaic technology, which converts direct sunlight into electricity, is now costly and is now the cheapest way to get electricity. If you are a little more comfortable, you can build your own systems and reduce further costs To catch the sun It guides you exactly how to do it. It is filled with exciting stories from people all over the world who meet their energy needs in small solar systems. Best of all and stick to our open source principles: free, open access e-book.

I am happy to know that we have achieved our goal of Kickstarter for those who need hard copies, and the book will be published in at least Spanish. We are looking to translate in a few more languages ​​and all proceeds from the sale will be supported by the Appropedia Foundation to ensure that the information is free and up-to-date.

WN – Any tips for students taking your courses?

JP: Come on in, take a look! All my courses are project-based: no time wasted, no trials and no explosions. Focusing on improving technical skills in discipline, the purpose of the projects is to make the world better in a limited, measurable, accessible, real and modern way (SMART). If you are happy with the project and come into my room, we will communicate well and I will do my best to help you succeed.


The seat of John M. Thompson was established by Investment With John, BESc’66, LLD’94, former Chancellor of the West (2008 to 2012) and Melinda, BA’64, Thompson with Western funds. Thompson In 1986, he was appointed President and CEO of IBM Canada and later served as Vice Chairman of IBM Corporation Board. He also served as non-executive chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Corporation Board from 2003 to 2011.

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