Jaime Gagne, David Quinn, Sam Shames, and David Warsinger

Innovation in the Built Environment: A Panel on MIT-Inspired Startups

Technology startups are well known for disrupting and re-imagining the way we shop, share photos, and hail cabs, but what about the built environment?  This panel features four speakers, all MIT alumni, from recent startup ventures that address key issues in building technology in new ways, from an innovative wearable device that adjusts thermal comfort to a community-driven web platform for urban planning discourse.  Moderated by Professor Les Norford, the discussion with include insights from the panelists on both the details of their technological innovations and their experiences in founding and joining startup companies.

Jaime Gagne, David Quinn, Sam Shames, and David Warsinger

Jaime Gagne is the Principal Building Scientist at KGS Buildings, where her main responsibility is to manage and develop KGS's library of fault detection diagnostics for HVAC systems.  She has also held other roles at KGS, such as team leader of the building analytics deployment team and lead researcher for an ASHRAE funded research project.  Previously, Jaime was involved with the UPenn Sustainability Plan Project, where she oversaw a building energy use assessment of over 140 campus buildings.  Jaime holds a PhD in Building Technology from MIT, an MArch and an MS in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Engineering Sciences from Harvard.  Her doctoral research focused on the development of an interactive expert system for performance-driven architectural design as well as the design and assessment of a corresponding user interface.

Sam Shames is the a co-founder of embr labs, where is the Head of Product. Sam graduated from MIT in 2014 with a bachelors degree in Materials Science and Engineering and a minor in Energy Studies. He has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30, Outstanding Senior in Materials Science, and a Hertz Foundation Finalist. Sam is also an assistant wrestling coach at MIT, where he was a 4x NCWA All-American and National Champion.

David Quinn graduated with a PhD (2012) and MS (2008) from the Building Technology Department at MIT. At MIT he worked with Professor John Fernandez on the topic of urban metabolism, focusing on neighborhood scale analysis. David is a co-founder of coUrbanize, a startup that helps cities and real-estate developers communicate with residents.

David Warsinger is co-founder of Coolify, a national-award winning startup providing cold storage to the developing world. David is a scientist, teacher, inventor, and entrepreneur. David is currently a PostDoc in Professor Lienhard's research group at MIT, where he does research in efficiency and membrane fouling of the desalination technology membrane distillation. He completed his graduate studies at MIT and Cornell.

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