Funded Principal Investigators

Funded Principal Investigators

Antoine Allanore

Antoine Allanore, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Antoine Allanore is assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Allanore's research applies to the development of sustainable materials extraction and manufacturing processes, among them using electricity as a mean to provide energy efficient processes. Professor Allanore is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his project "Affordable Potassium Fertilizer from K Feldspar for Africa."

Alan Berger

Alan Berger, PhD

Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Co-Director, MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism

Alan Berger is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Professor Berger's research emphasizes the link between our consumption of natural resources and the waste and destruction of landscape to understand how to redesign around our wasteful lifestyles for more intelligent design and development outcomes. Professor Berger is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands Los Angeles & Houston."

Mircea Dincă

Mircea Dincă, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Mircea Dincă is associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. Professor Dincă's research addresses challenges related to the storage and consumption of energy and global environmental concerns. In particular, his lab is working on the synthesis of new organic-inorganic hybrid materials and the manipulation of their electrochemical and photophysical properties. Professor Dincă is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his collaborative project, "Distributed Water Harvesting from Air in Water-Stressed and Remote Areas using Metal-Organic Frameworks."

Stephen Graves

Stephen Graves, PhD

Abraham J. Siegel Professor of Management Science, Sloan School of Management
Professor of Operations Management, Sloan School of Management

Stephen Graves is the Abraham J. Siegel Professor of Management Science and professor of Operations Management at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He also holds a joint appointment with the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Graves develops and applies operations research models and methods to solve problems in manufacturing and distribution systems and in service operations. He is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS Seed Grant for his collaborative project, "Characterizing Extension Policy and Private Irrigation Supply Chain Linkages: Lessons from Senegal."

Jeffrey C. Grossman

Jeffrey C. Grossman, PhD

Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Jeffrey Grossman is the Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems at MIT. Professor Grossman's research specializes in utilizing learned insights to development new materials for energy conversion and storage with improved properties. Professor Grossman is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS Solutions Grant for his project, "Fouling-Resistant Nanoporous Membranes."

Jongyoon Han

Jongyoon Han, PhD

Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Department of Biological Engineering

Jongyoon Han is a professor with appointments in the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Professor Han leads the Micro/Nanofluidic BioMEMS Group in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT. He is a co-recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, “Real-time, On-site Detection of Foodborne Pathogens by Engineered Bacteriophage Integrated with Microfluidic Sample Preparation Platforms.”

John Hart

John Hart, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Mitsui Career Development Professor in Contemporary Technology

John Hart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Hart's research interests include nanostructured materials and mechanical design, among others. Professor Hart is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Enabling Distributed Water Quality Management by Dry Sample Preservation and Centralized Analysis."

T. Alan Hatton

T. Alan Hatton, PhD

Ralph Landau Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Director, David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice

T. Alan Hatton is the Ralph Landau Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Professor Hatton's research interests include transport phenomena and separation processes, among others. Professor Hatton is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Electrochemically-modulated Separation Processes for the Treatment of Contaminated Water Sources," and a J-WAFS Solutions project, "Electrochemically-mediated Adsorptive Processes for Water-remediation."

Colette Heald

Colette Heald, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering,
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Colette Heald is the Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Professor Heald is an international leader in biosphere-atmosphere interactions, aerosol sources and transformations, and the connections between atmospheric chemistry and climate. She is rooted at the intersection of modeling and observational analysis, with a strong emphasis on the integration of the two. Professor Heald is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, “Air Pollution Impacts on Global Crop Yields.”

Erica James

Erica James, PhD

Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Urban Studies
Director, MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative

Erica James is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Professor James' varied research interests range from global health and security to religion and healing. Professor James is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "Leverage Points: Opportunities for Increasing Food Production in Developing Countries."

