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2015 News

Tessa Pocock featured at US Horticultural Lighting Conference

LESA’s Dr. Tessa Pocock is the Closing Plenary speaker at the 2017 US Horticultural Lighting Conference on October 17 in Denver Colorado, her talk is entitled “Fast-forwarding the Future of Food”.

Circadian, Sleep and Neurobehavioral Performance Engineering @ LESA

Human circadian rhythm regulation is linked to many physiological processes, including sleep. Circadian disruption is known to have negative impacts on health and may lead to lower human performance and higher risk of failure during critical tasks.  By understanding the relationships between human circadian processes, sleep processes, and cognitive performance, improved management of lighting and task scheduling can be developed to favorably impact overall human health and performance. […]

LESA and Cornell to Collaborate on $1.92M Program for Advanced Urban Farming

LESA and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) team at Cornell University have been awarded a $1.92M research program under the NSF “Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water” (INFEWS) program. The awarded research project, Strategic FEW and Workforce Investments to Enhance Viability of Controlled Environment Agriculture in Metropolitan Areas, will develop a multi-dimensional toolkit to guide the development of metropolitan based CEA. […]

LESA featured in Light Matters Newscast

LESA was recently featured in the August 2017 edition of Light Matters, an online newscast at  The segments highlight LESA research in the Smart Conference Room Testbed and Plant Physiology Lab and features interviews with Center Director Robert Karlicek and graduate student Tianna-Kaye Woodstock.  Two segments are available to view, A ‘Smart’ Lighting Revolution and a bonus feature Light Matters Extra: Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications.

L.E.D. A History of the Future of Light

The new book by veteran technology journalist Bob Johnstone entitled L.E.D. A History of the Future of Lighting is a detailed account of the radically changing lighting industry.  Chapter 15 Selling Darkness includes an overview of LESA and its research vision of lighting systems that think.  The book is published by CreateSpace and is available via Amazon.

July 14, 2017

Recent advances in solid state lighting technology are enabling the development of ‘designer’ crops, according to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute plant physiology expert Dr. Tessa Pocock, who serves as a senior research scientist at the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA). The impact of lighting on plants is the core focus for Pocock, who conducts research in both academic and industry settings around the mechanism of photosynthesis on plant development and regulation by light for traditional greenhouse crops and the emerging field of medicinal plants. Recently, Pocock and her team received a $25,000 grant from Dr. William Beers, Black Belt/Senior Systems Engineer at Current, powered by GE, to support continued work on sensing and signaling in plants.

April 25, 2017

LESA graduate Jessica Morrison was chosen as one of ten innovators in Cohort Three of Cyclotron Road, an incubator at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that aims to bridge the science-to-product gap by investing in energy entrepreneurs through its two-year fellowship program.  Dr. Jessica Morrison received her PhD in Physics from Boston University in 2016 and has since founded Helux Lighting as a spin-off of her work at LESA on beam-steering micro-mirrors.  Applicants must go through a rigorous four-month long selection process.  The ten innovators of Cohort Three represent eight universities across the US.  The Cyclotron program innovators will begin their journey in May, 2017.

June 5, 2017

LESA, Cornell and NYSERDA announces the launch of a multidisciplinary consortium to reduce electricity use in greenhouses up to 70%. Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE), a seven-year $5 million project funded by NYSERDA, is being launched to transform the way greenhouses operate reducing both energy cost and carbon footprint.  Dr. Tessa Pocock, Senior Research Scientist at LESA will lead the work at Rensselear.

March 4, 2017

LESA Alum Dr. Jessica Morrison has formed a startup, Helux Lighting, Inc to bring dynamic optical control to the market through microtechnology developed at Boston University.  These micro-mirrors are an example of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) that can steer a beam of reflected light by applying a voltage.  The tiny mirrors steer light faster that the human eye can detect and facilitate rapid control over light position, brightness, and illumination area.  The competitive advantage of Helux technology is a tenfold reduction in size and lower cost when compared to existing mechanical systems for light control.

