Funded Researchers

John Lienhard

John H. Lienhard V

  • Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Mechanical Engineering
  • Director, J-WAFS
  • Director, Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab

John H. Lienhard V is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food and the director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab at MIT. During three decades on the MIT faculty, Lienhard’s research and educational efforts have focused on water purification and desalination, heat and mass transfer, and thermodynamics. He has also filled a number of administrative roles at MIT. Lienhard received his bachelors and masters degrees in thermal engineering at UCLA from the Chemical, Nuclear, and Thermal Engineering Department, where he worked on thermal instabilities in solar collectors and evaporating meniscus measurements for desalination systems. He joined MIT immediately after completing his PhD in the Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science Department at UC San Diego, where he did experimental work on thermally stratified turbulent flows. Lienhard's research in desalination has included humidification-dehumidification desalination, membrane distillation desalination, forward and reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, solar-driven desalination, fouling, electrodialysis, management of high salinity brines, and energy efficiency improvement. Lienhard has directly supervised more than 85 graduate theses and postdoctoral associates. He is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed research publications and holds more than 30 US issued Patents.

Lienhard is a recipient of the 1988 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 1992 SAE Teetor Award, the 2012 ASME Globalization Medal, the 2015 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, and the 2019 ASME Edward F. Obert Award. He has been the director of the Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory since 1997, and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Lienhard is the co-author of textbooks on heat transfer, on measurement and instrumentation, and on thermal modeling. His heat transfer book has been available online at no charge since 2002, and hundreds of thousands of copies have been downloaded around the world. He has created new courses at MIT on desalination, on thermal modeling, and on compressible fluid mechanics. He has also received several teaching awards at MIT. Professor Lienhard was also the Founding Director of the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy (2008-2017).

J-WAFS-funded projects