MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2007

Saul Griffith

Inventor

Squid Labs

Alameda, CA

Age: 33

Published January 28, 2007
Image of Saul Griffith

Saul Griffith is an inventor whose innovations span industrial design, technology, and science education. Through a variety of endeavors at MIT and as a principal in Squid Labs, Griffith demonstrates his boundless energy for inventing across diverse disciplines in the global public interest. While still a graduate student at MIT, he designed a unique membrane-based molding system that can produce a variety of common lenses from a single pair of flexible molding surfaces. This prototype has the potential to change the economics of corrective lenses in rural and underserved communities around the world and continues to be a major focus of research and development energy at Squid Labs. At MIT, Griffith co-founded Thinkcycle.org, a web community that has produced socially conscious engineering solutions, such as novel household water-treatment systems. Thinkcycle.org is the forerunner of Instructables.com, a remarkable do-it-yourself website driven by user contributions. He is also a creative force behind HowToons, an animated educational resource designed to engage children in hands-on science and engineering projects. Through the spin-off company Potenco, Griffith initiated the project design for a hand-held human-powered generator, which has the potential significantly to improve access to electronic devices such as laptops and water purifiers throughout the world. Though still quite young, he holds several patents in optics, textiles, and nanotechnology. In these engineering ventures as well as others yet to be imagined, Griffith is a prodigy of invention in service of the world community.

Saul Griffith received a B.MET.E. (1997) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, an M.E. (2000) from the University of Sydney, and an M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a co-founding partner of Squid Labs and serves as a technical advisor at Potenco in Alameda, California.

Photos

Hi-res photos for download. Photos licensed under a Creative Commons license. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on the links below to save the file to your computer.

Saul Griffith In the Media

"Inexpensive CNC Machines Turn Students Into Manufacturers" thumbnail

"Inexpensive CNC Machines Turn Students Into Manufacturers"

From NPR
Saul Griffith, MacArthur Fellow, 2007 Read More
Video: "The Apollo Project for Our Generation" thumbnail

Video: "The Apollo Project for Our Generation"

From CNN
Saul Griffith, MacArthur Fellow, 2007
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Video: "Wouldn't It Be Cool If . . ." thumbnail

Video: "Wouldn't It Be Cool If . . ."

From CNN
Saul Griffith, MacArthur Fellow, 2007
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"What's The Big Idea? Pentagon Agency Backs Student Tinkerers To Find Out" thumbnail

"What's The Big Idea? Pentagon Agency Backs Student Tinkerers To Find Out"

From NPR
Saul Griffith, MacArthur Fellow, 2007
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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he John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2007. The new Fellows work across a broad spectrum of endeavors. Read More