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William D. Ristenpart

Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis

My research is in complex transport phenomena, with an emphasis on using advanced experimental techniques to extract quantitative measurements from complicated phenomena. My group strives to answer fundamental scientific questions about a variety of systems where the transport behavior is paramount. Recent topics include: electrocoalescence of charged droplets, electrically-induced aggregation of colloids near electrodes, extraction dynamics in coffee, and turbulent dispersion of airborne pathogens. My lab has two Phantom high-speed cameras (a grayscale v7.1 and a color v7.3), both of which can capture at more than 100,000 frames per second. We also have several microscopes and various optical and laser systems.

I am also passionate about coffee – I serve as Director of the UC Davis Coffee Center, and my undergraduate course, The Design of Coffee: An Introduction to Chemical Engineering, regularly enrolls more than 2,000 students per year.


  • –present
    Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis


  • 2005 
    Princeton University, PhD
  • 1999 
    University of California Davis, BS