May 8, 2017

Dr. Tessa Pocock was awarded the Robert W. Langhans Visiting Scholar at Cornell University, School of Integrative Plant Science.  Each year this Visiting Scholar Program brings  a renowned scientist in greenhouse technology and management to lecture and interact with students over the course of several days to their Ithaca campus.  This year Dr. Pocock will spend May 8-10 on their campus and will provide a lecture entitled “Light Matters:  Sensing and Signaling in Plants”.  Dr. Pocock, Senior Research Scientist at LESA, is a world-renowned speaker and researcher on plant photosynthesis and plant development and regulation by light for traditional greenhouse crops and the emerging field of medicinal plants.

April 15, 2017

Chaitanya Ullal, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and a Faculty member of the ERC, has won a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He will use the five-year, $556,091 award to study the structure of hydrogels—jelly-like materials that have some of the properties of solids, but are largely composed of water. The CAREER Award is given to faculty members near the beginning of their academic careers and is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards given by the NSF to junior faculty.

March 20, 2017

Professor Connor Recognized as Innovator at 2017 ECEDHA Annual Conference
On Monday, March 20, 2017, Professor Kenneth Connor (RPI) was presented with the “Innovative Program Award” at the 2017 ECEDHA Annual Conference in Miramar Beach, Florida.  Don Millard (NSF) summarized Ken’s contributions well, “Ken is loved by many and is a true innovator: he has the intellect and motivation to seek and see space that others don’t, he is not afraid to break from the norm, using past traditional wisdom.”  This award is given to individual(s) or department(s) […]

February 16, 2017

Industry Meets Academia: LESA has a Record-Setting Attendance at Annual Conference.  The Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) held their 8th Annual Industry-Academia Days Conference on February 8-9, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY. This annual conference brought together LESA researchers and students to showcase innovations in research initiatives and educational activities to industry representatives. This year’s conference had over 100 industry attendees from approximately 64 distinct organizations and was the largest conference we have held to date.

March 1, 2017

Dr. Karlicek will present “SSL and IoT: Growing Pains and Future Outcomes” on March 1 at the 2017 Strategies in Light Conference held at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA from February 28 – March 2, 2017.  His presentation will discuss the current market turmoil driven by the confluence of two disruptive technologies, LED lighting and ubiquitous sensing and control (Internet of Things) is opening new market opportunities for augmented lighting systems.  […]

January 23, 2017

A team of LESA faculty and graduate students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of New Mexico (UNM) were recently awarded U. S. Patent 9,520,472 for “Growth of Cubic Crystalline Phase Structure on Silicon Substrates and Devices comprising the Cubic Crystalline Phase.”  This patent was issued on December 13, 2016 and included principal investigator Steven R. J. Brueck and inventors Sueng-Chang Lee (UNM), Christian Wetzel, Theeradetch Detchprohm (LESA/RPI), and Christoph Stark (LESA/RPI Graduate).  The universities are partners in the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. […]

February 8, 2017

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has signed a sponsored research agreement with Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc., the leading North American supplier of LED-based lighting solutions.  As part of this project, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) will develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback for efficient plant growth. […]

January 25, 2016

Dr. Tessa Pocock is an invited Panelist at the Plenary Session of the DOE SSL R&D Workshop to be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 10:30 am at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, CA.  This Panel, entitled “ENGINEERED LIGHT: ACTION SPECTRUM AND BEYOND” will explore the use of engineered light — light whose spectral intensities are tailored in time and space — to accommodate various applications and the action spectra associated with those applications. […]

January 12, 2017

Sensing and Signaling Networks in Plants.  What’s Light Got to Do with It? Is the title of Dr. Tessa Pocock’s presentation March 15, 2017 at the Phosphor Global Summit to be held at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla.  Recent advances in lighting technology are enabling the development of ‘designer’ crops.  Light is the primary energy source required for crop growth and development but it also contains signals that shape the plant down to sub-cellular levels. The assessment of lighting and spectral distributions on photosynthesis, growth and phytochemical value will be presented.

January 5, 2017

LESA congratulates two of its graduate students who were selected to present at the Department of Energy’s Annual SSL R&D Workshop Student Poster Competition for 2017.  Indrani Bhattacharya (RPI), and Jinyuan Zhao (BU) will receive free registration to the workshop and will be able to network, interact and exchange ideas with the best and brightest researchers to help accelerate the science and technology of Solid State Lighting. The Poster Session will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, from 5:00 – 7:30pm.  Poster authors, locations and titles are: […]






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