Sitting atop a shelf in Jode Himann’s office is a shrunken head he got while visiting the Shuar people, an indigenous Amazon warrior tribe who shrink the heads of their slain enemies. Himann travelled to the jungles of Ecuador in 2006 to voluntarily install solar LED lighting systems. “I don’t really know if it’s real or not. I’m kind of hoping it’s not,” says Himann.
It’s odd that the CEO of Nemalux Inc. doesn’t know that fact. That’s because he’s a BIG thinker; he impulsively tries to figure out life’s BIG questions: What is time? What is life? What is reflection? And since starting up his now multi-milliondollar company on a $15,000 loan in 2003, Himann, through his passion for physics, biology and math, creates brighter energy-efficient LED lighting systems. “It’s leading-edge technology that we sell all over the world,” says Himann, rattling off clients: NASA, John Hopkins University and several oil and gas companies. A self-described introvert, Himann prefers not to leave “the shop,” where he and colleagues toil on computers and conduct experiments with electromagnetic radiation – a fancy term for light.
In the back of the shop, which looks more like a car garage except for boxes of electrical wires and light casings, Himann proudly shows an ongoing experiment: several radish plants under grow lights. LEDs, he points out, can grow a plant four times as quickly as conventional grow lamps. “I truly value the planet,” Himann says of his passion to preserve the environment.
True to his word, Himann often rides his bicycle to work, 20 kilometres round-trip. He also enjoys the mountains: hiking, rock climbing, biking and camping. You can bet that while he’s romping through the Rockies, he’s contemplating just how those mountains were formed.
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