Dr. David A. Nelson

Dr. David A. Nelson

Mechanical Engineering


  • Ph.D. Engineering, Duke University
  • M.S. Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • B.S. Engineering, Duke University


My research is in the field of heat transfer. I study how energy moves in, and through physiological systems. I have a particular interest in tissue & organ heating effects from exposure to radio-frequency (RF) fields. This work has implications to health & safety standards for a variety of devices (e.g., cell phones, wireless LANs) as well as therapies to treat certain cancers. It's also a fascinating field of research!


  • Latif, S., Austin, C., Chatham, J., Stewart, B., Stubblefield, T. and Nelson, D.,. “A Novel Transducer for Measurement of Skin Blood Flow using Radio Frequency Energy” Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy,2(4)  https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4045063 (2019)
  • Nelson, D.A., Leavesley, S.J., Zirlott, C.D., Yan, X.M. and Downey, J.M. “Feasibility of Using Thermal Response to Ka Band Millimeter Wave Heating to Assess Skin Blood Flow” Physiological Measurements  https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6579/aab4d4 (2018)


  • EG 270: Engineering Thermodynamics
  • ME 490/590 (Special Topics): Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
  • ME 540: Conduction Heat Transfer