MIT Unit Affiliation:
Lab Affiliation(s):
Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory
Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor:
John H. Lienhard V
Areas of Expertise:
  • Thermofluids
  • Nanoengineering
  • Water Technologies
Date PhD Completed:
June, 2015
Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position:
August 31, 2017

David Warsinger

  • Post Doctoral

MIT Unit Affiliation: 

  • Mechanical Engineering

Lab Affiliation(s): 

Rohsenow Kendall Heat Transfer Laboratory

Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor: 

John H. Lienhard V

Date PhD Completed: 

Jun, 2015

Top 3 Areas of Expertise: 

Thermofluids
Nanoengineering
Water Technologies

Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position: 

August 31, 2017

CV: 

Research Projects: 

-Thermodynamic modelling and efficiency innovations for desalination technologies, including membrane distillation and reverse osmosis

-Membrane fouling theory and new prevention techniques

-Nanoengineered coatings for enhanced heat transfer

-Graphene Oxide Nanofiltration membranes

-Carbon Nanotube membranes for capacitive deionization desalination

-Technologies for the water-food-energy nexus

Thesis Title: 

Thermodynamic design and fouling of membrane distillation systems

Thesis Abstract: 

As water shortages intensify globally under the stresses of increasing demand, aquifer depletion, and climate change, the market for efficient desalination technologies has grown rapidly to fill the void. One such developing technology, membrane distillation (MD), has experienced keen academic interest and an increase in start-up businesses in the past decade. MD has expanded into a niche of small scale thermal desalination using solar and waste heat resources, due to its fouling resistance, scalability, and acceptable efficiency. Recent studies indicate that MD could attain the efficiencies of state-of-the-art mature thermal desalination technologies, although additional engineering and scientific challenges must first be overcome. The aim of this research is to better understand and provide solutions for two major challenge areas for MD: efficiency and membrane fouling. Studies on improving MD efficiency included examining the effects of tilt angle on MD performance using numerical simulations paired with experiments, devising a novel MD system design for with superhydrophobic surfaces to improved efficiencies, and an entropy-generation comparison of MD to other desalination technologies. For fouling studies in MD, a review of MD fouling was undertaken to synthesize conclusions from the literature and to explore gaps in the literature. This review lead to studies of the effect of filtration and bulk nucleation on MD fouling, a study on heterogeneous nucleation of inorganic salts with a fouling regime map to avoid nucleation, and fouling prevention via induced air-layers.

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

2015 MIT Outstanding UROP Graduate Mentor (institute award, 1 given among all 5,800 MIT graduate students)
Universities Council on Water Resources Outstanding Dissertation Award in Science and Engineering (national)
8 different presentation awards at research conferences or pitch competitions
Several grants and awards totalling over $600k

5 Recent Papers: 

[D. M. Warsinger, J. Swaminathan, L. Maswadeh, and J. H. Lienhard V], ([2015]), "[Superhydrophobic condenser surfaces for air gap membrane distillation]," [Journal of Membrane Science], [578–587]

[D. M. Warsinger, K. H. Mistry, K. G. Nayar, H. W. Chung, and J. H. Lienhard V], ([2015]), "[Entropy generation of desalination powered by variable temperature waste heat]," [Entropy], [7530–7566]

[D. M. Warsinger, J. Swaminathan, E. Guillen-Burrieza, H. A. Arafat, and J. H. Lienhard V], ([2014]), "[Scaling and fouling in membrane distillation for desalination applications: A review]," [Desalination], [294–313],

Contact Information: