Daniel Attinger

Daniel Attinger

Associate Professor

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Areas of Interest

Attinger’s research area is in multiphase microfluidics, which describes the dynamical behavior of several fluids or phases constrained by a micro-geometry. Multiphase microfluidics systems are typically multiscale, and feature multiple deforming interfaces. Current micro- and nano-manufacturing techniques provide tools to engineer the performance of multiphase microfluidic systems. Attinger’s lab members work at understanding and enhancing multiphase microfluidic transport phenomena. Typical problems in which we have built expertise and leadership are multiphase flow in microgeometries, and the deposition with phase change of a single droplet on a solid wall. Applications are in biology, manufacturing, bloodstain pattern analysis, advanced thermal management and energy transport. Research funding comes from NSF, the Department of Justice and NIH.


ScD, Technical Sciences, Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, 2001
BS and MS, Mechanical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, 1997


After a 2001 PhD at ETH Zurich and faculty positions at Stony Brook and Columbia University, Attinger is since 2011 Associate Professor at Iowa State University. He has produced about 80 journal and conference papers. He has given seven keynote lectures at international heat transfer and microfluidic conferences, and more than 50 invited talks in America, Asia and Europe. Attinger is a member of the Nanoengineering Council of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, where he co-organizes the Micro & Nano Technology Society-Wide Forum, and the International Conference on Micro, Nano and Minichannels. Attinger is the co-inventor of four US and international patents. He teaches bloodstain pattern analysis since 2016 as an adjunct professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He is the recipient of the ETH Zurich medal for outstanding Ph.D. thesis (2001), an NSF CAREER award for young investigators (2005), the 2012 ASME ICNMM 2012 Outstanding Researcher Award, and Professor of the Year in the Mechanical Engineering Department (2014). The first three PhD graduates of Attinger’s lab have obtained tenure-track faculty positions at research universities. Here is a full resume.

Selected Publications

1. Daniel Attinger, Craig Moore, Adam Donaldson, Arian Jafari, and Howard A Stone, “Fluid Dynamics Topics in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: Comparative Review and Research Opportunities”, accepted April 2013 in Forensic Science International.

2. Xiao, J., H. A. Stone and D. Attinger (2012). “Source-like solution for radial imbibition into a homogeneous semi-infinite porous medium.” Langmuir 28(9): 4208-4212.

3. N. Kim, Z. Li, C. Hurth, F. Zenhausern, S.-F. Chang, and D. Attinger, “Identification of fluid and substrate chemistry based on automatic pattern recognition of stains,” Analytical Methods, 2012, 4(1), 50-57 (with front cover figure)

4. Betz, A., J. Xu, H. Qiu, and D. Attinger, Do surfaces with mixed hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas enhance pool boiling? Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 141909 (2010); doi:10.1063/1.3485057.

5. R. Bhardwaj, X. Fang, P. Somasundaran, and D. Attinger, Self-assembly of particles from evaporating colloidal droplets: role of the pH and proposition of a phase diagram, Langmuir, 2010, vol. 26 (11), pp. 7833-7842.

6. Xu J. and Attinger D, Drop on demand in a microfluidic chip, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol 18, pp 065020, 2008.

7. Xu, J. and D. Attinger, Acoustic excitation of superharmonic capillary waves on a meniscus in a planar microgeometry, Physics of Fluids, 2007. 19: p. 108107.

8. D. Attinger, Z. Zhao, and D. Poulikakos, An Experimental Study of Molten Microdroplet Surface Deposition and Solidification: Transient Behavior and Wetting Angle Dynamics, ASME Journal of Heat Transfer Vol. 122 (3), pp. 544-556, 2000

9. Attinger, D., S. Haferl, Z. Zhao, and D. Poulikakos, Transport Phenomena in the Impact of a Molten Droplet on a Surface: Macroscopic Phenomenology and Microscopic Considerations. Part II: Heat Transfer and Solidification,” in Annual Reviews of Heat Transfer, Vol. XI, C.L. Tien, Editor. 2000. pp. 65-143.

Daniel Attinger

Associate Professor