About UT Governor’s Chair

The Governor’s Chair program attracts top researchers to broaden and enhance the unique research partnership that exists between the University of Tennessee—the state’s flagship university—and the nation’s largest multi-program research lab, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Philip Enquist & SOM Appointment

In May 2014, Philip Enquist of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), along with a select research team, was named Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments. The team administers projects through the UT College of Architecture and Design and ORNL. Enquist and the SOM team represent the sixteenth appointment to the Governor’s Chair Program.

Enquist is the SOM partner in charge of urban design and planning and leader of its City Design Practice. The Governor’s Chair team is a research partnership among a number of designers at the firm who specialize in sustainable urbanism and high-performance buildings. SOM’s City Design Practice is the world’s most highly awarded urban planning group.

“This is a time of great optimism for cities. We are moving towards a more collaborative future, with healthy ecosystems and a much higher quality urban life.” — Philip Enquist

Governor’s Chair Team

Perhaps the most important element of this Governor’s Chair approach is to assemble a team of individuals who are not only leaders in their fields but who are also noted for their ability to work creatively in multi-disciplinary collaborations. Our team brings a diverse background of expertise that comprehensively addresses issues present at the junction of energy and urbanism. This team works together to overcome the challenges of a complex program, a diversity of interests and needs, and potentially conflicting issues.

ORNL Cabin Colloquium, 25 July Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy

What if we weren’t limited by the building materials we have? What if we removed all the constraints of today? — Dr. Roderick Jackson, ORNL

Second ORNL Cabin Colloquium, 2016 Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy