Jeffrey Davis, Professor of Chemical Engineering, recently received two prominent campus awards: the UMass Distinguished Teaching Award; and the Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow Award. The UMass Distinguished Teaching Award is the highest honor on campus for classroom excellence, and only four awards are made across campus each year. The Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow program is designed to prepare future campus leaders.
Honoring individual excellence, the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award is highly competitive and prestigious. Only current students and alumni can nominate faculty for this award. Each year faculty, graduate, and undergraduate student committees review more than 100 nominations in a two-step process of data collection and analysis prior to selecting a handful of awardees. Recipients receive a monetary prize and are recognized at both the undergraduate and graduate commencements.
The UMass Amherst Fellows program chooses candidates who have attained the rank of professor and have shown an interest in administrative leadership. They are awarded a half-time, one-year, temporary appointment to an administrative area, in which they will spend their time working with the leader of the host unit. Each fellow will also undertake a significant project to be launched during the fellowship year.
Beyond his two most recent honors, Davis has a long history of accomplishments. He received the UMass Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activities in 2010, the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the College of Engineering in 2008, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2007, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2007, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Engineering in 2007, a Lilly Teaching Fellowship in 2007, a 3M Nontenured Faculty Award in 2006, a George Van Ness Lothrop Honorific Fellowship (2002) and a Gordon Y. S. Wu Fellowship in Engineering (1999) from Princeton University, the Roger de Friez Hunneman Prize in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999, and a number of other awards.
Davis’ research is in the area of physical applied mathematics, with applications primarily in fluid mechanics and transport phenomena. His interest in these areas was piqued by an undergraduate course in fluid mechanics at MIT. The instructor, Professor Howard Brenner, subsequently acted as a mentor as Professor Davis completed an undergraduate thesis, a course in interfacial transport processes (as the only enrolled student), and several other graduate courses in transport phenomena while maintaining a perfect GPA at MIT. Professor Davis furthered his expertise in interfacial flows by studying with Professor Sandra Troian while earning his Ph.D. at Princeton University.
Davis utilizes analytical and numerical methods to provide physical insight and an enhanced fundamental understanding of the underlying phenomena. He has made significant contributions to the dynamics of thin liquid films on heterogeneous surfaces, interfacial flows, hydrodynamic stability, and microscale flows involving the dynamic interaction of microparticles with nano-textured surfaces. Much of his current research is focused on blood flow through capillary networks and related subjects in biofluid dynamics.
Davis earned his S.B. from MIT in 1999, and his M.A. (2001) and Ph.D. (2003) from Princeton University. (June 2017)