Lydia Bourouiba

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Institute for Medical Engineering and Science

Lydia Bourouiba is an associate professor in MIT’s departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and associate faculty with the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. She also founded and directs MIT’s Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory. Bourouiba is an applied mathematician and mathematical epidemiologist who leverages biophysics, advanced fluid dynamics experiments at various scales, and mathematical modeling to explain the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the epidemiology and disease transmission dynamics in human, animal and plant populations. Through experiments and modeling, her work elucidates the multi-scale dynamics of fluid fragmentation, with particular interest in the mixing, transport, and persistence of pathogens relevant to contamination and health, where drops, multi-phase, and complex flows are at the core.

Bourouiba founded the Fluids and Health Conference, an international forum for frontier research in health and fluid dynamics, including infectious diseases, drug delivery, food safety and related policy. Her awards include the Tse Cheuk Ng Tai’s Prize for Innovative Research in Health Sciences, the Ole Madsen Mentoring Award, and the Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award for high-risk/high-reward basic science research. She earned a PhD at McGill University.