John H. Lienhard V

Abdul Latif Jameel Professor; Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab

John H. Lienhard V is Abdul Latif Jameel Professor and the Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab at MIT. During more than 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 (summa cum laude) 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. Since coming to MIT, Lienhard has worked on desalination processes, liquid jet impingement, high heat flux engineering, electronics thermal management, and other topics. His research in desalination includes humidification-dehumidification desalination, membrane distillation desalination, forward and reverse osmosis, fouling and scale formation, electrodialysis, nanofiltration, management of high salinity brines, solar-driven desalination, thermodynamic and energy efficiency analysis of desalination cycles, and energy-water nexus issues. Lienhard has directly supervised 100 graduate theses and postdoctoral associates. He is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and has been issued 38 US patents.

Lienhard is a recipient of the 1988 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 1992 SAE Teetor Award, a 1997 R&D 100 Award, the 2012 ASME Globalization Medal, the 2015 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the 2019 ASME Edward F. Obert Award (in thermodynamics), and the 2021 AIChE Donald Q. Kern Award (for expertise in heat transfer, transport phenomena, and energy conversion). He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society of Thermal and Fluid Engineers. He has been the Director of the Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory since 1997. Lienhard is the co-author of textbooks on heat transfer, on thermal modeling, and on measurement and instrumentation. His heat transfer book has been available online at no charge since 2002, and hundreds of thousands of copies have been downloaded worldwide. His measurements book has sold more than 130,000 copies. He has created new courses on desalination, on thermal modeling, and on compressible fluid mechanics. He has also received several teaching and mentoring awards at MIT. Professor Lienhard was the founding director of the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy from 2008 to 2017. He was also the founding director of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship for Saudi Arabian Women from 2009 to 2017.

Lienhard holds Professional Engineering licenses in Massachusetts and Vermont.