David Heitala
David C. Hietala, Ph.D.
Associate
Thermal Sciences
Warrenville

Dr. Hietala has a chemical engineering background specializing in biomass reaction engineering and transport phenomena. His consulting focus areas include alternative energy safety and performance, process safety and risk, and advanced thermal fluids analysis. Through his graduate studies, Dr. Hietala has extensive experience with experimental and computational characterization of hydrothermal systems with chemical-reaction and heat-transfer phenomena. Dr. Hietala also has experience with wind turbine operation and maintenance from previous employment at General Electric. At Exponent, Dr. Hietala has assisted with the investigation of complex industrial fires and explosions.

Dr. Hietala completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His thesis focused on developing models for biocrude oil production from microalgae via hydrothermal liquefaction. Dr. Hietala examined the effects of reaction conditions and microalgal characteristics on biocrude oil properties and created a quantitative reaction-kinetics model describing the process. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Hietala collaborated with ecologists, geneticists, and microfluidics engineers to quantify the impact of microalgal biodiversity on process sustainability for biocrude production. Dr. Hietala also has extensive experience with computational software, including Matlab, Mathematica, and Aspen Plus.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2018
  • M.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2015
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 2013, magna cum laude
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2017-2018

Publications

Jackrel SL, Narwani A, Bentlage B, Levine RB, Hietala DC, Savage PE, Oakley TH, Denef VJ, Cardinale BJ. Ecological engineering helps maximize function in algal oil production. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2018.

Godwin CM, Lashaway AR, Hietala DC, Savage PE, Cardinale BJ. Biodiversity improves the ecological design of sustainable biofuel systems. GCB Bioenergy 2018; 1–14.

Hietala DC, Koss CK, Narwani A, Lashaway AR, Godwin CM, Cardinale BJ, Savage PE. Influence of biodiversity, biochemical composition, and species identity on the quality of biomass and biocrude oil produced via hydrothermal liquefaction. Algal Research 2017; 26:203–214.

Godwin CM, Hietala DC, Lashaway AR, Narwani A, Savage PE, Cardinale BJ. Ecological stoichiometry meets ecological engineering: Using algal polycultures to enhance the multifunctionality of algal biocrude systems. Environmental Science & Technology 2017; 51:11450–11458.

Godwin CM, Hietala DC, Lashaway AR, Narwani A, Savage PE, Cardinale BJ. Algal polycultures enhance coproduct recycling from hydrothermal liquefaction. Bioresource Technology 2017; 224:630–638.

Narwani A, Lashaway AR, Hietala DC, Savage PE, Cardinale BJ. Power of plankton: Effects of algal biodiversity on biocrude production and stability. Environmental Science & Technology 2016; 50:13142–13150.

Hietala DC, Faeth JL, Savage PE. A quantitative kinetic model for the fast and isothermal hydrothermal liquefaction of Nannochloropsis sp. Bioresource Technology 2016; 214:102–111.

Hietala DC, Savage PE. Reaction pathways and kinetics of cholesterol in high-temperature water. Chemical Engineering Journal 2015; 265:129–137.

Presentations

Hietala DC, Koss CK, Narwani A, Lashaway A, Godwin CM, Cardinale BJ, Savage PE. Effects of microalgal polycultures on quality of biomass for biocrude oil production via hydrothermal liquefaction. AIChE Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2016.

Hietala DC, Faeth JL, Savage PE. Advances in kinetic modeling of hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae. AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, 2015.

Prior Experience

Graduate Student Research Assistant, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2013-2018

Software Support Intern, Cipherpoint Software, 2013

Renewable Energy Development Program Intern, G.E. Power and Water, 2012

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2018
  • M.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2015
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 2013, magna cum laude
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2017-2018