Rob Davis
Distinguished Professor • Tisone Professor • Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering and Applied Science
Chemical and Biological Engineering • Biomedical Engineering Program • Materials Science and Engineering Program

Office: JSCBB D127
Mailbox: 596 UCB


B.S., University of California at Davis (1978)
M.S., Ph.D., Stanford University (1979, 1982)


  • Distinguished Professor Award, University of Colorado, 2022
  • CU Boulder CEAS Outstanding Mentor Award 2022
  • Erskine Fellowship, University of Canterbury, 2018
  • Robert L. Stearns Award, Boulder Alumni Association, University of Colorado, 2017
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
  • ASME Certificate of Appreciation (Plenary Speaker), 2009
  • AIChE Fellow, 2009
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Medal, University of California, Davis, 2006
  • Blue-Green Distinguished Lecturer, University of Michigan and University State University, 2006
  • Outstanding Service Award, Boulder Faculty Assembly, University of Colorado 2003
  • ASEE Dow Lectureship Award, 2002
  • Joe and Essie Smith Distinguished Lecturer, U.C. Davis, 2002
  • Outstanding Research Award, Boulder Faculty Assembly, University of Colorado, 2000
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Engineering and Applied Science, 2000
  • Outstanding Service Award, College of Engineering and Applied Science, 1999
  • AIChE Excellence and Service Appreciation Award, 1999
  • University of Colorado Faculty Fellowship, 1997
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Department of Chemical Engineering, 1996
  • AIChE Outstanding Paper Award, 1995
  • Outstanding Research Award, College of Engineering and Applied Science, 1993

