We’re Launching a new Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship

The open source hardware community has exploded since the first Open Hardware Summit way back in 2010.  In just over a decade we’ve seen open hardware in space and under the sea, hardware made of electronics and hardware made of yarn.  This growth has been fueled by the open source hardware community clustered in companies, nonprofits, basements, research organizations, and hackerspaces.  

Today, thanks to the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, OSHWA is taking a giant step towards expanding open source hardware in academia with our new Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship program.  The Fellowship is the culmination of the Higher Education program we announced at the 2020 Summit, and builds on the information we learned from the survey of the academic community in 2021. The program recognizes open source hardware community members as they succeed in academia, supporting them as they make it easier to follow their path.

The one year fellowship provides $50,000 or $100,000 grants to individuals who are leading the way as open source hardware expands into academia.  Documentation is key to open source hardware, and these Fellowships will support the development of documentation for how to successfully make open source hardware work across a broad spectrum of academic environments and departments.  

You will find the full RFP below.  The application form is here.  Fellowship applications are due April 7th, and this time are limited to applicants with a demonstrated record of success using or supporting open source hardware in US-based academic settings.  If you have questions, please email alicia@oshwa.org.

Request for Proposals: Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) invites applications to its Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship. The one year Fellowship provides $50k or $100k grants to individuals who are actively leading the development and application of open hardware within universities. The goals of the program are to recognize and connect a peer cohort of these leaders, and to create a library of resources representing best practices in open source hardware in academia. The Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship recognizes academic leaders in open hardware, providing support for those leaders to share how they have done their work, and supports the production of documentation and best practices to make it easier to expand open hardware at academic institutions more broadly. Fellowship applications are due April 7th.

Background and Approach

Open hardware is accelerating the pace of research in academic settings.  Three open hardware Journals have come of age in the past five years.  The Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) is transforming the development of open hardware scientific equipment.  Open hardware’s use in academia has become an area of study in and of itself.   

However, many academic institutions are not yet aware of open hardware techniques and do not actively support their adoption.  The Fellowship program will raise the profile of existing open hardware work within academia, and make it easier for others to take similar paths.

Applications should identify existing efforts to expand the use of open hardware within an academic setting, and outline proposals to grow and document those successes. OSHWA’s definition of success within the context of the Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship focuses on the academic context. While that can include commercial success, more relevant success is tied to professional advancement, awards and other recognition for contributions, or hardware created. We expect to fund meta-level research on hardware, but not the production of hardware directly.

Networks and communities can be helpful when embracing new territory.  Fellows will be part of a cohort, creating a network focused on growing institutional support and expanding the impact of individual projects. The Trailblazers Network is designed to:

  1. Recognize existing leaders
  2. Give those leaders tools to expand their work
  3. Encourage the leaders’ institutions to recognize and value their work
  4. Identify and accelerate the development and dissemination of information about developing open hardware within the context of universities 
  5. Leverage diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice initiatives to broaden the community of open hardware practitioners at universities 
  6. Pair leaders with industry mentors to share knowledge when applicable

What to expect if you’re accepted as a Fellow

The purpose of this funding is to give the Fellows the time needed to document their work with open source hardware in a way that allows others to adopt similar techniques. All Fellows will attend regular virtual meetings with their Fellowship cohort, including two in-person meetings with travel costs paid for by OSHWA. Fellows will be introduced to mentors or collaborators from industry with relevant expertise. The Fellowship will build a beneficial network to share work being done, ask questions, and gain feedback from each other. Each Fellow’s documentation will be a valuable piece of the resource library produced within this Fellowship. 

Example Questions and Outputs

Example questions that could be answered as part of the Fellowship include, but are not restricted to: 

  • What documentation practices help academics share and disseminate their open hardware projects?
  • What makes hardware more replicable in academia and what is missing from current documentation standards?  
  • How do various fields of study approach problems, such as licensing, around open hardware in their departments and what are common threads seen at other academic institutions?
  • What is the business case of open hardware in academia and how has open hardware developed in academia thus far?

Example outputs could include, but are not restricted to: 

  • A guide or playbook for how a specific successful open hardware project was created in academia and lessons learned that can be extrapolated to Fellow academics. 
  • A case study and blown out diagram to describe every piece of meta information that goes into the creation of open source hardware. 
  • A case study of metrics that could be used by departments to determine a person’s contributions to open source hardware and how those might fit into service criteria
  • A how-to guide for talking to tech transfer offices and deans about opening up IP for hardware

Fellowship funding is not intended to fund new technical development of individual hardware projects. Applications that ask for funding hardware development costs will not be funded. Furthermore, Fellowship funding is not intended to fund tools for developing hardware. Proposals for building tools such as documentation platforms will be considered out of scope.

Upon completion of this project, the work from the Fellowship will be compiled into a physical or digital library of resources which may include books, guides, instruction sets, maps, or diagrams. These resources will be disseminated more broadly to help people create and advocate for open hardware at their academic institution. 


We welcome applications from individuals affiliated with all kinds of departments and institutions ranging from Engineering to Arts and Sciences to Business Schools, and from R1s to primarily undergraduate institutions. 

Fellowship applications can cover the costs for multiple people working together as teams, but each application must specify a lead Fellow. For example, we imagine that Fellows might be faculty but that the Fellowship will fund work conducted by students.

Eligibility

Open source hardware’s diversity is one of its strengths.  As such, we encourage applicants to interpret “projects related to open source hardware” broadly and creatively. OSHWA defines open hardware broadly, and invites applications from non-engineering or -science disciplines.  People who are eligible to hold funds at their academic institution are eligible to apply to this Fellowship. We have attempted to make the initial application process relatively brief in order to encourage experimentation.

That being said, applicants should have a demonstrated record of success in the use and/or support of open source hardware in academic settings.  They do not need to be project leads, however, they do have to be in a position of leadership sufficient to develop and implement the proposed project. Since this program is designed to help create examples for others to follow, we also value a demonstrated interest in mentoring or other types of community leadership.  We recognize that opportunities for community leadership are not equally distributed and therefore understand that term broadly.  

By applying, applicants are indicating that they have the time and capacity to implement their proposed program, participate in regular Fellow cohort meetings, and document their work so that it can serve as a guide to others. Applicants are also indicating that they understand that all work created as part of this program will be made publicly available under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license, or a similarly permissive license, and open hardware referenced meets the guidelines set forth in OSHWA’s Open Hardware Definition.

Awards will be disbursed as unrestricted gifts to the academic institution and are not intended for overhead or indirect costs. OSHWA expects the main expenditures will be allocated to personnel.

Apply!

Applicants should use this form to submit their initial applications. OSHWA will then invite finalists to present a more detailed proposal. For questions or additional information, please email alicia@oshwa.org.

OSHWA believes that the open source hardware community is strengthened by its diversity and, as such, encourages people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods, to apply.

Estimated Timeline 

  • Application Deadline: April 7th
  • May 2022: Fellows are selected and awards are announced
  • June 2022: Initial in-person Fellow meeting
  • August 2022: Fellows present on their in-progress research
  • November 2022: In-person Fellow meeting with cohort
  • December 2022: Fellows present on their in-progress research
  • May 2023: Final presentation of research outcomes

FAQ

How long do we have to conduct the research?

The Fellowship is a one year program.

How many grants are being awarded?

Eight in total: Five $100,000 grants and three $50,000 grants.

Who can receive the $50,000 grant vs. the $100,000 grant?

If you meet the requirements sent forth in the Eligibility section of this RFP, you are eligible for either amount. We expect Fellows given $100,000 will have longer or multiple outputs. 

Can I use this for summer salary?

Yes.

I’m a postdoc, can I apply?

Yes, if you are able to receive academic institution funds, or partner with someone who can. 

I’m at a community college, can I apply?

Yes, as long as you are able to hold funds at your community college.

Can I use this to make this [really cool hardware project]?

No, but you can use these funds to document how you were able to make a project open source.

I have an open hardware project that isn’t completed, can I apply?

Yes, but keep in mind that funding is not intended for hardware development. 

I would like to use the Fellowship to manufacture existing hardware, distribute it, and then evaluate how it is used by others in a way that would advance open hardware in academia, is that okay?

Yes, this is acceptable, as long as the primary contribution of your work is the evaluation and advancement of open hardware in academia. 

Can I apply for the funding with a partner at my or another institution?

We encourage you and your partner both to apply for the Fellowship separately, but you can mention that you’re hoping to partner with another institution.

I am based at an institution outside of the United States. Can I apply?

After careful consideration, we have limited the first round of the Trailblazers Fellowship program to US-based institutions.  

