Skip to main content

Dr. David Zumbrunnen

Warren H. Owen - Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Office: 221 Fluor Daniel Building
Phone: (864) 656-5625
Fax: (864) 656-4435

Dr. Zumbrunnen is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a registered professional engineer. He first proposed that micro- and nanostructured plastic materials can be formed controllably by inducing chaotic advection in multi-component melts. Smart blending machinery, novel materials, and manufacturing processes resulted and several patents have been awarded. He is a recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from The White House and National Science Foundation. He has served as an associate technical editor for the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer and on society technical committees. Dr. Zumbrunnen was a founding research thrust leader for a NSF Engineering Research Center and has been an advocate for multidisciplinary research. He teaches courses focusing on heat and mass transfer, nuclear energy, renewable energy sources, and engineering design. He was previously a nuclear-trained US naval officer in the nuclear submarine service and worked in a nuclear energy services company.


PhD, Purdue University, 1988
MSME, Purdue University, 1984
BME, University of Minnesota, 1977 

Research Interests

Heat transfer and fluid mechanics in nuclear energy applications, nuclear waste storage and disposal, nuclear power plant design and construction, radiation shielding, multi-component flows, formation and physical properties of polymer composites and blends, and chaotic advection in polymer melts. 

Selected Publications

Zumbrunnen, D. A., Subrahmanian, R., Kulshreshtha, B., and Mahesha, C., "Smart Blending Technology Enabled by Chaotic Advection," Advances in Polymer Technology, Vol. 25, pp. 152-169, 2006.

Joshi, A. S. and Zumbrunnen, D. A., "Computational Clarifications of Experimental Blend Morphology Development in Immiscible Polymer Melts Organized by Chaotic Advection," Chemical Engineering Communications, Vol. 193, pp. 765-781, 2006.

Jin, X., Zumbrunnen, D. A., Balasubramanian, A., and Yam, K., "Tailored Additive Release Rates in Extruded Plastic Films Produced with Smart Blending Machines," Journal of Plastic Film and Sheeting, Vol. 25, pp. 115-140, 2009.

Zumbrunnen, D. A., "Chaotic Advection and its Application to Extruding Micro- and Nano-Structured Plastic Materials," in: Applied Plastics Engineering Handbook, Processing and Materials, M. Kutz, editor, Elsevier Books, Amsterdam, Chapter 22, pp. 401-415, 2011.

David Zumbrunnen