Selected Publications

  • Navarro, R., A. Z. Zinchenko and R. H. Davis, “Boundary-Integral Study of a Freely Suspended Drop in a T-Shaped Microchannel”, Phys. Rev. Fluids (under review)
  • Jensen, J. B., M. A. Rother, and R. H. Davis, “Cloud Droplet Collision Efficiencies: Physical Assumptions and Implications,” (under review).
  • Davis, R.H, “Microfiltration in Pharmaceutics and Biotechnology”, in Membrane Processes in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Field, ed. C. Charcosset and A. Basile, Elsevier (in press).
  • Davis, R. H. and A. Z. Zinchenko, “Particle Collection by Permeable Drop”, Phys. Rev. Fluids 3, 113601 (2018).
  • Zinchenko, A. Z. and R.  H. Davis, “General Rheology of Highly Concentrated Emulsions with Insoluble Surfactant,” J. Fluid Mech. 816, 661-704 (2017).
  • Rickman, M., S. Maruf, E. Kujundzic, R. H. Davis, A. Greenberg, Y. Ding and J. Pellegrino, “Fractionation and Flux Decline Studies of Surface-Patterned Nanofiltration Membranes using NaCl-glycerol-BSA Solutions,” J. Mem. Sci. 527, 102-110 (2017).
  • Zinchenko, A. Z. and R. H. Davis, “Motion of Deformable Drops through Porous Media,” Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 49, 71 - 90 (2017).
  • Martin, R. M., A. Z. Zinchenko and R. H. Davis, “Application of a Generalized Oldroyd Model to a Suspension of Spheroids Subject to Brownian Rotations,” J. Rheol. 60, 1211-1226 (2016).
  • Zinchenko, A. Z. and R. H. Davis, “Extensional, Shear Flows and General Rheology of Concentrated Emulsions of Deformable Drops,” J. Fluid Mech. 79, 197-244 (2015).
  • Martin, R., A. Zinchenko, and R. Davis, “A Generalized Oldroyd’s Model for Dilute Emulsions of Deformable Drops,” J. Rheol. 58, 759-777 (2014).  
  • Zinchenko, A. Z. and R. H. Davis, “Growth of Multiparticle Aggregates in Sedimenting Suspensions,” J. Fluid Mech. 742, 577-617 (2014).
  • Goddard, J.D., P.R. Nott, R.H. Davis, M. Reeks, D. Saintillan, and S. Sundaresan, “Report on the IUTAM Symposium on Mobile Particulate Systems: Kinematics, Rheology and Complex Phenomena, Bangalore, India, 2012,” Physics of Fluids 25, 070501-1–070501-14 (2013).
  • Rickman, M., R.H. Davis, and J. Pellegrino, “Fractionation of Organic Fuel precursors from Electrolytes with Membranes,” I&ECR 52, 10530–10539 (2013).
  • Smith, B.T., J. Halperin, A. Darzins, and R.H. Davis, “Enhanced Sediment Flow in Inclined Settlers via Surface Modification or Applied Vibration for Harvesting Microalgae,” Algal Res. 2, 369-377 (2013).
  • Ashley, J.F., C.N. Bowman, and R.H. Davis, “Hydrodynamic Separation of Particles using Pinched-flow Fractionation,” AIChE Journal 59, 3444-3457 (2013).
  • Zinchenko, A.Z. and R.H. Davis, “Emulsion Flow through a Packed Bed with Multiple Drop Breakup,” J. Fluid Mech. 725, 611-663 (2013).
  • Smith, B.T. and R.H. Davis, “Particle Concentration using Inclined Sedimentation via Sludge Accumulation and Removal for Algae Harvesting,” Chem. Eng. Sci. 22, 79-85 (2013).
  • Donahue, C.M., R.H. Davis, A.A. Kantak, and C.M. Hrenya, “Mechanisms for Agglomeration and De-agglomeration Following Oblique Collisions of Wet Particles,” Physical Review E 86, art. no. 021303, 5 pages (2012).
  • Rickman, M., J. Pellegrino, and R.H. Davis, “Fouling Phenomena during Membrane Filtration of Algae,” J. Mem. Sci. 423-424, 33-42 (2012).
  • Ratcliffe, T., A.Z. Zinchenko, and R.H. Davis, “Simulations of Gravity-induced Trapping of a Deformable Drop in a Three-dimensional Constriction,” J. Colloid Interface Science 383, 167-176 (2012).
  • Donahue, C.M., W.M. Brewer, R.H. Davis, and C.M. Hrenya, “Agglomeration and De-agglomeration of Rotating Wet Doublets,” J. Fluid Mech. 708, 128-148 (2012).
  • Ratcliffe, T. and R.H. Davis, “Drop Trapping in Axisymmetric Constrictions with Arbitrary Contact Angle,” Phys. Fluids 24, 062102-1 – 062102-6 (2012).
  • Smith, B.T. and R.H. Davis, “Sedimentation of Algae Flocculated Using Naturally-available Magnesium-based Flocculants,” Algal Res.1, 32-29 (2012).
  • Zinchenko, A.Z., J.F. Ashley, and R.H. Davis, “A Moving-frame Boundary-integral Method for Particle Transport in Microchannels of Complex Shape,” Physics of Fluids 24, 043302-1 – 043302-32 (2012).
  • Ashley, J.F., N.B. Cramer, R.H. Davis, and C.N. Bowman, “Soft-lithography Fabrication of Microfluidic Features using Thiol-ene Formulations,” Lab-on-a-Chip 11, 2772-2778 (2011).
  • Zinchenko, A.Z., M.A. Rother, and R.H. Davis, “Gravity-induced Collisions of Spherical Drops Covered with Compressible Surfactant,” J. Fluid Mech. 667, 369-402 (2011).
  • Donahue, C.M., C.M. Hrenya, and R.H. Davis, “Stokes’ Cradle: Newton’s Cradle with Liquid Coating,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 034501 (2010).
  • Ratcliffe, T., A.Z. Zinchenko, and R.H. Davis, “Buoyancy-induced Squeezing of a Deformable Drop through an Axisymmetric Ring Constriction,” Physics of Fluids 22, 082101-1-082101-19 (2010).
  • Donahue, C.M., C.M. Hrenya, R.H. Davis, K.J. Nakagawa, A.P. Zelinskaya, and G.G. Joseph, “Stokes’ Cradle: Normal Three-Body Collisions between Wetted Particles,” J. Fluid Mech. 650, 479-504 (2010).
  • Smith, B.T., J.S. Knutsen, and R.H. Davis, “Empirical Evaluation of Inhibitory Product, Substrate, and Enzyme Effects During the Enzymatic Saccharification of Lignocellulosic Biomass,” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 161, 468-482 (2010).
  • Griggs, A.J., A.Z. Zinchenko, and R.H. Davis, “Creeping Motion and Pending Breakup of Drops and Bubbles Near an Inclined Wall,” J. Phys. Fluids. 21, 093303-1-093303-14 (2009).
  • Kantak, A.A., C.M. Hrenya, and R.H. Davis, “Initial Rates of Aggregation for Dilute, Granular Flows of Wet (Cohesive) Particles,” Phys. Fluids 21, 023301-023301-13 (2009).
  • Knutsen, J.S. and R.H. Davis, “Direct Visual Observation of Microfiltration Membrane Fouling,” in Monitoring and Visualizing Membrane Based Processes, ed. C. Guell, Wiley, VCH (2009).
  • Davis, R.H. and A.Z. Zinchenko, “Motion of Deformable Drops Through Granular Media and Other Confined Geometries,” J. Colloid and Interface Sci. 334, 113-123 (2009).
  • Rother, M.A. and R.H. Davis, “Buoyancy-driven Breakup of an Isolated Drop with Surfac-tant,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 044051-1-044501-4 (2008).
  • Zinchenko, A.Z. and R.H. Davis, “Algorithm for Direct Numerical Simulation of Emulsion Flow Through a Granular Material,” J. Comp. Phys. 227, 7841-7888 (2008).
  • Zinchenko, A.Z. and R.H. Davis, “Squeezing of a Periodic Emulsion through a Cubic Lattice of Spheres,” Phys. Fluids 20, 040803-040811 (2008).
  • Griggs, A.J., A.Z. Zinchenko, and R.H. Davis, “Gravity-driven Motion of a Deformable Drop or Bubble near an Inclined Plane at Low Reynolds Number,” Int. J. Multiphase Flow 34, 408-418 (2008).

Research Interests

Fluid Dynamics–particulate, colloidal, and microbial suspensions; sedimentation; filtration; coagulation; hydrodynamic diffusion; particle-fluid separations; composite materials processing, microstructure, and properties; droplet interactions and coalescence; flotation; microfluidics.

Biotechnology–microbial flocculation and sedimentation; aqueous two-phase extraction of cells; continuous fermentations with selective cell recycle; particle electrophoresis; in vitro RNA transcription; affinity separations; biomass processing.

Membrane Filtration–ultrafiltration; microfiltration; cell separations; cell debris removal; protein separations; wastewater treatment; monitoring and control of fouling; membrane surface modification.