dr.ir. D. Fernandez Rivas (David)


About Me

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Please, take a look at my personal webpage: www.david-fernandez-rivas.com

Short video

I enjoy scientific research and ensuring its deployment into society on three topics: cavitation, renewable energy, and process intensification through microfluidics. Besides teaching and performing academic activities, I am a strong promotor of valorization and commercialization. I have controlled and utilized cavitation, or the appearance and collapse of bubbles with acoustics, electrochemistry, and microfluidics, for industrial applications such as water remediation, and materials modification.

Since 2014, I have focused on biomedical projects, such as improving diagnostics of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, with bubble acoustic excitation in bio-fluids such as sputum: Rapid microsensor to diagnose bacterial infection in COPD exacerbations.

My most ambitious research is the needle-free injection of fluids: www.bubble-gun.eu . I strive to reduce production and usage costs of this technology, improving its reliability, and make it accessible for developing countries and millions of people worldwide. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s  Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 851630).

My ultimate goal is to become an independent scientist, leading motivated professionals into exciting research at the interface of physics and biomedicine. 

Affiliation to MIT since 2017: https://bioinstrumentation.mit.edu/people.html


Physics & Astronomy
Cavitation Flow
Engineering & Materials Science

Ancillary Activities

  • Mechanical Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
    Research Affiliate
  • BuBclean
    Co-founder, I act mainly as advisor and providing a scientific angle.
  • FlowBeams BV
    Manager FlowBeams
  • JBD Health
    Advisory board


I am interested in original and challenging applicable research; meaning that I want to achieve scientific results, apply them in the most efficient way, and ensure its deployment into society in the shortest time feasible.

My research focus is on two themes: BioEngineering and Greentech

Why bubbles? Cavitation - appearance and collapse of bubbles- can provide novel ways to purify water, modify materials, the creation of jets for medical applications, and many others. Nevertheless, the presence of a bubble is often seen as a negative event by the majority of scientists. This notoriousness comes from the difficulties in controlling bubbles, and because the utilization of their effects is not an easy task. If we are to control and utilize cavitation for societally relevant applications, first there are scientific questions that need to be addressed. We therefore need to develop techniques and engineering systems to do it efficientlexploit bubbles.


Dominik, M., Nzweundji, J. G., Ahmed, N., Carnicelli, S., Jalaluddin, N. S. M. , Rivas, D. F., Narita, V., Enany, S., & Rojas, C. R. (2022). Open Science – For Whom? Data Science Journal, 21(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2022-001
Lopez-Verges, S. L., Valiente-Echeverría, F., Godoy-Faúndez, A. , Fernandez Rivas, D., Urbani, B., Berger, J. J., & Carmona-Mora, P. (2021). Call to action: Supporting Latin American early career researchers on the quest for sustainable development in the region. Frontiers in research metrics and analytics, 6, [657120]. https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2021.657120
Lopez-Verges, S., Urbani, B. , Fernandez Rivas, D., Kaur-Ghumaan, S., Coussens, A. K., Moronta-Barrios, F., Bhattarai, S. , Niamir, L., Siciliano, V., Molnar, A., Weltman, A., Dhimal, M., Arya, S. S., Cloete, K. J., Awan, A. T., Kohler, S., Sharma, C. S., Rios Rojas, C., Shimpuku, Y., ... Carmona-Mora, P. (2021). Correction: Mitigating losses: how scientific organisations can help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early-career researchers. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1), [313]. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-01000-8
Quetzeri-Santiago, M. A., Hunter, I. W. , van der Meer, D. , & Fernandez Rivas, D. (2021). Impact of a microfluidic jet on a pendant droplet. Soft matter, 17(32), 7466-7475. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SM00706H
Karregat, J., Rustemeyer, T., van der Bent, S., Spiekstra, S., Thon, M. , Fernandez Rivas, D., & Gibbs, S. (2021). Assessment of cytotoxicity and sensitization potential of intradermally injected tattoo inks in reconstructed human skin. Contact Dermatitis, 85(3), 324-339. https://doi.org/10.1111/cod.13908
Fernandez Rivas, D., Boffito, D. C. , Faria-Albanese, J., Glassey, J., Afraz, N., Akse, H., Boodhoo, K. V. K., Bos, R., Cantin, J. , & van den Berg, H. (2020). Process intensification education contributes to sustainable development goals: Part 1. Education for Chemical Engineers, 32, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ece.2020.04.003
Rivas, D. F., Boffito, D. C. , Faria-Albanese, J., Glassey, J., Cantin, J., Afraz, N., Akse, H., Boodhoo, K. V. K., Bos, R., Chiang, Y. W., Commenge, J-M., Dubois, J-L., Galli, F., Harmsen, J., Kalra, S., Keil, F., Morales-Menendez, R., Navarro-Brull, F. J., Noël, T., ... Weber, R. S. (2020). Process Intensification education contributes to sustainable development goals: Part 2. Education for Chemical Engineers, 32, 15-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ece.2020.05.001
Andrews, E. D. , Rivas, D. F. , & Peters, I. R. (2020). Cavity collapse near slot geometries. Journal of fluid mechanics, 901, [A29]. https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2020.552
Fernandez Rivas, D. , & Oyarte Galvez, L. A. (2020). Jet injection system. (Patent No. WO/2020/182665).
Fernandez Rivas, D., & Boffito, D. C. (2020). Intensifying Learning Processes. IChemE Educational Special Interest Group.
Nguyen, D. M., Sanathanan, M. S., Miao, J. , Rivas, D. F. , & Ohl, C-D. (2019). In-phase synchronization between two auto-oscillating bubbles. Physical review fluids, 4(4), [043601]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.043601

