The tenured engineers of 2020

The School of Engineering has announced that MIT has granted tenure to eight members of its faculty in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Science and Engineering.

“This year’s newly tenured faculty in the School of Engineering are truly inspiring,” says Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “Their dedication to research and teaching drives novel solutions urgently needed to advance their fields.”

This year’s newly tenured associate professors are:

Lydia Bourouiba, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, focuses her expertise as a physical applied mathematician on problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and infectious disease transmission. Her work leverages advanced fluid dynamic experiments at various scales, algorithms, and mathematical modeling to understand the physical mechanisms shaping disease transmission dynamics, epidemics, and pandemics in human, animal, and plant populations. Motivated by problems in these application domains, her work elucidates fundamental multiscale dynamics of fluid fragmentation, mixing, and transport processes where interfacial, multi-phase, biological, and complex fluids and flows are determining pathogen dispersal and persistence in a range of environments.

Fikile Brushett, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, focuses his research on advancing the science and engineering of electrochemical technologies for a sustainable energy economy. He is especially fascinated by the fundamental processes that define the performance, cost, and lifetime of present-day and future electrochemical systems.

Thomas Heldt, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, focuses his research on signal processing, mathematical modeling, and model identification to understand the physiology of the injured brain and to support real-time clinical decision-making, monitoring of disease progression, and titration of therapy. His research is conducted in close collaboration with clinicians from Boston-area hospitals — particularly in emergency, neonatal and neurocritical care — where his team is integrally involved in designing and deploying high-fidelity data-acquisition systems and in collecting clinical data. 

Asegun Henry is the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His primary research is in heat transfer, with an emphasis on understanding the science of energy transport, storage and conversion at the atomic level, along with the development of new industrial-scale energy technologies to mitigate climate change. He has made significant advances and contributions to several fields within energy and heat transfer, namely: solar fuels and thermochemistry, phonon transport in disordered materials, phonon transport at interfaces, and he has developed the highest-temperature pump on record, which used an all-ceramic mechanical pump to pump liquid metal above 1,400 degrees Celsius.

William Oliver, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, works with the Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group at Lincoln Laboratory and the Engineering Quantum Systems Group at MIT, where he provides programmatic and technical leadership for programs related to the development of quantum and classical high-performance computing technologies for quantum information science applications. His interests include the materials growth, fabrication, design, and control of superconducting quantum processors, as well as the development of cryogenic packaging and control electronics involving cryogenic CMOS and single-flux quantum digital logic. He is director of the Center for Quantum Engineering and associate director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics.

Michael Short, the Class of 1942 Career Development Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, develops new materials and measurement methods to usher in the next generation of safe and scalable nuclear power. He is currently focused on choosing and proving structural materials for fusion reactors, creating tools to measure tiny amounts of radiation damage for nuclear non-proliferation, and stopping corrosion and fouling in the most extreme energy production environments.

Vivienne Sze, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, focuses her research on designing and implementing computing systems that enable energy-efficient machine learning, computer vision, and video compression for a wide range of applications, including autonomous navigation, digital health, and the internet of things. In particular, she is interested in the joint design of algorithms, architectures, circuits, and systems to enable optimal tradeoffs between energy consumption, speed, and quality of results. 

Caroline Uhler, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, focuses her research at the intersection of machine learning, statistics, and genomics. In particular, she is interested in obtaining a better understanding of genome regulation by developing machine learning methods that can integrate different data modalities, including interventional data, and bridge the gap from predictive to causal modeling.