Black and white photo of Fried Augenbroe

Professor Godfried Augenbroe

(1948-2021)

Professor Godfried “Fried” Augenbroe passed away on Friday, May 14, 2021. Augenbroe founded and directed the High Performance Building Lab, which researches and invents state-of-the-art, sustainable building technology. Augenbroe advised Ph.D. candidates in the high performance building specialization and Master of Science in Architecture students.

"Professor Fried Augenbroe was an international leader in building energy modeling," said College of Design Dean Steve French. "Fried developed more robust building energy models by relying on the underlying physics. He was a dedicated mentor for many Ph.D. and M.S. students who are now leaders in creating more energy efficient buildings."

Remembering a Pioneer for Building Simulation Research

“Fried created the building technology strand in the interdisciplinary doctoral program of the then College of Architecture,” said Professor John Peponis. “He advanced building performance modeling on three fronts: the robust, easy to use models that inform the earlier stages of design; the sophisticated models required in design development and performance prediction and evaluation; the integration of building performance models with intelligent building systems.”

“As his colleague, I could always count on him to enter and to support interdisciplinary dialogue with both curiosity and respect for the intellectual foundations of other strands of architectural research. His students appreciated the broader intellectual foundations of building design. As his friend I marveled at his cutting sense of humor, which respected no authority. His intellectual legacy will of course resonate in the discipline for a long time. Occupants of the corridor he once nicknamed the ‘cemetery of intellectuals’ will remember the pragmatic sense of humanism that underpinned all conversation.”

Augenbroe served on the scientific boards of five international journals and published three books and over 200 refereed papers. Augenbroe’s research ranged from explorations in building performance, computational building simulation, and intelligent building systems to indoor air quality, uncertainty and risk, and system monitoring and diagnostics. 

“I first heard of Fried as a graduate student in Egypt as he created a culture for building technology scholarship that was quite compelling, with a remarkable international reputation. In the short period of time I interacted with him during his retirement, I observed a reverence from his students that was not just respect for a mentor, but love for a father,” said Assistant Professor and Director of the High Performance Building Lab Tarek Rakha. “He was a straight shooter, and this was not a thing you learn about when you met him. This is something you know because his opinions shaped significant parts of his specializations within the domain of building performance simulation. He was definitive in his arguments, and he shared with me that his passion stems from working with his students on scientific and applicable problem solving.”

“But above all, he cared for his students, and it showed,” Rakha continued. “The group met over lunch at least twice a semester to discuss research, but to also have meaningful conversations mixed with witty humor. The community already misses Fried, as it is rare to meet someone of both his character and intellect.”

For over 35 years, Augenbroe was a leader of research and education in the field of building science. In his career, he advised over 30 Ph.D. students from both the U.S.A. and Europe. In 2008, Augenbroe received the lifetime achievement award for work in building simulation from the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA). In late 2019, Augenbroe retired from the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

“His students knew him for his unique intellect and his dedication to teaching and mentoring. All of us in the School of Architecture had the fortune to be touched by his wit, charm, and deep humanity,” said Professor and Chair of the School of Architecture Scott Marble. “We will all miss Fried.”

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