Category Archives: Research

Advances in the Solar Market

Renewable EnergyIn Print

Joshua Pearce co-authored an article with alumni Aishwarya Mundada (ECE) and Emily Prehoda (SS), “U.S. Market for Solar Photovoltaic Plug-and-Play Systems,” in Renewable Energy.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2016.11.034

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted in Coal Workers Find Work in Solar Power published in Solar Reviews.

TechCentury, an engineering and technology news web site published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, featured the new plug and play solar research of Joshua Pearce (MSE, ECE). Read the story.

Pearce on Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents

Free Inactive Patent Search PageJoshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored an article with PhD Candidate Yuenyong Nilsiam (ECE) titled “Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain” that was published in Inventions.

doi:10.3390/inventions1040024

The results showed how the Free Inactive Patent Search enables users to search using plain language text to find public domain concepts and then provides a hyperlinked list of ideas that takes users to the USPTO database for the patent for more information.

In the News

Work by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and PhD student Yuenyong Nilsiam (ECE) on the free inactive patent search was covered by Science Daily, Phys.org, ECN and other online news sources.

Updates on 3D Printing Research

Energy for Sustainable DevelopmentMSE alumnus Ben Wittbrodt co-authored an article with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) titled “3-D Printing Solar Photovoltaic Racking in Developing World.” It was published in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2016.08.001

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) co-authored “Experimental Characterization of Heat Transfer in an Additively Manufactured Polymer Heat Exchanger” in Applied Thermal Engineering.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2016.11.030

Solar Future

Solar Panels
Photo by Portland General Electric.

For Coal Workers, The Solar Future Is Bright

Workers in the coal industry can get jobs in solar, and there are many ways to pay for their retraining. Those are the key findings of a study, “Retraining Investment for U.S. Transition from Coal to Solar Photovoltaic Employment,” recently published in the journal Energy Economics.

The study noted that while coal plants across the nation are shutting down, solar installations are increasing; eventually, many of the workers from coal will be able to transition to solar.

The study also looked at different ways to pay for the retraining of these workers.

“What we set out to do was figure out if it was feasible and how expensive would it be,” said Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D., associate professor at Michigan Technical University and co-author of the study. “It is remarkably feasible, and on the expense side, it turned out to be trivial.”

Read more at Solar Industry, by Nora Caley.

In Print

Recent alum Chenlong Zhang (MSE/ECE) coauthored a paper with Durdu Guney (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), “Plasmonic enhancement of amorphous silicon solar photovoltaic cells with hexagonal silver arrays made with nano sphere lithography,” that was featured in Materials Express.

In the News

Joshua Pearce is also quoted by the World Watch Institute in an article: CAN COAL MINERS BECOME SOLAR TECHNICIANS? 

Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted in a story “For Former Coal Workers, Renewable Energy Means Renewed Job Market” published by the U.S Embassy and Consulates in South Africa.

3D Printing and Open Sustainability

3D Hubs
3D Hubs

How Green Is 3D Printing?

As a comparatively new technology that has not yet been fully integrated into the larger manufacturing supply chain, 3D printing represents an opportunity to do things differently.

Associate professor Joshua Pearce’s Open Sustainability Technology group at Michigan Technological University proposed a more extensive categorization system that allows 3D printer users to embed their own recycling codes onto 3D-printed parts. Parts made from ABS, for instance, might have an ABS recycling logo on them so that they can be recycled and reused to manufacture other ABS products.

I see us moving more towards a form of truly distributed manufacturing, where individuals fabricate custom products for themselves from free and open-source digital plans. —Joshua Pearce

Read more at Engineering.com, by Michael Molitch-Hou.

In the News

Research by André Laplume (SBE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE)) was covered by Strategy+Business in an article “What Does the Rise of 3D Printing Mean for Global Companies?”

Construction Dive quoted Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) in an article on “How will 3-D printing technology disrupt conventional construction practices?

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) is quoted by El Heraldo in La arquitectura se preparea para una ‘revolución industrial’ en 3D. El Heraldo is a leading newspaper in Colombia.

In Print

Recent PhD graduate Bas Wijnen (MSE) and undergraduates Emily Petersen (MSE) and Emily Hunt (MSE) co-authored with Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) a paper titled “Free and open-source automated 3-D microscope.” It was featured in The Journal of Microscopy.

 

Trends in Solar Energy

Solar PanelPearce (MSE/ECE) authored an article “What If All U.S. Coal Workers Were Retrained to Work in Solar?” in the Harvard Business Review.

From Tech Today.

In Print

Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) work on replacing coal work with solar was reprinted in Industry Week as well as being covered widely in the media including Politico and in articles covering both the US (One Year of Coal CEO Pay Could Retrain Every US Miner to Work in the Solar Industry– Greentech Media) as well as the Australian coal industries: What to do with coal workers? Retrain them for solar, says study.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce’s (MSE/ECE) research on solar employment has been covered widely including by MIT Technology Review, Epoch Times, Indiana Public Radio, Grist, Clean Technica and Vox in an article: New study: it would be cheap to retrain coal workers for solar jobs

The story has also been picked up in Europe:

From Tech Today.

Solar Energy Is Powering New Careers And It Could Be Absorbing Coal Sector Job Losses

“The coal industry is on a downward slope from which it won’t get off,” Pearce, who teaches electrical engineering, told this reporter. “There is too much competition from not just natural gas but also renewables, and especially solar.”

Read more at Forbes, by Ken Silverstein.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was quoted on energy industry employment in “One Year of a Coal CEO’s Salary Could Transition U.S. Coal Miners to Work in Solar Industry” in EcoWatch and also in “US solar industry hailed as ‘light at end of tunnel’ for jobless coal miners” in Mining.

From Tech Today.

In the News

Research by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was covered by the U.S. Department of State’s Share America.

From Tech Today.