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Xianming Dai

Xianming Dai

Associate Professor - Mechanical Engineering
NSERL 4.704
Dai Lab

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

Energy sustainability, heat transfer, electronics cooling, water harvesting


Hydrophilic Reentrant SLIPS Enabled Flow Separation for Rapid Water Harvesting 2022 - Publication
Quasi-Liquid Surfaces for Sustainable High-Performance Steam Condensation 2022 - Publication
Hydrophilic Slippery Surface Enabled Coarsening Effect for Rapid Water Harvesting 2021 - Publication
Gradient Quasi-Liquid Surface Enabled Self-Propulsion of Highly Wetting Liquids 2021 - Publication
Passive removal of highly wetting liquids and ice on quasi-liquid surfaces 2020 - Publication
Hydrophilic directional slippery rough surfaces for water harvesting 2018 - Publication
Ultrasensitive surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection in common fluids
2016 - Publication
Slippery Wenzel State 2015 - publications


UT Dallas Jonsson School Assistant Professor Research Award - [2022]
1st place prize in the STEM Bridge Summer Program - [2022]
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]
JALA Top Ten Breakthrough Award - [2016]


Associate professor of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at Dallas [2023–Present]
Assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at Dallas [2016–2023]
Affiliated Faculty of Bioengineering
The University of Texas at Dallas [2019–Present]

News Articles

New Physical Phenomenon Aids Harvest of Water from Air
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.”