Ruben Juanes

Ruben Juanes, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Ruben Juanes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and director of the Henry L. Pierce Laboratory for Infrastructure Science and Engineering. His research combines theory, simulation, and experiments that elucidate fundamental aspects of multi-fluid flow, which are then applied for prediction of large-scale Earth science problems in the areas of energy and the environment. Professor Juanes is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, “Gravity Fingering during Water Infiltration in Soil: Impact on the Resilience of Crops and Vegetation in Water-stressed Ecosystems.”

Rohit Karnik

Rohit Karnik, PhD

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Rohit Karnik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Karnik's research interests include micro and nanostructured materials, and graphene and nanoporous membranes. Professor Karnik is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Enabling Distributed Water Quality Management by Dry Sample Preservation and Centralized Analysis," and a 2016 J-WAFS Solutions grant for his project, "Development of Low-Cost Water Filter Using Sapwood Xylem"

Valerie Karplus, PhD

Valerie Karplus, PhD

Class of 1943 Career Development Professor
Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management, Sloan School of Management

Valerie Karplus is the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor Karplus was the Director of the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, and is a faculty affiliate of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the MIT Energy Initiative. Professor Karplus is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "Quantifying Mercury Contamination of Rice and its Impact on Food Security in China."

Christopher Knittel, PhD

Christopher Knittel, PhD

George P. Shultz Professor, Sloan School of Management

Christopher Knittel is the George P. Shultz Professor and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT. Professor Knittel is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, “Estimating the Benefits to Strengthening Water Markets.”

Mathias Kolle, PhD

Mathias Kolle, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Mathias Kolle is assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Kolle's research explores biological photonic systems and the engineering and application of bio-inspired photonic materials. He is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Multifunctional Light-Diffusing Fibers for Simultaneous Light Management and Fluid Transport in Microalgae Bioreactors."

Retsef Levi, PhD

Retsef Levi, PhD

J. Spencer Standish (1945) Professor of Management
Professor of Operations Management, Sloan School of Management

Retsef Levi is the J. Spencer Standish (1945) Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor Levi's research interests range from supply chain and inventory management to risk management. Professor Levi is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "A Data-Driven Approach to Managing Food Security in Global Supply Chains."

John Lienhard, PhD

John Lienhard, PhD

Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Director, Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab
Director, Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy
Director, Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory

John Lienhard is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food at MIT, teaches in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and is director of several labs and centers including J-WAFS. Professor Lienhard's research interests include desalination, thermodynamics, and heat and mass transfer, among others. He is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his collaborative project, "High-efficiency Chemical-Free Backwash Strategy for Reverse Osmosis Membrane Antifouling."

Timothy Lu, MD, PhD

Timothy Lu, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Department of Biological Engineering

Timothy Lu is an associate professor with appointments in the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Professor Lu is also a core faculty member of the Synthetic Biology Center, an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). He is a co-recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Real-time, On-site Detection of Foodborne Pathogens by Engineered Bacteriophage Integrated with Microfluidic Sample Preparation Platforms.”

Karthish Manthiram, PhD

Karthish Manthiram, PhD

Warren K. Lewis Career Development Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Karthish Manthiram is the Warren K. Lewis Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT. Professor Manthiram's research interests include the molecular engineering of electrocatalysts for the synthesis of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals, fuels, and commodity chemicals, all using renewable feedstocks. Professor Manthiram is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Electrochemical Nitrogen Fixation for Distributed Fertilizer Production."

Dennis McLaughlin, PhD

Dennis McLaughlin, PhD

HM King Bhumibol Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dennis McLaughlin is the H.M. King Bhumibol Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Professor McLaughlin's research interests include surface and groundwater hydrology. Professor McLaughlin is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Leverage Points: Opportunities for Increasing Food Production in Developing Countries."

Heidi Nepf, PhD

Heidi Nepf, PhD

Donald and Martha Harleman Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Margaret MacVicar Fellow

Heidi Nepf is the Donald and Martha Harleman Professor at MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Nepf's research focuses on physical mechanisms which affect the transport and fate of contaminants and nutrients in lakes, wetlands, and coastal zones. Professor Nepf is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands Los Angeles & Houston."

Martin Polz, PhD

Martin Polz, PhD

Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Martin Polz is a professor with the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Professor Polz’s work centers on environmental microbiology, using a combination of quantitative molecular approaches, genomics, physiology, and modeling to explore environmental and evolutionary mechanisms that trigger the emergence of pathogenic variants among microbes. He is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "“Bacterial Viruses as Pathogen Control Agents in Aquaculture Systems.”

Bishwapriya Sanyal,PhD

Bishwapriya Sanyal PhD

Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning
Director of the Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS)/ Humphrey Fellows Program

Bishwapriya Sanyal is professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Professor Sanyal's research interests include international development and the history and theories of urban planning. Professor Sanyal is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his collaborative project, “Characterizing Extension Policy and Private Irrigation Supply Chain Linkages: Lessons from Senegal.”

Sanjay Sarma,PhD

Sanjay Sarma PhD

Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT
Vice President for Open Learning, and
Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab

Sanjay Sarma is vice president for open learning, Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab at MIT. Professor Sarma's research interests include RFID, sensors, automotive design and design for the developing world, pedagogy and learning. Professor Sarma is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS Solutions grant for his project, “In-situ Particle Characterization in Emulsions for Field-scale Quality Assurance in the Dairy Industry.”

Noelle Selin, PhD

Noelle Selin, PhD

Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor,
Institute for Data, Systems and Society, and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Noelle Selin is the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor at MIT's Institute for Data, Systems and Society. Professor Selin's research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances. Professor Selin is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "Quantifying Mercury Contamination of Rice and its Impact on Food Security in China."

Anthony J. Sinskey,

Anthony J. Sinskey, ScD

Professor of Microbiology and Health Sciences & Technology

Anthony J. Sinskey is a Professor of Microbiology and Health Sciences & Technology within the Department of Biology at MIT. Professor Sinskey's research focuses on establishing an interdisciplinary approach to metabolic engineering. He is a recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS Solutions Grant for his project, "A Multiplex, Nanosensor Platform for the Real Time Monitoring or Food and Water-Borne Contaminants" as well as a recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "A Bioassay-Based Approach to Food Safety in China."

Amy Smith,

Amy Smith, SM

Founding Director, MIT D-Lab, and Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering

Amy Smith is the founding director of MIT D-Lab, a program which focuses on the development, design, and dissemination of appropriate technologies for international development. She is also a senior lecturer of mechanical engineering at MIT. Amy's research focuses on areas of water testing, treatment and storage, agricultural processing and alternative energy. She, along with co-PI Rohit Karnik, is a recipient of a 2016 and 2017 J-WAFS Solutions Grant for their project, "Development of Low-Cost Water Filter Using Sapwood Xylem."

Susan Solomon,,

Susan Solomon, PhD

Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science
Professor of Chemistry

Susan Solomon is the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science at MIT. Professor Solomon is best known for her work explaining the causes of the Antarctic ozone "hole." Professor Solomon is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "Advancing Water and Food Sustainability through Improved Understanding of Uncertainties in Climate Change and Climate Variability."

Stacy Springs, PhD

Stacy Springs, PhD

Director, Biomanufacturing Research Program
Executive Director, MIT Consortium on Adventitious Agent Contamination in Biomanufacturing

Stacy Springs is the Director MIT's Biomanufacturing Research Program. The objective of this program is to develop new knowledge, science, technologies and strategies for advancing the safe manufacture and global delivery of high quality biopharmaceuticals. Dr. Springs is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "A Bioassay-Based Approach to Food Safety in China."

