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Fabris, Drazen


Dr. Fabris has a background in fluid dynamics and thermal science involving the development of optical experimental techniques and has an equivalent interest in numerical modeling. At Santa Clara, Dr. Fabris has co-developed the microscale boiling laboratory to study high speed nucleation and bubble growth processes, and spray cooling mechanisms. Dr. Fabris has also been active on the Thermal and Electron Nanoscale Transport project testing thermal interface materials and developing non-contact reflectance based temperature measurement techniques for thin film and carbon nanostructure conductivity measurements. He is also working on the development of spectral element techniques for modeling. He has organized national workshops in direct liquid cooling (2006), a forum on energy use and policy (2001), and was invited to the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering (2007) organized by the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Fabris has over 60 refereed publications, $3.9M in total funding (PI and Co-PI), and has received NSF support for education and curriculum development.


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1996
M.S., University of California at Berkeley, 1993
B.S., California Institute of Technology, 1990

Current Research Interests

Nanoscale heat generation and transport: Developing experimental methods and models to understand the mechanisms of heat generation in metallic thin films and carbon nanostructures.

Electronics cooling: Developing carbon nanotube based thermal interface materials for electronics applications. Developing and testing liquid spray cooling systems, and understanding the governing physics of two-phase spray heat transfer.

Energy: Developing models and metrics to improve energy efficiency in computing data centers. Developing heat exchanger design for coal reformation into syngas.

Computation methods: Developing spectral techniques to Poisson equations with application of domain decomposition methods.

Courses Taught


MECH 102 Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Mechanical Engineering
MECH 122 Fluid Mechanics I
MECH 131 Thermodynamics II (no-longer taught)
MECH 132 Fluid Mechanics II
MECH 160 Modern Instrumentation for Engineers

For a list of Mechanical Engineering course descriptions, visit the Undergraduate Course Descriptions page.


MECH 226 Gas Dynamics II
MECH 230 Statistical Thermodynamics
MECH 236 Conduction Heat Transfer
MECH 238 Convection Heat Transfer I
MECH 240 Radiation Heat Transfer I
MECH 266 Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
MECH 268 Computational Fluid Mechanics I
MECH 269 Computational Fluid Mechanics II
MECH 270 Viscous Flow I
MECH 271 Viscous Flow II
MECH 295 Special Topics: Computer Data Acquisition
MECH 345 Modern Instrumentation and Experimentation

For a list of Mechanical Engineering course descriptions, visit the Graduate Course Descriptions page.


  • Regents Fellowship, University of California at Berkeley
  • Coopers and Lybrand Technology Challenge winner


