News & Insights
Meet The Expert - Owen Pearson
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
What is your current role and main responsibilities?
I'm the Innovation Lead at Prolectric. I work closely with colleagues and customers to develop and align our product development plan with our vision to power the world's off-grid energy needs with smart, clean, renewable technology.
My job is to take ideas to a prototype product, where I hand them over to the product development team, who push prototypes to commercialisation.
Tell us about your background and how you got started in your career?
When doing my A levels, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I did a physics degree at Leeds University. I then changed course, started physics with a nanotechnology degree, and continued to do a master's in Alternative Technology. That's when I fell in love with renewable energy; it was inspiring. I recommend the course as it covers all renewable technologies, from engineering to project management. It gave me a great understanding of the industry.
My first job in the energy industry was at Ofgem, but I struggled as I needed more creative freedom. I briefly worked as a landscape gardener and moved to Bristol. I wanted to use my degree again. I saw the job at Prolectric, had a quick phone interview, and got picked up at 4:00 AM the next day to start.
I've been at Prolectric for nearly eight years now. I've seen the company grow from a team of six doing solar PV installations on domestic and commercial properties to pivoting to off-grid lighting, power, and security.
What are some of the most exciting projects you have worked on recently?
We've been working on the lighting and power portals technology, which have been in development for about two years. It's great to see them perform, managing our off-grid products with very little operational hands-on management.
The ProPower Solar Hybrid Power (3-Phase) has been a great team project. It's been great working on the theoretical elements, ensuring the system works, and handing it over to the fantastic Dave Burns, who built and developed the prototype. Dave's wiring standards are one of the best in the industry.
I'm always working on our five-year product development plan. It allows me to work closely with our customers, getting their feedback and using their voices to guide us as we create and plan our strategy for future projects.
What common misconceptions about your industry would you like to dispel?
'Solar doesn't work' - that's the biggest one. Considerable change has occurred since we brought the first solar streetlight to the UK in 2011. Even since we started to manufacture the ProLight Mobile Solar Lighting Tower in 2017, solar technology has evolved!
We've proved the sceptics wrong.
Our engineering, research and development expertise has enabled us to tap into competitive industries like construction, hire companies and facilities management. They're going through a solar revolution.
Today, almost every major manufacturer has a solar range. It's great to see. Hopefully, together we can get away from the use of diesel and fossil fuels.