Smart Buildings Innovator, Dwight Stewart, Invited to Judge NASA's Watts on the Moon Challenge
May 12, 2021
(Des Moines, Iowa – May 12, 2021) Dwight Stewart, founder and chief technology officer of Des Moines-based smart building firm Igor was asked to judge the NASA “Watts on the Moon” challenge, the Phase 1 winners of which are expected to be announced in May 2021. Stewart, a recognized pioneer in the clean energy Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology sector, is the only Iowan to judge this year’s competition.
NASA’s challenge program is composed of various prize competitions open to the public. Each is geared toward finding innovative solutions to NASA's technical challenges. The “Watts on the Moon” challenge seeks solutions to distribute, store and manage power in space and it carries a prize of up to $5 million as well as potential opportunities for contest winners to test their proposed solutions at NASA facilities.
As NASA works to extend human exploration of the solar system, the agency anticipates the need for unprecedented electrical and thermal energy distribution, management and storage to support sustained human presence and the beginning of industrial activity. Stewart’s research and development work in the emerging field of PoE technology uniquely positions him to chose winning concepts from among what is expected to be a large field of entrants.
Alongside colleagues from various sectors, Stewart will score entrants on scientific or technical merit, build and operation feasibility and how well the proposed solution is expected to survive and perform in the unique environmental conditions of the lunar environment. He and his team of judges will also consider the submitting teams’ technical capabilities and experience, as well as the potential to modify the proposed solution for use on Earth.
Of the opportunity, Stewart said, “Since childhood, I’ve imagined the possibilities of life in space. Even today, I find myself picturing it. Especially given our teams’ work with technology that even a few years ago wasn’t a reality, it’s top of mind. Having a front-row seat for this showcase of the world’s brightest minds is a privilege, and I’m proud to play a part in the challenge.”
Stewart is recognized within the international CleanTech industry for conceiving transformative ideas and turning them into a reality. His first exposure to collaborating with NASA came in 2008, when he led a technology implementation at the agency as a part of his work with high-tech firm QAS, a venture he co-founded alongside Craig Engelbrecht. QAS deployed technology in nearly every U.S. state and included institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, Columbia, Limited Brands, Siemens and Chevron. In 2011, he founded Stewart Strategy, an IoT product and contracting company. Two years later, he launched Igor, which today has installed PoE-enabled smart building automation technology in more than 30 countries.
For more than eight years, Igor has been an innovation leader in IoT smart building technology. Igor’s flagship product, Nexos, is a PoE-based IoT smart building platform that incorporates hardware, software and cloud analytics to enable smart and secure buildings. Combined with an open API and real-time data, Nexos is a forward-looking technology that seamlessly integrates advanced lighting controls with building systems, low-voltage devices, business applications and more. Now installed in more than 30 countries, Nexos delivers on the global market’s readiness to enter the IoT world. For more information, visit www.igor-tech.com