MIT Unit Affiliation:
Lab Affiliation(s):
Device Research Lab
Evelyn N. Wang
Date PhD Completed:
June, 2017
Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position:
June 1, 2019

Daniel Preston

  • Post Doctoral

MIT Unit Affiliation: 

  • Mechanical Engineering

Lab Affiliation(s): 

Device Research Lab

Date PhD Completed: 

Jun, 2017

Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position: 

June 1, 2019


Thesis Title: 

Enhanced Condensation Heat Transfer for Water and Low Surface Tension Fluids

Thesis Abstract: 

Condensation heat transfer enhancement is a critical consideration in the efficiency improvement of many industrial processes. We propose to improve the energy efficiency of natural gas processing plants by increasing the efficiency of the condensation process, which is a key step in gas processing. We will accomplish this by using lubricant-infused surfaces, where a rough nanostructure is infused with a layer of condensate-phobic lubricating fluid. This method has been shown to increase droplet mobility and improve heat transfer coefficient during the condensation of water, but heat transfer coefficients have never been experimentally measured for condensation of low surface tension fluids like natural gas liquids. Surfaces will be designed for optimal interaction with the low surface tension hydrocarbons to minimize droplet departure size and maximize heat transfer coefficient. Preliminary calculations indicate an order of magnitude improvement in condensation heat transfer coefficient compared to current operations, which translates to millions of dollars in savings per natural gas processing facility.

Top 5 Awards and honors (name of award, date received): 

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2012-2017
MIT Keck Travel Award in Thermal Sciences, 2016
MIT Green Labs Seed Funding and Innovation Award, 2016
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society Fellowship, 2012
Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award for Outstanding Graduate Research, 2017

5 Recent Papers: 

D.J. Preston, Y. Song, Z. Lu, D.S. Antao, E.N. Wang, "Design of Lubricant Infused Surfaces," ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Article ASAP, 2017.  

D.J. Preston, A. Anders, B. Barabadi, E. Tio, Y. Zhu, D.A. Dai, E.N. Wang, "Electrowetting-on-Dielectric Actuation of a Vertical Translation and Angular Manipulation Stage," Applied Physics Letters, 109(24), 2016.

H.J. Cho, D.J. Preston, Y. Zhu, E.N. Wang,, "Nanoengineering materials for liquid-vapour phase change heat transfer," Nature Reviews Materials, 2(16092), 2016.

D.J. Preston, D.L. Mafra, N. Miljkovic, J. Kong, E.N. Wang, "Scalable Graphene Coatings for Enhanced Condensation Heat Transfer," Nano Letters, 15(5), 2015.

D.J. Preston, N. Miljkovic, J. Sack, J. Queeney, E.N. Wang, "Effect of Hydrocarbon Adsorption on the Wettability of Rare Earth Oxide Ceramics," Applied Physics Letters, 105(011601), 2014.

Contact Information:
77 Massachusetts Ave.