Joe McLaughlin is a life-long resident of Pittsburgh, PA and a graduate of the University of Dayton. He taught high school physics for 30 years, and found that he enjoyed using his teaching and tech skills in new and exciting adventures in his retirement.

“Edison’s Revenge”

Joe spent much of the last 5 years creating curriculum concerned with new DC (direct current) electricity technologies. Some refer to the resurgence of DC power as “Edison’s Revenge“, since he promoted the technology well over 100 years ago. DC’s comeback fits nicely with modern methods of local/sustainable power generation, such as solar panel installations. Read about Joe’s involvement with the Energy Discovery Zone, the Millvale Food+Energy Hub’s Solar DC Microgrid System Education Program, and the DC HEaRT (Humanity, Energy, and Regional Transformation) initiative under the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.


After retiring from the classroom, he sought a worthwhile outlet for his modest skills and abundant enthusiasm. Nonprofit and community agencies and organizations, he finds, have a great need for technical assistance, and Joe enjoyed tutoring and helping agency staff in managing their websites and technologies as well as serving as “Mr. Fixit”. Because of this interest, Joe earned the Educational Technology Integration Specialist Certificate from the Pennsylvania State University (online) World Campus in 2001. He is also an A+ Certified Computer Service Professional.

He also mentored software engineering students enrolled in Technology Consulting in the Community, a service learning course in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. Students in this course develop technical consulting and management skills while collaborating on site with a leader of a local nonprofit or community organization, stressing sustainability in the organization’s use of technology.

Joe was the Robotics Educator for the Carnegie Science Center roboworld, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit. He developed web content and lesson plans for the exhibit, as well as exploring resources in robotics.

Joe served as Lead Ambassador for the now defunct CMU/Pitt Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT). QoLT’s compelling mission was developing technologies that help older adults and people with disabilities to remain independent.  QoLT was a National Science Foundation Center Engineering Research Center and a collaboration of the CMU Robotics Institute and the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Projects and interests like NonProfit Tech and QoLT are his ways of serving the community. He believes that you get more than you give when you volunteer for worthwhile causes.

Joe is also proud to have served for many years as Trail Steward for the Friends of the Riverfront (FOR) North Shore portion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. In 2019 he was designated as FOR’s first Trail Ambassador. Not to mention his reign as “Bicycle Czar” for Shaler Township!

Married to Cheryl for 50+ years, Joe lives in Shaler, and has two adult daughters, Bethany and Megan. His interests are volunteering with Fair Districts PA to eliminate gerrymandering in Pennsylvania, traveling, bicycling, family activities, and wonderful times with his three four five (!) grandchildren.