This was not a decision we made lightly.  OSHWA is an international organization for the international open source hardware community.  Our goal is to be able to extend this program to members of our community around the world.

However, the Trailblazers Fellowship is also a new program for OSHWA that involves coordinating a number of people and institutions in ways that we have not done before.  We hope that limiting the first round of the program to US-based institutions will make it easier for us to learn and be well positioned to expand the program in the future.

I have another question! Where can I ask it?

Email Alicia Gibb at alicia@oshwa.org with any further questions.

I’m interested in being a mentor instead, how do I do that?

Please view our mentor committee post here. Applications to mentor will be due March 30th.

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to consider this Fellowship. 

Thank you to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the program funding to make the Open Hardware Trailblazers Fellowship possible. 

OSHWA is hiring: Program Coordinator

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is looking for a Program Coordinator to assist with a new program designed to engage open hardware in academia. The new program will give grants to academics to document the process of creating successful open hardware projects in academia. The Program Coordinator will be responsible for assisting in building out the program, managing the day-to-day deadlines of grantees, answering questions, scheduling meetings, and generally facilitating the development of the network. Ideal candidates will have an understanding of academic operations, typical academic outputs, budgets, and open source hardware.  However, candidates do not need to be situated in academia.

OSHWA is a steward to the community of people who create, study, and use open source hardware. Open source hardware is hardware whose intellectual property is open rather than closed, i.e. patented. OSHWA is a US based 501(c)3 non-profit. OSHWA aims to foster technological knowledge and encourage research that is accessible, collaborative and respects user freedom. 

OSHWA believes that the open source hardware community is strengthened by its diversity and, as such, encourages people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods, to apply for this position. 

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate project management activities, resources, equipment, and information
  • Help grantees break projects into doable actions and set timeframes 
  • Make sure needs of grantees and industry partners are met as projects evolve
  • Monitor project progress and handle any issues that arise
  • Act as the point of contact and communicate project status to all participants
  • Familiarity with hardware
  • Manage all appropriate legal paperwork (e.g. contracts and terms of agreement)
  • Track and maintain comprehensive project documentation, plans, and reports
  • Assist with schedule and travel management
  • Use tools to monitor working hours, plans, and expenditures

Required Qualifications:

  • BA in business management, or work experience as a Program Coordinator or similar role
  • Good communication skills
  • Interpersonal and listening skills
  • Ability to think broadly about the project, but be able to scope objectives and define requirements
  • Can guide our grantees to successful completion of their projects
  • Eligible to work on a contract basis with a US-based nonprofit organization

Nice to have Qualifications:

  • Well organized
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Problem solver
  • Understanding of Academic Budgets/Grants
  • Works autonomously

Application Process:

  • To apply, please fill out this form and send your CV with the subject line “Program Coordinator CV” to alicia@oshwa.org.  OSHWA will be receiving applications through Jan 28th, 2022.  We expect to conduct initial interviews by Feb 11th and final interviews by Feb 22nd.  A hiring committee of OSHWA board members and OSHWA’s Executive Director will conduct all interviews. We aim to fill this position by March 1st. Any questions can be directed at alicia@oshwa.org.

Other Information:

  • This can be a fully remote position.  Preference will be given to applicants working in or adjacent to US time zones.
  • The program coordinator will report directly to the Executive Director.
  • The application deadline is Jan 28th, 2022.  We expect to conduct initial interviews by Feb 11th and final interviews by Feb 22nd.  The ideal start date for the candidate is March 1st. 

Compensation:

This is a contract-based part-time position.  Candidates should expect to commit 20 hours per week for a period of one calendar year.  Expected start date is March 1st, 2022 and the contract would end March of 2023. Compensation is $40,000 for that period.

OSHWA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. OSHWA is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its hiring and promotion process without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth (or related medical condition), sexual orientation, partnership status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital, parental or familial status, caregiver status, national origin, ethnicity, alienage or citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

If you require an alternative method of submission, such as a video, contact alicia@oshwa.org.

New SPI Terminology

Today we are releasing a new resolution to replace the problematic Master/Slave SPI terminology. We are recommending using the terms PICO (Peripheral In, Controller Out) and POCI (Peripheral Out, Controller In). You can view our original blog post on reasoning to move away from the Master/Slave terminology here. This change is the result of research done by OSHWA and guided by industry leaders and stakeholders to change the resolution to use PICO/POCI going forward.  You can read the new resolution here.

