Forrest Meggers

04/05/24, 12:00PM

  • Friday, April 05, 2024

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The Lecture Series is supported by the USC Thomas J. Barrack and Gin D. Wong, FAIA Annual Lectures Fund.

Forrest Meggers is an associate professor at Princeton University jointly appointed in the School of Architecture and in the engineering school at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He founded and directs the PhD track in computation and energy at the SoA, and he founded and directs the CHAOS (Cooling and Heating for Architecturally Optimized Systems or And Other Stuff) Lab, where he and his research team investigate alternative thermal paradigms to challenge the status quo in system design for the built environment. 

Meggers’ fields of knowledge include building systems design and integration, radiant systems, desiccants, exergy analysis; geothermal energy; seasonal energy storage; building materials; thermodynamics and heat transfer; and heat pumps. His most recent projects include the ColdTube, which demonstrated the world’s first outdoor radiant cooling pavilion in Singapore, making Singapore feel “cold” outside for arguably the first time in the existence of the island. This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, and was covered by the Washington Post and Popular Mechanics. The CHAOS team has also built prototypes for radiant reflectors in the Thermoheliodome and the Thermally Alive Space, and for evaporative cooling and desiccant dehumidification systems with the Hydroculus and the Dry Screen. This has produced dozens of peer reviewed papers and several book chapters. 

Meggers’ interdisciplinary work has also created connections with historian colleagues, as he has been on the board of the Columbia Buell Center. These collaborations resulted in a new critique of concrete in architecture that produced two conferences and will be part of an upcoming book. 

But most of all, Meggers has never stopped trying to bring research into action. He has several patents and founded Aquaseek.tech and CHAOSense.com to bring sorption and sensor technology to market while working closely with industry and standards organizations to accelerate critical opportunities for innovation adoption. His self-built and designed complete energy and architectural overhaul of his house in Princeton was featured on the Princeton.edu homepage and as part of community green homes tours. 

Above everything else, Forrest prides himself as a bicycle mechanic growing up on a small farm in Iowa, an origin that laid the groundwork for a never-ending career of trying to fix broken things.