prof.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

  • Massachussets Institute of Technology MIT
    Research affiliate MIT
  • FlowBeams BV
    Manager FlowBeams
  • Erasmus UMC
    Erasmus UMC


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.


Schoppink, J. (2024). Lasers and bubbles: Thermocavitation for needle-free jet injections. [PhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT, University of Twente]. University of Twente. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036560085
Raman, A. (2024). Bubbles and membranes: Electrolysis at the mesoscale. [PhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT, University of Twente]. University of Twente. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036559881
David, F. R., & Miguel, A. Q. S. (2023). Material characterization method. (Patent No. NL2030901B).
Raman, A., Porto, C. C. D. S. , Gardeniers, H., Soares, C. , Rivas, D. F., & Padoin, N. (2023). Investigating mass transfer around spatially-decoupled electrolytic bubbles. Chemical Engineering Journal, 477, Article 147012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2023.147012
Andrews, E. D. , Rivas, D. F. , & Peters, I. R. (2023). Bubble collapse near porous plates. Journal of fluid mechanics, 962, Article A11. https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2023.266
Schoppink, J., Mohan, K., Quetzeri-Santiago, M., McKinley, G. H. , Rivas, D. F., & Dickerson, A. K. (2023). Cavitation-induced microjets tuned by channels with alternating wettability patterns. Physics of fluids, 35, Article 032017. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0143223
Schoppink, J. J., Mohan, K., Quetzeri-Santiago, M. A., McKinley, G. , Rivas, D. F., & Dickerson, A. K. (2023). Cavitation-induced microjets tuned by channels with alternating wettability patterns. ArXiv.org.

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  2023/2024

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  2022/2023


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 21
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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