Mechanical Engineering

Faculty & Staff


Department of Mechanical Engineering
N207 Engineering Building 1,
Houston, TX 77204-4006
Phone: 713-743-4500
Campus Map


Dr. John Lienhard

M.D. Anderson Professor of Technology and Culture, Emeritus

Office Location: N220

Phone: 713-743-4518   |   Fax: 713-743-4503

Email: jhl [at] uh [dot] edu


Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley

Research Interests

Cultural History and Public Radio. (Formerly Thermal Sciences, thermodynamics and Boiling.)

Awards and Honors

  • Member of The National Academy of Engineering, 2003
  • M.D. Anderson Professor of Technology and Culture, University of Houston, 1989
  • Fellow, ASME, 1977
  • Honorary Member, ASME, 1995
  • Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (for "Outstanding achievement by a mechanical engineer within 20 years or more of graduation"), ASME Pi Tau Sigma, 1979
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989
  • ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award (for "Outstanding contributions to the science of heat transfer"), 1980
  • Member, ASME Distinguished Lecturer Bureau, 1986-present
  • The W.T. Kittenger Award (for "Outstanding Engineering Teacher"), 1987
  • Dean W.R. Woodrich Award - Engineer of the Year, South Texas Section of ASME, 1987
  • University of Houston Teaching Award, 1989
  • Ralph Coats Roe Medal (for "Contributions to a public understanding of Technology" based on Public Radio Program, The Engines of Our Ingenuity), ASME, 1989
  • American Women in Radio and Television, Portrait Division Award (for The Engines of Our Ingenuity), 1990
  • The University of Houston Engineering Alumni Distinguished Engineering Faculty Member Award, 1990
  • One of two awards for Special Programming by the Southern Educational Television Association, 1991
  • The Ester Farfel Award (given to the university's outstanding faculty member), University of Houston, 1991
  • Finalist Award for Engines of Our Ingenuity in the New York Festivals International Radio Competition (one of 5 among 1300 entrants)
  • Ralph Coates Roe Medal (for teaching), ASEE, 1994
  • Named Outstanding Engineering Graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, 1994
  • The American Medical Writers of America McGovern Award, 1996
  • A "John H. Lienhard" Award was created by Region X of ASME in 1996 to honor contributors to a public understanding of engineering
  • ASME Engineer Historian Award, 1998
  • The Edwin F. Church Award, 2000 (for distinguished service in advancing mechanical engineering education)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Houston, 2002
  • Honorary Doctorate, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, 2002
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, KUHF-FM Radio Station (with Carol Lienhard)
  • Freedom Foundation Award, 2002


  • 1856 episodes of The Engines of Our Ingenuity, nationally syndicated essays on public radio (as of Nov. 11, 2003)
  • The Engines of Our Ingenuity website receives around 250,000 page hits a week.
  • Sixty or so lectures a year, including many national keynotes. (See the Engines web site for details.)

Recent Publications

  • Lienhard, J. H., Inventing Modern, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
  • Lienhard, J. H., The Engines of Our Ingenuity, Paperback ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
  • John H. Lienhard IV and John H. Lienhard V, A Heat Transfer Textbook (Online), 3rd edition