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David Warsinger Expertise

David Warsinger a Professor at Purdue, affiliated with Mechanical Engineering and the Birck Nanotechnology Center. David’s research focuses on the water-energy nexus, with approaches from thermofluids and nanoengineering. He is especially interested in energy efficient and robust systems that can safeguard human health, including disinfection and agricultural water. His work heavily focuses on membrane materials, heat and mass transfer, and thermodynamic system design. David completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and his B.S. and M.Eng at Cornell: he completed his graduate studies in a combined 3 years. After his PhD, David did Postdoctoral research at MIT and Yale with Meny Elimelech and Jaehong Kim. Prior to starting his PhD, David worked at the engineering consulting firm Arup working on HVAC and LEED design. David is also actively involved in advising, fundraising, and consulting for several startup companies.David is a coauthor of 37 published journal and conference papers, and a co-inventor of 16 filed or awarded patents.  Notable awards David has earned include the national dissertation award from UCOWR, the highest GPA award for his Masters, 9 presenter awards, and the MIT institute award for best research mentor for undergraduate students.


Research Summary:

Prof. Warsinger's research focuses on the use of thermofluids and nanoengineering for challenges for water treatment, especially at the intersection of water, energy, food, and health. This work includes improved process design for water treatment, new membrane materials and coatings, new membrane antifouling processes, nanomaterials for disinfection, and energy efficiency thermodynamics for water treatment.

  • Notable contributions from Warsinger's work include:
  • New configurations of reverse osmosis (Batch RO) with shown potential to be the most efficient desalination technology
  • Water-energy microgrids for resilient water supplies in intermittent and off-grid conditions
  • Disinfection techniques to increase resiliency
  • The first integration of robust superhydrophobic condensing surfaces (enabling jumping droplet condensation) in desalination
  • New insights on the mechanisms and prediction on membrane fouling, and new prevention and reversal technologies
  • New materials and coatings for improving membrane performance
  • New thermodynamic understanding on the exergetic and entropic performance of the desalination technologies: membrane distillation, multieffect distillation, multistage flash, mechanical vapor compression, humidification-dehumidification, and reverse osmosis. Contributions especially relating to: use of variable temperature heat, operation at varied salinity, and new configurations for improved performance.
  • The completion of about a dozen patent applications and over two dozen journal or conference papers in the past 3 years