  • Fabris, D., Rosshirt, M., Cardenas, C., Wilhite, P., Yamada, T., and Yang, C. Y., Application of Carbon Nanotubes to Thermal Interface Materials, ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging, special issue. (invited paper, under review).
  • Lebassi, B. González, J.E., Fabris, D., Bornstein, R., “Impacts of climate change in degree days and energy demand in Coastal California,” Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME, v 132, n 3, p 0310051-0310059, August 2010.
  • Yamada, T., Saito, T., Suzuki, M., Wilhite, P., Sun, X., Akhavantafti, N., Fabris, D.; Yang, C. Y., “Tunneling between carbon nanofiber and gold electrodes,” Journal of Applied Physics, v 107, n 4, 2010.
  • Escobar-Vargas, S.; Fabris, D.; Gonzalez, J.E.; Sharma, R.; Bash, C.; Ruiz, O.E., Bubble growth characterization during fast boiling in an enclosed geometry, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, v 52, n 21-22, p 5102-5112, October 2009.
  • Lebassi, B., J. González, J., Fabris, D., Maurer, E., Miller, N., Milesi, C., Switzer, P., and Bornstein, R., Observed 1970–2005 “Cooling of Summer Daytime Temperatures in Coastal California, Journal of Climate,” V. 22, Issue 13 pp. 3558–3573, July 2009.
  • Yamada, T., Saito, T., Fabris, D., and Yang, C. Y., "Electrothermal analysis of breakdown in carbon nanofiber interconnects," IEEE Electron Device Letters, v. 30, n. 5, 2009, pp.469-471.
  • Saito, T., Yamada, T., Fabris, D., Kitsuki, H., Wilhite, P., Suzuki, M., Yang, C.Y., “Improved contact for thermal and electrical transport in carbon nanofibers interconnects,” Applied Physics Letters, v. 93, 2008, p. 102108-1-3.
  • Kitsuki, H.; Yamada, T.; Fabris, D.; Jameson, J.R.; Wilhite, P.; Suzuki, M.; Yang, C.Y., “Length dependence of current-induced breakdown in carbon nanofiber interconnects,” Applied Physics Letters, v 92, n 17, 28 April 2008, p 173110-1-3.
  • Escobar Vargas S., Gonzalez J.E., Fabris D., Sharma R., Bash C., Ruiz O.E., 2007, “Microbubble efficiency during fast boiling growth”, Ingenieria Mecanica Tecnologia y Desarrollo, Vol 2, No 4, pp. 139-144.
  • S. Escobar-Vargas, D. Fabris, Gonzalez J.E., R. Sharma, C. Bash, O. E. Ruiz, "Micro-heater temperature measurements during fast boiling in enclosed geometries," AIAA paper no: AIAA-2006-3118, 9th AIAA-ASME Joint Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference, San Francisco, 2006.
  • D. Fernandez, S. Escobar Vargas, D. Fabris, and J. Gonzalez Cruz, R. Sharma and C. Bash, "Characterization of Bubble Formation of FC- 72 Under Micro- Boiling Conditions," AIAA paper no: AIAA-2006-3124, 9th AIAA-ASME Joint Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference, San Francisco, 2006.
  • D. Fabris, S. Escobar-Vargas, J. Gonzalez Cruz, R. Sharma, C. Bash, "Bubble growth and pressure generation efficiency in TIJ devices," ASME/JSME Joint Conference on Micromechatronics for Information and Precision Equipment, Santa Clara, CA, June, 2006.
  • T. Healy, R. Davis, D. Fabris, M. Aschheim, T. Urdan, "WIP: Restructuring a Cornerstone Course with Limited Resources," 36th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego, CA, Oct 28-31, 2006.
  • Fabris, D., and Zarantonello, S. "A Cousin formulation for overlapped domain decomposition applied to the Poisson equation," to appear in Domain Decomposition Methods in Science and Engineering XVI, Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering, Eds. Olof B. Widlund, David E. Keyes, 55, Springer-Verlag, pp. 533-540, 2006.
  • U. Ozkol, C. Wark, and D. Fabris, "Mean and Fluctuating Velocity Characteristics of a Separated Shear Layer," accepted to the Journal of Fluids Engineering, to appear Jan. 2007. This paper identifies the transition from steady to unsteady separation in relation to vortex formation and turbulent quantities.
  • D.R. Williams, C. Rowley, T. Colonius, R. Murray, D. MacMartin, and J. Albertson, "Model-Based Control of Cavity Oscillations-Part I: Experiments," AIAA paper no. 2002-0971, 40th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno NV, Jan. 2002.
  • C. Rowley, D. Williams, T. Colonius, R. Murray, D. MacMartin, D. Fabris, "Model-Based Control of Cavity Oscillations-Part II: System Identification and Analysis," AIAA paper no. 202-0972, 40th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno NV, Jan. 2002.
  • M. P. Mitchell, D. Fabris, and R., O. Sweeney, "Blind Vortex Tube as Heat-Rejecting Heat Exchanger for Pulse Tube Cryocooler," 11th International Cryocooler Conference, Keystone, CO, June 2001.
  • D. R. Williams, D. Fabris, and J Morrow, "Experiments on Controlling Multiple Acoustic Modes in Cavities," AIAA paper no. 2000-1903, 6th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lahaina, HI, 2000.
  • D. Fabris, S. J. Muller, and D. Liepmann, "Wake measurements for flow around a sphere in a viscoelastic fluid," Physics of Fluids, Vol. 11 N12, pp.3599-3612, 1999.
Drazen Fabris, Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering