Student Spotlight: Meet Megan

Megan (right) posing with a friend in their dirndls, a traditional German Bavarian dress.

Megan by the water with her dogs, one of her favorite pastimes.

Give us a little background about yourself.

A: I am a 2nd year M.Arch II student focusing on Sustainable Design at UT in Austin. I am a Florida native and have my B.Arch from the University of Miami. Aside from the architecture life, I love being outside and doing anything water related. I have two dogs, Nala and Storm, who go fishing and canoeing with me.

why did you join Solar Decathlon?

A: I joined the Solar Decathlon team because of the once in a lifetime opportunity to design and build a sustainable house like the Nexushaus. The ‘Energy-Water Nexus’ theme is so important not just to Austin but future homes throughout the world. Being part of this project also provides a great opportunity to learn more about the construction do’s and do not’s.

what is your role in the UT-TUM team?

A: I am the Construction Manager and do transportation logistics, so I have been involved in many aspects of the project. In general, I am helping make sure the team is on track as far as construction and logistics go.

what have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?

A: Definitely going to Munich in the fall of last year with Dr. Liedl. Working with the Munich team and learning new construction methods was a great opportunity, not to mention being in Europe. Aside from that I love the hands on work that I have taken part in during the the construction of the Nexushaus.

what are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

A: I am looking forward to completing the Nexushaus, competing in the Solar Decathlon and graduating. It will be great to see the all the time and effort the team has put in this project come to be.

what do you think the impacts of Solar Decathlon (or hope) are on the industry/architecture/the general public?

A: I think the Solar Decathlon has the opportunity to really push forward the residential designs towards a more sustainable, technologically advanced, and affordable designs. The open source nature of the competition allows for the industry and general public to have access to design ideas that can benefit them. The number one most important thing I hope Solar Decathlon achieves is to change the general public’s view of sustainability. None of the industry’s sustainable efforts will matter if the people don’t accept it.

how did you like living in Munich?

A: Living in Munich was an incredible opportunity. It is a beautiful city with great history, culture, architecture, and outdoor spaces. It was great to do a semester at the Technische Universität München. See the different methods of teaching and different architecture schools. Being in Munich provided many opportunities to get on a train and travel to other countries and fill up the sketch books. Even after being there for six months, I still feel like there was so much I did not do. I cannot wait to go back! Austin is a great city, but it was hard to leave Munich and all the wonderful things there.

how do you like living in Austin?

A: I love living in Austin. There is so much to do and the people are friendly and laid-back, not to mention dog friendly, which make it a wonderful city. The weather has been incredible since I have been here and I love going to the parks and cafes. There are many great spots to eat and catch some great local shows.

where do you see yourself in five years?

A: Sitting on the porch with a sketch book in hand and dogs running around. Okay aside from that, I want to work in a design/build firm or starting up one that focuses on sustainable and regionally appropriate designs. It is hard to say exactly what I will be doing, but definitely something in the area of architecture and sustainability.

What is your favorite city that you have been to (thus far)?

A: I loved the being in Cambodia and Laos. There is something magical about the temples of Angkor Wat. The natural beauty of the country, the people, the architecture designed by and not designed by architects.

Where do you want to visit most?

A: Anywhere! I would love to travel more around South America. I am not sure where I want to visit the most, any travel opportunity is great.

Jul 30, 2015 by in NexusNews

Comments (2 Responses)

  1. Pamela Kaiser says:


    Being a construction manager for the Solar Decathlon is an awesome experience. It takes a special type of person to get the group headed in the right direction. It sounds like you are gaining tons of knowledge that will help you with decisions in your future career. Keep your eyes focused on Irvine, California in October! GO HORNS!

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