Lydia Bourouiba, PhD
Core Faculty
Title
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) at MIT
Lydia Bourouiba
Email
lbouro [at] mit.edu
Phone
(617) 324-7745
Lab Phone
(617) 324-7745
Address

77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Administrative Assistant(s)
Ana Paula Nascimento
(617) 324-7780
bgadmin [at] mit.edu
Lydia Bourouiba, PhD
Core Faculty
Title
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) at MIT

Degrees

  • PhD, Fluid Dynamics - Turbulence, McGill University, 2008

Bio

Lydia Bourouiba is a physical applied mathematician concentrating on geophysical problems of hydrodynamic turbulence and on the mathematical modeling of population dynamics and disease transmission. She joined the Department of Mathematics at MIT in January 2010 as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer. She previously worked at the Centre for Disease Modelling in Toronto, Canada on the modeling of influenza. Dr. Bourouiba completed her doctorate from McGill University studying rotating homogeneous turbulence theoretically and numerically. She is now an Assistant Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT where she continues to focus on problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission with the aim of elucidating the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the epidemiology and disease transmission dynamics in human, animal and plant populations.

Prof. Lydia Bourouiba is Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she founded and directs the Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory. Her research specializes in developing and joining advanced fluid dynamics experiments, biophysics, and applied mathematics to elucidate the fundamental multi-scale dynamics of fluid fragmentation, with particular interest in the resulting mixing,  transport, and persistence of particles and organisms relevant for contamination and health, where drops, multi-phase, and complex flows are at the core. More on her recent work can be found at http://lbourouiba.mit.edu/.

Research

Focusing on the interface of fluid dynamics and epidemiology, The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory, within the Fluids and Health Network, led by Prof. Bourouiba, aims to elucidate the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the transmission dynamics of pathogens in human, animal, and plant populations where drops, bubbles, multiphase and complex flows are at the core, in addition to broader questions at the intersection of health, broadly defined, and fluid physics.

Key topics of research in the Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory include:

Fluid Physics and Biophysics:

  • Interfacial flows: pathogen-fluid interactions in bubbles, drops and films
  • Fluid fragmentation and droplet formation leading to air contamination
  • Turbulence and multiphase flows
  • Mixing, transport, and pathogen deposition and contamination
  • Hydrodynamic instabilities and waves
  • Viscoelastic and rheology, biological and complex fluids 
  • Phase change and soft matter

Health, Disease Transmission

  • Contact dynamics and pathogen transport
  • Nosocomial diseases, respiratory diseases, waterborne diseases, and foliar diseases
  • Disease transmission and contamination in indoor environments, including hospitals.
  • Medical devices and physiology

Selected Awards/Societies

  • Ole Madsen Mentoring Award in recognition of conspicuous contributions to inspiring, mentoring, and educating students
  • Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award for creative and innovative junior investigators working on high impact ideas to generate breakthroughs and drive new directions in biomedical research.
  • Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professorship Chair
  • Tse Cheuk Ng Tai’s Prize for Innovative Research in Health Sciences
  • Sigma Xi

Selected Publications

The list of Dr. Bourouiba’s publications can be found on her website.