Professor Elfatih Eltahir

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Eltahir is HM King Bhumibol Professor of Hydrology and Climate, and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Eltahir earned a BSc in civil engineering from the University of Khartoum in 1985 (First Class Honours); an MSc in hydrology from the National University of Ireland in 1988 (First Class Honors); and an SM in meteorology and ScD in hydro-climatology, both from MIT in 1993.  

Professor Eltahir is a recipient of the US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1997; and the Kuwait Prize in Applied Science in 2000 for his work on climate change. He has been elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2008. He received the Hydrologic Sciences Award of the American Geophysical Union in 2017.

Titles of recentbooks: A Path Forward for Sharing the Nile Water: Sustainable, Smart, Equitable, and Incremental (2019); Projecting the Impacts of Climate Change on Malaria Transmission in Africa: Field Observations and Disease Transmission Modelling (2020); Natural Variability of the Nile Floods: From Pharaoh's Dream to El Niño / La Niña (2021).

Professor Eltahir’s research focuses on understanding how global climate change as well as regional land use change/land cover change may impact society through changes in the patterns of water availability, extreme weather, and spread of vector-borne diseases. Together with his students, he develops sophisticated numerical models that are used for predicting such impacts at regional scales. The models are tested against satellite observations and archived data sets of hydrologic and atmospheric variables, as well as data collected in field campaigns.