This is an important update to replace an earlier resolution with terms C*PO and COPI as a move away from MOSI/MISO.  After publishing the resolution containing C*PO and COPI, it was brought to OSHWA’s attention that one of those acronyms is an offensive term in Polish. Our initial review of the options did not identify this problem.  Therefore, we are moving to update the terms to PICO and POCI.  We conducted a broader language review and included more industry leaders and community stakeholders when considering PICO/POCI.

What we did and how we did it:

After being alerted to problems with MOSI/MISO, the OSHWA board consulted with various stakeholders and industry leaders.  Those discussions made it clear that we needed to choose a better term. We took six months to gather advice from industry leaders, community members, and other stakeholders and another six months to investigate the terms PICO and POCI. This included:

  • Checking the terms separately and together
  • Testing the terms in the word safety database, which checks 19 languages with phonetic matching
  • Testing the terms in Google Translate, which provides AI-assisted translations in 108 languages that cover 3.8 billion speakers 
  • Testing potential concerns in Bengali, Bulgarian, Chilean Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, and Portuguese with native speakers or translators, all of whom confirmed there were no problematic concerns.

While these efforts can never be complete, we believe they have been sufficiently vigorous to give us confidence that PICO and POCI are viable for the future. 

Once the review was complete, the OSHWA board took all the research into consideration and determined PICO/POCI was the recommended path forward.  OSHWA drafted the resolution and circulated it to the initial endorsees for endorsement.  

We invite you to review and endorse the resolution. To endorse the new SPI Resolution, please email info@oshwa.org with “I endorse the Resolution to Redefine SPI Signal Names”

OSHWA 2021 Year End Letter

Thank you to each and every one of you for making the decision to be transparent, share your designs, and be a part of the open hardware ecosystem. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to open source hardware. 

At OSHWA, we remain invested in our principles: organizing events; educating the public about open source hardware and its socially beneficial uses; organizing the movement around shared values and principles; collecting, compiling and publishing data on the Open Source Hardware movement; and providing a way for creators to indicate that their products meet a standard for open-source compliance.

If you would like to support these initiatives and vote on who is on the OSHWA board, please consider getting an OSHWA membership. We have a wide range of membership levels, including a new lifetime membership tier: buy once and you’ll never have to renew your membership again. Membership not for you? That’s ok! We also welcome, and greatly appreciate, donations and Open Hardware Summit sponsorships

As always, we welcome feedback and would love to hear your thoughts on OSHWA and what you would like us to focus on during the next year. If you are interested in reaching out to us, please email us at info@oshwa.org

OSHWA

2021-2023 OSHWA Board Nominees

Become an OSHWA member today to vote on nominees!

This year, we have 4 open seats on the OSHWA board. Board members will hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. As every nominee answered “Yes” to having 5-10 hours a month to give to the board, we did not include that question in each nominee’s data. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carrying out compliance of the organization’s purposes and bylaws.

The vote will be open on Oct. 19th-25th. Members will be emailed a link to vote. Here are the nominees in no particular order:

Wendy Ju

Why do you want to be on the board?

I am interested in the role that OSHW can play in creative entrepreneurship. I would love to serve the OSHW community by developing more curriculum and tutorials to help people produce, populate and test inexpensive quick-turn PCBs so that people with cool HW ideas might be able to make a living making and selling interactive devices to others.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I am an Associate Professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City. I teach a graduate course in Developing and Designing Interactive Devices. My research focuses on designing interaction with automated systems; I frequently use interactive technologies to prototype the future. I have developed and shared curriculum to teach Arduino and Raspberry Pi in the context of making interactive musical instruments, far-out Mp3 players, and robots of many flavors.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I recognize that there are numerous aspects of engineering, computer science, and STEM fields in general which need to be made over to give more people from different racial, geographical, and socio-economic backgrounds access to the tools of production. I deeply believe that greater inclusion will greatly benefit the field and our practices, and am committed to break down barriers and address inequity.


Pamela L. Jennings

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been involved in several research activities and community forums for open source hardware including the early OSH Workshop at the Banff Centre (2008/2009); the Sketching-in-Hardware consortium; and my own research in IoT hardware design for EdTech. I’ve always been interested in and have taught physical computing/sketching-in-hardware/hardware hacking/ Making as platforms for learning. I am also interested in the commercialization of hardware dependent products.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Throughout most of my career I have been an academic straddling the worlds of the arts, design, and technology. I served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation CISE IIS CreativeIT and HCC programs. I’ve been involved in several projects at the National Academies of Sciences about creativity, STEM, and integrative learning in higher education. And I recently received an NSF SBIR Phase 1 grant for my company, CONSTRUKTS, Inc. (https://www.CONSTRUKTS.com)

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

Please view Pamela’s statement here: https://www.pamelajennings.org/speaking.html


Thea Flowers

Why do you want to be on the board?

