Robert H. Davis has been dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder since 2002. He received a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1978, and he completed MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering at Stanford University in 1979 and 1982, respectively. He was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in 1982-83, before joining the faculty at the University of Colorado in 1983. He served as chair of chemical engineering from 1992 to 2002. He also served as the director of the Colorado RNA Center and co-director of the Colorado Institute for Research in Biotechnology from 1987 to 2001.
Professor Davis’ research and teaching interests are in biotechnology, complex fluids, and membrane separations, with more than 200 reviewed publications in these fields, plus six publications on teaching and mentoring. His recent work has included drop breakup and coalescence, simulations of emulsion flows, microfluidics, the behavior of suspended particles with microscopic surface roughness, membrane fouling reduction in crossflow microfiltration, and process engineering for renewable fuels from algae and cellulosic biomass. He has supervised over 60 graduate students, 12 postdoctoral associates, and 145 undergraduate students on related research projects. He has been recognized with an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, an ASEE Outstanding Young Faculty Award, the ASEE Dow Lectureship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Outstanding Research, Teaching and Service Awards from the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado, and the Excellence in Research and Service Awards from the University of Colorado Boulder Faculty Assembly. He holds the Tisone Endowed Chair in Engineering.
His professional activities have included organizing the IUTAM Symposium on Hydrodynamic Diffusion of Suspended Particles in 1995, the technical program of the AIChE Annual Meeting in 1999, and the technical program of the North American Membrane Society Annual Meeting in 2000. He co-organized a series of workshops on 'Teaching Fluid-Particle Processes' for the 1997 ASEE Summer School for Chemical Engineering Faculty, and he served as guest editor of a special-feature section of Chemical Engineering Education in 1998, which contained seven articles related to the recommendations of this workshop. He was a co-chair of the ASEE Summer School for Chemical Engineering Faculty in 2002. Most recently, he chaired the AIChE Awards Committee from 2006 to 2010.