Gregory Stephanopoulos, PhD

Gregory Stephanopoulos, PhD

Willard Henry Dow Professor of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering,
Department of Chemical Engineering

Gregory Stephanopoulos is the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering for the Department of Chemical Engineering and president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Professor Stephanopoulos' current research focuses on metabolic engineering and its applications to the production of fuels, biochemical, and specialty chemicals, as well as mammalian cell physiology as it pertains to diabetes and metabolism. Professor Stephanopoulos is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, “Waste to Food: Yarrowia lipolytica as Protein and Lipid Production Platform.”

Michael S. Strano, PhD

Michael S. Strano, PhD

Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering

Michael S. Strano is the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. Professor Strano's research interests include transport in nanopores, thermopower waves for energy generation, exciton engineering for solar energy, and nanosensors for reaction network analysis. Professor Strano is a recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS Solutions Grant for his project, "A Multiplex, Nanosensor Platform for the Real Time Monitoring or Food and Water-Borne Contaminants."

Kenneth Strzepek, PhD

Kenneth Strzepek, PhD

Research Scientist, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and
MIT Center for Global Change Science

Kenneth Strzepek is a Research Scientist with MIT's Joint Program and the Center for Global Change Science. Dr. Strzepek's career work has focused on the intersection of engineering, environmental, and economic systems. Dr. Strzepek is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Advancing Water and Food Sustainability through Improved Understanding of Uncertainties in Climate Change and Climate Variability."

Timothy Swager, PhD

Timothy Swager, PhD

John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

Timothy Swager is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry in the MIT Department of Chemistry for which he was also formerly the head. Professor Swager was also the recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize for his accomplishments that stem from original molecular-based designs, among a host of other awards for his work in topics ranging from chemical sensors to polymer science. Professor Swager is the recipient of a 2016 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, “Active Materials for Heavy Metal Extraction from Water.”

Kripa Varanasi

Kripa Varanasi, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Timothy Swager is Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Varanasi's research interests include surface science and engineering, in particular nanoengineered surfaces and their applications to energy, water, oil & gas, agriculture, aviation, and electronics cooling systems. Professor Varanasi is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS Solutions grant for his project, “Reducing Runoff and Environmental Impact of Agricultural Sprays .”

Christopher Voigt, PhD

Christopher Voigt, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Engineering

Christopher Voigt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering. Professor Voigt's research interests include genome-scale design and organelle refactoring and engineering, among others. Professor Voigt is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "Engineered Nitrogen Fixation: Expression in Plant Organelles."

Evelyn Wang, PhD

Evelyn Wang, PhD

Gail E. Kendall Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Evelyn Wang is Gail E. Kendall Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Wang's research interests involve the use of new nanostructured materials for heat and mass transfer in order to create innovative solutions in thermal management, thermal energy storage, solar thermal energy conversion, and water desalination. Professor Wang is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for her collaborative project, "Distributed Water Harvesting from Air in Water-Stressed and Remote Areas using Metal-Organic Frameworks."

Tauhid Zaman, PhD

Tauhid Zaman, PhD

KDD Career Development Professor in Communications and Technology
Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Sloan School of Management

Tauhid Zaman is the KDD Career Development Professor in Communications and Technology at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor Zaman's research focuses on social data analytics. Professor Zaman is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for his project, "A Data-Driven Approach to Managing Food Security in Global Supply Chains."

Xuanhe Zhao, PhD

Xuanhe Zhao, PhD

Noyce Career Development Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Xuanhe Zhao is Noyce Career Development Professor and associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Professor Zhao's research interests range from solid mechanics and soft materials to bio-inspired design. He is the recipient of a 2017 J-WAFS seed grant for his collaborative project, "High-efficiency Chemical-Free Backwash Strategy for Reverse Osmosis Membrane Antifouling."

Y. Karen Zheng, PhD

Y. Karen Zheng, PhD

Assistant Professor of Operations Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

Y. Karen Zheng is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor Zheng's research interests range from behavioral operations research to sustainability issues in operations management. Professor Zheng is the recipient of a 2015 J-WAFS seed grant for her project, "A Data-Driven Approach to Managing Food Security in Global Supply Chains."