To expand the open source hardware movement into new focus areas, especially music technology and small scale manufacturing. To empower open source developers with resources to create, use, and build from open source software and hardware.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have long been an open source software advocate and I started an open source hardware music technology company last year. During my career, I have contributed significantly to multiple high-profile open source projects and to the Python community (for which I’ve been honored as a Python Software Foundation fellow). I bring a decade of experience in open source software, community organization, and developer experience.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I believe that open source – software and hardware – is for everyone. Knowledge and technology are capable of being incredibly empowering when used with careful intent. Each of us has a moral and ethical obligation to humanity to build a community and industry that is beneficial to us all – especially those that have historically been discriminated against.


Nadya Peek

Why do you want to be on the board?

I believe technology to be a democratic tool. To enable this, I believe in creating reusable, modular, extensible, interoperable, and accessible technologies. Specifically, I believe in creating infrastructural technologies that can serve any (unintended) application. I believe Open Source Hardware can (and already does) fulfill infrastructural needs—e.g., boards like Arduinos or Duet3Ds. However, unlike open source software, replicating hardware always has a cost—the cost of parts and manufacture. I’m interested in how to support *distributed* making. I’m especially interested in distributing production of of complex electromechanical devices such as digital fabrication machines or bioreactors. On the board I’d provide digital fabrication expertise and work on topics like quality control and documentation. The supply chain failures in the COVID-19 pandemic have especially highlighted what open source hardware design together with distributed production might enable. I would like to serve on the board of the Open Hardware Association as I believe it to be an organization uniquely focused on developing, discussing, and disseminating open standards for technology design and production.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been actively developing open source hardware for almost two decades! I develop open-source hardware machines and controllers in my group Machine Agency at the University of Washington. Some of our projects include the Cardboard Machine Kit, Jubilee3D, and p5.fab. I’m an engineering prof and teach digital fabrication and physical computing. My group shares their research widely—besides academic publications and conferences we also can generally be found at things like Hackaday Supercon, Crowdsupply Teardown, RRFs, and CCC. I got my PhD at MIT in the Center for Bits and Atoms, where I helped set up many fab labs and makerspaces. I have been on the board of OSHWA many times before and have a lot of experience helping organize the summit, including pivoting the summit to remote when a virus becomes a global threat. I think I am qualified to be on the board because of my technical expertise and my experience with community organizing, fundraising, and promoting OSHW.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

A major goal of mine is broadening the participation of women, racially underrepresented people, and people from disadvantaged socioeconomic statuses in engineering and particularly Open Source Hardware. As a woman engineer of mixed race and ethnicity, this matter is of both professional and personal importance to me. To achieve this, I dedicate time to organizing events to address structural racism at my workplace, to mentoring groups who have historically been excluded from engineering, and by participating in policy making efforts that can further goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I use my position of privilege and power as a professor at a public US university to stand up for those in more precarious positions. I value and support the past inclusion efforts of OSHWA, e.g., the Ada Lovelace fellowship, and would work to further them were I to be elected to the board.


Mirela Alistar

Why do you want to be on the board?

Being able to contribute to OSHWA has been a dream of mine since years. Back then, I was a PhD student in Embedded Systems at DTU (Denmark) and a very strong advocate of releasing our research open-source (to the extent that at conferences I was pointed at and referenced as the “open-source girl”). The minute I learnt about the DIY local community, I got involved as a chair for Biologigaragen (DIYBio in Denmark) and later even co-founded a community wetlab in Berlin (>top). In this context, I worked with other DIYBio researchers and we together developed open-source hardware for biotech experiments. Year later, I am now an Assistant Professor in soft materials at CU Boulder, and have the confidence and maturity to feel that I can really contribute to OSHWA.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

