Xianming Dai

Assistant Professor - Mechanical Engineering
NSERL 4.704
Tags: Mechanical Engineering

Professional Preparation

Post-Doc - Mechanical Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University - 2016
Ph.D. - Mechanical Engineering
University of South Carolina - 2013
M.S. - Thermal Engineering
Huazhong University of Science and Technology - 2009
B.S. - Thermal Energy and Power Engineering
Chongqing University - 2007

Research Areas

Wetting, microfluidics, thermal transport, biofilm, water harvesting


Assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at Dallas [2016–Present]
Assistant professor of Bioengineering
The University of Texas at Dallas [2019–Present]


Outstanding Early Career Award at the 1st µFIP conference - [2021]
National Science Foundation CAREER Award - [2021]
Army Research Office's Young Investigator Award - [2019]
ASME Best Poster Award in the Micro and Nano Technology Forum - [2019]
Water harvesting work highlighted by Nature Materials in Material Witness - [2019]
1st place prize in the STEM Bridge Summer Program - [2018]
JALA Top Ten Breakthrough Award - [2016]

News Articles

New Physical Phenomenon Aids Harvest of Water from Air
University of Texas at Dallas researchers have discovered that a novel surface they developed to harvest water from the air encourages tiny water droplets to move spontaneously into larger droplets.

When researchers placed microdroplets of water on their liquid-lubricant surface, the microdroplets propelled themselves to climb, without external force, into larger droplets along an oily, ramp-shaped meniscus that forms from the lubricant around the larger droplets. The “coarsening droplet phenomenon” formed droplets large enough for harvesting.

“This meniscus-mediated climbing effect enabled rapid coalescence on hydrophilic surfaces and has not been reported before. We have discovered a new physical phenomenon that makes it possible to harvest water more rapidly from air without external force,” said Dr. Xianming Dai, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, who led the work. “If we don’t have this new phenomenon, the droplets would be too small, and we could hardly collect them.”