Alejandra Menchaca

Lecturer in Architecture

Alejandra Menchaca was born and raised in Mexico City, where she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Mexico’s National University (UNAM). She obtained a Masters in Science in Aerospace Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), specializing in the topic of astronaut training. After deciding to focus her career into more earthly matters, she joined the Building Technology Research Group at MIT, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.  Her doctoral work focused on predicting the thermal stratification of air in naturally ventilated buildings, as well as understating the effect of stratification on occupant thermal comfort and airflow calculations. In parallel with her PhD, she worked as a consultant in the design of natural ventilation systems for commercial buildings in Tokyo, Japan. She has also taught the topic of Energy in Buildings at the Department of Architecture at MIT. She currently works as Building Scientist at Payette Associates, where she works to educate the design team on issues relevant to building performance, while understanding what elements are critical to the building’s design or program.