Steven Lurie Garrett

1993 Laureate, Applied Technology
United States, Born 1949

Project Goal

Develop a refrigerator that uses sound waves not CFCs, the gases that destroy the ozone layer

Location: United States

One of the pioneers in thermoacoustics, physicist Steven Garrett is working to create an efficient, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional ozone-depleting refrigeration systems.

For the past 30 years, American Steven Lurie Garrett, born in 1949, has divided his time between teaching graduate students and conducting advanced scientific research.

Most recently, he has served a year as science advisor to the U.S. State Department, a post he will hold part-time until 2014, while simultaneously resuming his position as a professor of acoustics at Pennsylvania State University.

Sixteen years after winning a Rolex Award, Garrett has not yet achieved his goal of creating a large-scale, commercial, CFC-free thermoacoustic refrigerator, the basis of his project, but he has made many inroads. One success includes a thermoacoustic chiller for Ben & Jerry’s, the environmentally concerned American ice cream company.

Garrett is now developing a large thermoacoustic chiller for supermarkets and will soon begin designing a high-efficiency domestic refrigerator/freezer. His team is also in the early stages of fabricating a thermoacoustic engine that will use waste heat from stoves to generate electricity.

Other 1993 Laureates