Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory
  MIT Room 7-034


Fundamental and applied research in transport phenomena to support energy and water technologies, electronics thermal management, manufacturing processes, and leading-edge engineering.


Research in the lab today focuses on microscale and nanoscale processes, water purification technology, solar energy engineering, and thermal management of electronics. The lab acts as a center of research for more than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, as well as many undergraduate research assistants.


Our laboratory originated in the Physical Laboratory of the Physics department, which was established by Professor Edward C. Pickering in 1870. The Heat Measurements Laboratory became a separate entity in 1889, under the leadership of Professor Silas W. Holman ('76). Professor Charles L. Norton ('93) took charge of the laboratory in 1897. The original lab, at MIT's Boston Campus, is shown in some of the photos that MIT submitted to St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 (photo1, photo2). Professor Gordon B. Wilkes ('11) became the director of the lab during the 1920's. In 1934, the Heat Measurements Laboratory (and Wilkes) joined the Mechanical Engineering Department, and the lab soon moved into the basement of Building 7. Professor Warren M. Rohsenow succeeded Wilkes as lab director in 1956, a position he held until 1985. Thereafter, Professor Peter Griffith, who had kept his office in the lab since the early 1950's and who worked closely with all students in the lab, served as lab director until his retirement in 1997.

The lab was named in Rohsenow's honor in 1992. During 2010, through a generous gift by lab alumna Dr. Gail E. Kendall, the lab underwent a full renovation, and it was renamed the Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Lab at that time.

Detailed history of the Rohsenow Kendall Lab, 1870-1992.

History of heat engineering in ME, 1865-1945.

Subjects in Heat and Mass Transfer

  • 2.500: Desalination and Water Purification (about)
  • 2.51: Intermediate Heat and Mass Transfer
  • 2.52J: Thermal Modelling and Approximation (about)
  • 2.55: Advanced Heat Transfer
  • 2.57/2.570: Nano-to-Macro Transport Processes
  • 2.59J: Thermal Hydraulics in Power Technology


Current Faculty

Emeritus Faculty

Research Activities

  For information contact:
Christine Gervais
MIT, Room 3-164
77 Massachusetts Avenue 
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 USA
MIT Home Page *  Mechanical Engineering
Last Updated: 4 December 2016