Saul Griffith

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Saul Griffith
Saul Griffith (2310546290) (cropped).jpg
Griffith in 2008
Born1974 (age 46–47)
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales (B.MET.E)
University of Sydney (M.E.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.)
Known forEnergy conservation, Howtoons
AwardsMacArthur Fellowship (2007)
Scientific career
FieldsMaterial science

Saul Griffith (born 1974) is an Australian American inventor. He is the founder or co-founder of multiple companies, including Otherlab (where he is currently CEO), Makani Power, and Instructables.


In 2000, Griffith graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Engineering degree.[1] He won a scholarship to MIT Media Lab to study towards a PhD that he completed in 2004. The subject of his PhD thesis was "self-replicating machines". They were one of the first instances of artificial replication being demonstrated using real physics.[2]


Saul is the co-founder and CEO of OtherLab, a research and development company working on computational manufacturing and design tools[3] and applying those tools to projects such as inflatable pneumatic robots and prostheses,[4] novel approaches to heliostat design,[5] and applications of computational origami to the design of pressure vessels (e.g. for compressed natural gas) in arbitrary shapes.[6] Otherlab's R&D is guided by a vast map of energy flows in the US economy,[7] which they use to identify key leverage points in building a more sustainable energy economy.

Griffith has leveraged this energy flow mapping for Rewiring America. Released in July 2020, Griffith provides a robust analysis of how—using technologies—the United States can create 30 million jobs, save consumers money, boost energy resiliency, and accelerate achievement of a net zero economy.[8][9]

Previously, he was a co-founder of Squid Labs, and its spinout companies and projects Makani Power, Instructables, Wattzon, HowToons, OptiOpia, Potenco and Monkeylectric.[10]

Saul Griffith giving a talk at Poptech 2008


Griffith now lives in San Francisco.[11] He is married to Tim O'Reilly's daughter Arwen.[12]


  1. ^ "Meet the class of 2007: Saul Griffith". MacArthur Fellows Program. MacArthur Foundation. 28 January 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ Griffith, Saul (September 2004). Growing Machines (Thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Projects".
  4. ^ "Solve for X: Saul Griffith on inflatable robots".
  5. ^ "Novel, Disruptive Approaches to Heliostat Design".
  6. ^ "Conformable Tank".
  7. ^ Peters, Adele (August 9, 2016). "This Very, Very Detailed Chart Shows How All The Energy In The U.S. Is Used". Fast Company. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Rewiring America".
  9. ^ Roberts, David (August 6, 2020). "How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly: The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035". Vox.
  10. ^ Holthouse, David (December 6, 2007). "How $500,000 can save the world". Fortune Small Business. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  11. ^ "September 15, 2010". The Colbert Report. September 15, 2010. Comedy Central.
  12. ^ Owen, David (May 17, 2010). "The Inventor's Dilemma". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 14, 2018.

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