Research Opportunities

Interested researchers of all types should fill out this survey. Opportunity details below.

Graduate & Postdoctoral Research

The Warsinger Lab is recruiting largely in two areas right now (PostDocs and PhD’s), which will have some overlap, and typical co-publication:

1) Thermodynamic modeling: A primary aim is to merge nanomaterial properties with systems-level performance enhancements. Additionally, work (such as on Batch RO and Membrane Distillation) will create new configurations to enhance the performance of desalination and water treatment. The lab is currently hiring several PostDocs to study a) Water-Energy Microgrids with Batch RO for safe drinking water in developing countries (including novel integration with wind & solar power) and b) High efficiency membrane distillation systems for high salinity groundwater/mining water (which will involve materials design as in 2) below.

2) Nanotechnology experiments: This work will focus on creating nanomaterial membranes and surfaces with improved or novel properties. Potential work includes inverse opal membranes, novel condensation surfaces, multi-layer membranes, and nanoparticles for disinfection.

PhD students are largely funded through RA's. Interestingly, those who graduate with PhD's will have a historic Academic Lineage. The lab also accepts unfunded masters-only students. PhD interviews are usually conducted in the late winter, PostDocs are more varied.

Visiting Students

Visiting students (grad or undergrad) are strongly encouraged, and are usually funded from their home institution or country, although the Warsinger Lab will assist with funding applications such as through Fulbright. Ideally visiting students develop or are part of collaboration plan with their home Principle Investigator, and stays of >9 months are needed for reasonable productivity. For accepted visiting students, detailed visa steps are here.

Undergraduate Research

New positions: Warsinger lab is actively recruiting undergraduates. Multi-time period commitments are preferred (e.g. Summer and Fall). Most students work for credit: Paid positions are usually reserved for increasing lab diversity to those who cannot afford not to do paid work, although pay is also possible to recruit exceptional upperclassman.  Two of the openings, related to membrane distillation apparatus creation and nanomaterial membranes, are at this link.

Type of Undergraduate work: A wide variety of experience is possible, including apparatus building and testing, machining, running experiments, controls work, technical writing, patents, academic diagrams, data analysis, and mathematical modelling. New positions include all areas mentioned on the research page.

Ensuring undergraduate success: David tries to find opportunities for students to be coauthors on conference and journal papers. Occasionally he has even taken undergrads to conferences. To ensure long-term success of mentees, David will do award nominations, recommendation letters, and long-term career advice. Past undergrads have received awards from their work with David including the MIT MechE superUROP award, the MIT Peter Griffith Prize, and shared awards including the Best Poster Presentation Award at the ACE15 Conference in Anaheim, California. Past undergrad mentees have gone off to graduate school at MIT, Stanford, UMD, etc, and have gotten jobs at companies including SpaceX, Stroud, ExxonMobil, RWL Water, International Development Enterprises (iDE), and the PA Consulting Group.

Promoting Diversity

The Warsinger lab emphasizes diversity in recruitment, and strives to represent groups of different ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, and country of origin. The lab also strives to create a supportive environment for different cultures, religions, and the LGBTQ community. Beyond the obvious diversity, current and incoming members collectively speak over a dozen languages, and include first generation college students and members from developing countries. We believe that diverse perspectives enhances scientific creativity.

Types of training

The Warsinger lab aims to support two primary focus of training: a scientist track and a entrepreneurship track. Projects types, skill development, recommended goals, and career planning help focus on these two areas.

Why join Purdue and the Warsinger lab?

Purdue University is a leading institute for mechanical engineering (ranked 6th currently) and nanotechnology (consistently top 7) ¹ ².  The lab's home, the Birck Nanotechnology Center, is the cornerstone of Purdue's Discovery Park, which itself has been ranked the top university research park. Through these institutes, Purdue links university research to interdepartmental collaboration and industrial implementation. Purdue is also well-known for Heat Transfer Research (Warsinger’s teaching area): about 70% of undergrad institutes use the textbook by Purdue faculty Incropera and Dewitt. Purdue is located between Indianapolis and Chicago. The cost of living is exceptionally low as well, with housing costs from $400-650/month, and the lowest graduate tuition of any top 10 school.