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


I see myself as a knowledge transfer agent between generations of professionals and the public in general. Continuous education is part of my lifelong learning plan, increasing my adaptability and personal development. My interest is to sharpen existing, or developing new skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and communication. These skills, transferred to my students and collaborators, will help us keep ahead of developments around us, in a constantly changing world.

Approach to my teaching

Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2021/2022

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2020/2021


I try to keep updated my personal webpage, and here you can find the Research activities.

BuBble Team on a cold February 2021 afternoon.

In times of lockdown (October 2020)

Rivas' team in 2020

This was the work team, November 2017

Current Projects


  1. How can you get an injection without a needle? Universiteit van Nederland 
  2. De Ingenieur, interview Ik los graag praktische problemen op (in Dutch) “I like solving practical problems”, November 2020
  3. NPO Radio 1, interview (in Dutch) about the possibilities of injecting without needles, March 15th, 2020.
  4. RTL Nieuws Editie NL, TV interview (in Dutch) online text and video, March 12th, 2020.
  5. Volkskrant interview, about my research regarding needle-free technology; printed and online version (in Dutch) March 7th, 2020.
  6. Euraxes Interview, giving tips to researchers interested in applying for ERC grants. December 2nd, 2019.
  7. Ecco il tatuaggio senza aghi, indolore e inteligente, Galileo, Popular Science Italian website. June 11th, 2019. 
  8. The Dutch radio station BNR Nieuws interviewed me on May 8th, 2019 about the Needle-free technology that I am developing (in Dutch) (https://www.bnr.nl/player/archief/20190507175010175)
  9. De Ingenieur, an article and interview were published in print and online version of this popular Dutch magazine (https://www.deingenieur.nl/artikel/spuitje-zonder-prik-hier-komt-de-naaldloze-injectie)
  10. Tubantia published one full page in the weekend special an interview about injection of insulin and tattooing without needles May 2019; Extra zonnebrand smeren of insuline spuiten? UT onderzoekt mogelijkheden tattoos, (https://www.tubantia.nl/enschede/extra-zonnebrand-smeren-of-insuline-spuiten-ut-onderzoekt-mogelijkheden-tattoos~abaa7ead/) (http://davidfr.ddns.net/wordpress/index.php/2019/05/23/local-newspaper-interview/)
  11. Optics.org provides daily coverage of the optics & photonics industry and the markets that it serves and wrote about my research https://optics.org/news/10/4/37
  12. Our skin as a platform, interview published in U-Today, regarding an event I organised March 21st 2019 (https://www.utoday.nl/news/66710/our-skin-is-a-platform)  
  13. The paper resulting from the Lorentz Center event I organized, Pathways to Solar Hydrogen Technologies, made it to the Energy and Environmental Science cover. (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2018/ee/c8ee90055h/unauth#!divAbstract) https://www.lorentzcenter.nl/lc/web/2016/797/info.php3?wsid=797&venue=Oort
  14. Opening up a path for solar hydrogen, U-Today, October 2018  (https://www.utoday.nl/science/66117/opening-up-a-path-for-solar-hydrogen)

Rising Star, U-Today, September 2018.

Dutch KIJK magazine closes its voting and InkBeams is 1st Tech Idea of 2017 

Spreading entrepreneurial ambitions from an academic perspective 2017

NRC Next article on MESA+ cleanroom and BuBclean, September 2nd, 2015

News on utwente.nl

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Carré (building no. 15), room C1413
Hallenweg 23
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Carré  C1413
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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