This part is extremely hard to write, so I will present a few facts and hope the qualifications will stem out of them. As mentioned, I have been pro-actively involved in the DIYBio community in Europe. Specifically, I was providing content (designing and making hardware to biotech experiments), education (I organized >30 workshops around the world in public spaces such as museums or techno festivals), and leadership (I was the chairwoman for DIYBio in Denmark and co-founder of a DIYBio space in Berlin, as well as present to most European DIYBio summits). In the DIYBio context, there has been a lot of open-source hardware development stemming for a diverse collaboration: our communities were welcoming artists, designers, engineers, cooks, filmmakers, etc. I understand very well the synergies when interweaving diversity, the passion to make, and the struggle to release open-source in a capitalistic world. One of the devices that I contributed to, OpenDrop, has been published in an academic venue, released open-source on github, and has now over hundreds of replicas around the world. Prestigious labs, such as from MIT and UW, forked the device to create a new biochip for DNA computing and liquid display. Needless to say, I understand the importance of releasing hardware open-source, and the significance of showing people on how to make it, and educating them on how to use it.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

As an international woman, and of color, I have experienced a lot of discrimination, and injustice. It made me stronger but also gave me a strong voice and determination to make sure that diversity and inclusion are norms. In my position right now, I encourage female students and underrepresented minorities to engage in research. My lab has 4 female PhD students, and the only 2 male PhD students are LatinX and Black. I have kept an eye open to encourage young female students, and so far I have mentored 7 female undergraduates that went on to pursue an academic career. I am pro-actively involved in hackathons, public workshops (at the library, museums), reaching out to marginalized communities (e.g., the blind), and even worked hard to get some funding from Google to support some of this work. I am not only making these efforts myself, I am making it compulsory for any of the students working with me to engage in outreach. The hope is to propagate these actions, such that they become inherent and a habit in the future.


Shaun Savage

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been working with Open Source since 1992, Linux v0.97. I want to support Open Source. The next challenge is OS hardware. I even had my own TV cable access show TVLinux that I produced for 5 years.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have graduate degree in EE and a patent in silicon design.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I am a disabled veteran.


Taylor Hokanson

Why do you want to be on the board?

While I think open hardware makes great business sense, I am also interested in the way that the open source philosophy increases access and equity for individuals and organizations that do not have a for-profit model. By supporting cross-pollination and creativity for its own sake, we significantly increase the chances that the Next Big Thing gets made, and made in a way where we can all benefit. I would like to serve on the board to represent this perspective.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I am an Associate Professor with fifteen years of experience teaching art and technology at the college level, and have deep experience organizing large groups of passionate people around creative/progressive initiatives. I participated in the first Open Hardware Summit, where I spoke about the open source DIY CNC machine plans that my design collaborative released in 2008. My creative practice includes a sledgehammer-operated typing keyboard and a monumental, cast-iron sculpture that you can set on fire via Twitch chat commands. I am heavily invested in the open source community, and want to do my part to help push the movement forward.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

While representation is crucial as a first step towards DEI+J, fundamental transformation of underlying power structures is needed to advance any cause in an equitable fashion. This semester, for example, I am teaching a studio class about speculative sex/gender in collaboration with Kay Dartt, a Trans artist and academic from West Virginia. Together we are building curriculum that examines Queer Theory and Xenofeminism through the process of art making. We plan to organize the products of this class into a traveling show, and will also labor to ensconce our course in the permanent curricular rotation at our respective schools. Both of these goals are intended to embed progressive material and ideas within two sometimes conservative power structures: the art gallery and academia. Similarly, were I to join OSHWA in a leadership role, I would investigate fundamental organizational impediments to the participation of disenfranchised groups, then labor to remove those obstacles at the board level.


Daniel Wessolek

Why do you want to be on the board?

Would like to further open hardware in Europe and think it would be great to act as a bridge of sorts. I enjoy promoting open hardware and FLOSS tools, as having low-barrier reproduction and remixing possibilities through open tools, also in connection with maker space technologies, seems a good way to encourage people to create their own solutions. Also, working towards EU requirements in favor of open hardware and right to repair legislation could make open hardware more mainstream. There are some great people on the board and I would like to join efforts.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Currently we are preparing a Prototype Fund Hardware at the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany. I am also active in the EU project OPENNEXT, where we are working with SMEs to develop more OSHW. I have spent time in academia and enjoy going to open hardware related gatherings, also I do not mind getting on a stage to share. I have created a first open hardware toy sequencer in 2007, and continue developing open hardware with others. Also, I have a PhD in Design and spent quite some years abroad. I like the intersection of art and tech.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

FLOSS and OSHW should be part of any university education. Education and tools should be freely available to anyone curious to engage in this area. Co-design processes with people from various backgrounds and interests are the most fruitful and fun. Learned a lot from working with Deaf people, particularly from a colleague who is an interface designer engaged in promoting Deaf culture and building bridges to hearing people and vice versa. I helped create different Careables in a format called Open Health HACKademy. Nonetheless, as a middle-aged white dude with an academic middle-class family background, I am also happy letting others go first – or to collaborate.


