October 2017—Vic Zaderej is the CTO and lead designer of lighting for Happy Leaf LLC.
Vic completed his undergraduate mechanical engineering degree from MIT in 1981, and received his S.M. in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1982. His first position after graduation was lead engineer on the IBM PS/2 Model 50 computer. He has also worked for a General Electric joint venture specializing in the manufacture of products with circuit patterns on three-dimensional surfaces called Molded Interconnnect Devices. He started a company called 3Di with a partner in 1999. The company was sold to Molex Inc. in 2005.
Vic holds 60 patents, several of which are related to solid state lighting. He continues to be the Lead Technologist for a new Molex division specializing in the design and manufacture of Solid State Lighting (SSL) products. Vic’s passion for energy efficiency has also been directed into energy-efficient building design. He mentored the lead architect for the University of Illinois Solar Decathlon project in Peking, China in 2013, and has designed several green building projects, including his own home, Pura Vida, in Oregon, Illinois.
In 2015, Vic presented a TEdx talk at Bentley University on “Empowerment Through Light,” that can be seen on Youtube. This talk was sponsored by Molex, Inc., and brings attention to the work done by Watts of Love, which is a non-profit that brings light to impoverished locations throughout the world. Vic has designed some of the lights that Watts of Love delivers to people who need them most.
Vic and his wife Polly McGann, started Happy Leaf in 2015 because they saw a strong opportunity for a business to develop state-of-the-art horticultural lighting for consumers and businesses.