Think you like to get geeky with your coffee? Think again! We’re pretty sure our second speaker from our San Francisco event last September has you beat. Professor William (Bill) Ristenpart takes the idea of being “curious about coffee” to the next level in his role as the Director of the first multidisciplinary university research center in the world devoted to post-harvest coffee studies: the UC Davis Coffee Center.

Like most of our professorial guests, Prof. Ristenpart packs a lot of information into both his short time on stage and his slides: the relationship between chemical engineering and coffee, the development of the UC Davis Coffee Centre, a sneak peek at some on-going research into the coffee brewing control chart, and many, many equations. It’s time for you to level up!


William Ristenpart’s research is in complex transport phenomena, with an emphasis on using advanced experimental techniques to extract quantitative measurements from complicated phenomena. Ristenpart Research Group strives to answer fundamental scientific questions about a variety of systems where the transport behavior is paramount. Recent topics include: electrocoalescence of charged droplets, shear-induced deformation of red blood cells, electrically-induced aggregation of colloids near electrodes, and turbulent dispersion of airborne pathogens.

Ristenpart’s lab has two Phantom high-speed cameras (a grayscale v7.1 and a color v7.3), both of which can capture at more than 100,000 frames per second. They also have several microscopes and various optical and laser systems.

He is also passionate about coffee – he serves as Director of the UC Davis Coffee Center, and see here for an overview of his undergraduate course, The Design of Coffee.