Charles Steinkuehler

Why do you want to be on the board?

I am excited by the opportunity to advance the adoption of open source principles for hardware projects and platforms. I have benefited from using and contributing to many open source projects over the years and feel this would be a great way for me to give back and to help grow the community.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been designing electronics hardware for 35 years and working with open source projects as both a user and contributor for 20+ years. I am familiar with virtually all aspects of electronics design including analog, digital, and mixed signal designs, microcontrollers, FPGAs, firmware, and “gateware” or RTL coding. I have excellent communications and problem solving skills and experience in both traditional management and coordinating volunteer teams.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I affirm the inherent dignity of every human being and the need to create a society where all can prosper and become one’s best self. I commit to holding myself accountable and taking concrete steps to create an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and equitable.


Katherine Scott

Why do you want to be on the board?

I have been on the board twice and a member of the OSHWA community since its inception. I am generally one of the more active board members and I would like to continue my work on the board.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have been on the board previously and have worked with the OSHWA community since at least 2010. I am also presently employed at Open Robotics; an organization that builds open-source software and hardware for robotics. Prior to working at Open Robotics I co-founded an electronics manufacturing company, worked on multiple open-source projects, and have degrees in electrical and computer engineering.

What is your personal DEI+J (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) statement?

I have been working as a straight white woman in engineering for over fifteen years; it wasn’t always easy, and it still isn’t. Now that I have achieved a modicum of success, I feel that my role is to offer assistance to, and elevate the voices of, traditionally marginalized individuals who wish to enter the field. Personally, that takes the form of regular volunteer and outreach work I do outside of OSHWA, along with various activities I have performed in the workplace.

With respect to OSHWA, open-source hardware and software offer a unique opportunity for marginalized identities to engage with technology without the gate-keeping that is often found in academia and industry. As a board, I see our role as having four parts with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

First, OSHWA should fully commit to creating spaces where traditionally marginalized individuals feel welcomed, respected, and able to fully express themselves without fear of reprisal.

Second, with respect to technology and policy, OSHWA should actively work to remove or replace historical technology and policies that harmed marginalized communities.

Third, OSHWA should work with marginalized communities to evaluate new open-source technology and policies to avoid continued or future marginalization or oppression.

Forth, OSHWA should actively recruit and support, financially where possible, the inclusion of traditionally marginalized individuals in the open-source hardware community.


Please find details of our election process here.

Guidelines for sharing FPGA designs published

OSHWA is concerned with all types of hardware designs. This includes designs which target Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), typically expressed using Hardware Description Languages (HDLs) like VHDL, Verilog and SystemVerilog.

While finding a place on the Web to host your HDL code is straight-forward, reusability of these designs has in some cases suffered from a number of issues. These include absence of ancillary files, lack of high-quality testbenches and documentation, awkward licensing choices and publishing of all-rights-reserved code automatically generated by the tools provided by FPGA vendors.

OSHWA has teamed up with the FOSSi Foundation to provide a set of guidelines to help designers share HDL code efficiently. For those of you who are starting with FPGA design, the document provides an introduction and a short section on nomenclature before moving on to the best practices proper. These guidelines may become the basis for an HDL certification program in the future. For the time being, we hope they are useful to all FPGA designers and we invite you to post questions and comments in the forums to help us make them better.

New Resources at OSHWA

OSHWA is excited to announce two new documents in our Resources file: The Evolving Aspects of a Welcoming Community and How to Write a Code of Conduct.

These documents were produced as the summation of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice research done this summer by LeeLee James and Alicia Gibb on behalf of the Open Source Hardware Association and various entities at CU Boulder. The two documents are The Evolving Aspects of a Welcoming Community, and as requested by some of the labs on the CU campus, How to Write a Code of Conduct. These documents are cross posted at the Blow Things Up Lab where the research took place.

As OSHWA works with many communities as well as having it’s own, we hope these tools are useful in creating welcoming environments.