Dr Dsilva Winfred Rufuss B.E., M.E., M.B.A., Ph.D.

School of Engineering
Royal Society - SERB Newton International Fellow

Contact details

School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Dsilva Winfred Rufuss is recipient of a Newton International Fellowship which is funded by the Royal Society (UK) and the Science and Engineering Board (India) through the Newton-Bhaba fund.  Hosted by the School of Engineering, his research focuses on sustainable solutions to the growing threats of water and energy scarcity across the globe.

Rufuss has published over 20 research papers in international journals including Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Journal of Cleaner Production, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, and Applied Thermal Engineering.

His areas of research include desalination, advanced membrane technologies, renewable energy technologies, energy storage, nano-composites, and solar thermal technologies.


  • Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering, Anna University, India, 2019
  • Master of Business Administration (Distance Education), in Project Management at Bharathiar University, 2015
  • Master of Engineering in Energy Engineering, Anna University, 2014
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, Anna University, 2011


Rufuss achieved Distinction in Master of Engineering (Energy Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Anna University, Chennai) in 2014. He went on to obtain his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University, India, in 2019. His doctoral thesis was about novel nanocomposite phase changes materials to enhance production of clean water from solar stills. He has participated in several international research initiatives, including two secondments during his doctorate to Aston University, Birmingham with support from the United Kingdom and India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). In 2017, he received a travel grant from Science Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India to visit and disseminate his research work in Berlin, Germany. He also participated in the Young Scientist international conclave at Institute of Ocean Energy Saga University (IOES), Japan, in 2018.

Rufuss was recipient of the Maulana Azad Junior Research Fellowship Award and Maulana Azad Senior Research Fellowship Award from University Grants Commission, Government of India. He has also received several awards (Mahatma Gandhi Merit Scholar Ship Award, Overall Best Outgoing Student Award, and Overall Best Project Award) during his Masters and Ph.D studies.

From 2019, he was Assistant Professor (Senior Grade), at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, 2019, where he taught Engineering Thermodynamics, Alternative Fuels, Power Plant Engineering, Renewable Energy Sources and Small Hydro Power Systems.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr. Rufuss would be happy to supervise research related to desalination, membrane processes, water reuse, water treatment, material advances in solar thermal techniques focussing on nanocomposites.


As many parts of the world are expected to face huge water scarcity in coming years, research to address this crisis is more essential than ever. Rufuss’ research focusses on multi-disciplinary areas covering membrane desalination, thermal desalination, energy storage, to enhance the fresh water availability. 

Membrane desalination

In membrane desalination, the research aims to reduce the energy consumption in osmosis processes. This can be achieved through batch reverse osmosis, pressure retarded osmosis, and forward osmosis. In forward osmosis, we focus on parametric investigations for improving the water flux which includes new novel membranes, new draw solutes, and draw solution regeneration.

Thermal desalination

In thermal desalination technique, the research focusses on solar stills. Recently the research has advanced to integrate the renewable energy sources with solar stills to enhance the productivity; also use of traditional materials like crab and sea shells.

Energy storage

While this line of research can be integrated with many advanced processes, Rufuss is focusing on desalination applications using both sensible and latent heat energy storage materials. Recently developed materials like graphene, graphene oxide, and carbon nanotubes are also being investigated in thermal desalination to improve yield. In the area of latent heat energy storage materials, the focus has been on nanocomposite integrated latent heat energy storage materials for improving the distilled water productivity in solar desalination application.

Other activities

Dr. Rufuss is serving as active reviewer for the following journals:

  • Applied Thermal Engineering
  • Desalination
  • Desalination and Water Treatment
  • Applied Energy
  • Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Journal of Energy Storage
  • Heat Transfer
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments

Rufuss has received the following awards from Elsevier for his outstanding reviews.

  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (July 2018) - Applied Thermal Engineering
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (October 2018) -Desalination


Selected journal articles

  1.  Arulvel, S., Rufuss, D. D. W., Sharma, S. S., Mitra, A., Elayaperumal, A., & Jagatheeshwaran, M. S. (2021). A novel water quench approach for enhancing the surface characteristics of electroless nickel phosphorous deposit. Surfaces and Interfaces23, 100975.
  2. Arunkumar, T., Wang, J., Rufuss, D. D. W., Denkenberger, D., & Kabeel, A. E. (2020). Sensible desalting: Investigation of sensible thermal storage materials in solar stills. Journal of Energy Storage32, 101824.
  3. Chamkha, A. J., Rufuss, D. D. W., Kabeel, A. E., Sathyamurthy, R., Abdelgaid, M., Manokar, A. M., & Madhu, B. (2020). Augmenting the potable water produced from single slope solar still using CNT-doped paraffin wax as energy storage: an experimental approach. Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering42(12), 1-10.
  4. Nagaraja, S., Rufuss, D. D. W., & Hossain, A. K. (2020). Microscopic characteristics of biodiesel–Graphene oxide nanoparticle blends and their Utilisation in a compression ignition engine. Renewable Energy160, 830-841.
  5. Rufuss, D. D. W., Rajkumar, V., Suganthi, L., & Iniyan, S. (2019). Studies on latent heat energy storage (LHES) materials for solar desalination application-focus on material properties, prioritization, selection and future research potential. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells189, 149-165.
  6. Arunkumar, T., Murugesan, D., Raj, K., Denkenberger, D., Viswanathan, C., Rufuss, D. D. W., & Velraj, R. J. A. T. E. (2019). Effect of nano-coated CuO absorbers with PVA sponges in solar water desalting system. Applied Thermal Engineering148, 1416-1424.
  7. Sathyamurthy, R., Kabeel, A. E., El‐Agouz, E. S., Rufus, D., Panchal, H., Arunkumar, T., ... & Winston, D. G. P. (2019). Experimental investigation on the effect of MgO and TiO2 nanoparticles in stepped solar still. International Journal of Energy Research43(8), 3295-3305.
  8. Panchal, H., Sathyamurthy, R., Kabeel, A. E., El-Agouz, S. A., Rufus, D., Arunkumar, T., ... & Sadasivuni, K. K. (2019). Annual performance analysis of adding different nanofluids in stepped solar still. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry138(5), 3175-3182.
  9. Arunkumar, T., Raj, K., Rufuss, D. D. W., Denkenberger, D., Tingting, G., Xuan, L., & Velraj, R. (2019). A review of efficient high productivity solar stills. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews101, 197-220.
  10. Rufuss, D. D. W., Suganthi, L., Iniyan, S., & Davies, P. A. (2018). Effects of nanoparticle-enhanced phase change material (NPCM) on solar still productivity. Journal of Cleaner Production192, 9-29.
  11. Rufuss, D. D. W., Kumar, V. R., Suganthi, L., Iniyan, S., & Davies, P. A. (2018). Techno-economic analysis of solar stills using integrated fuzzy analytical hierarchy process and data envelopment analysis. Solar energy159, 820-833.
  12. Rufuss, D. D. W., Iniyan, S., Suganthi, L., & Davies, P. A. (2017). Low mass fraction impregnation with graphene oxide (GO) enhances thermo-physical properties of paraffin for heat storage applications. Thermochimica Acta655, 226-233.
  13. Rufuss, D. D. W., Iniyan, S., Suganthi, L., & Davies, P. A. (2016). Solar stills: A comprehensive review of designs, performance and material advances. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews63, 464-496.

Book chapters

  1. D. Dsilva Winfred Rufuss, Renewable-Energy-Driven Future: Technologies, Modelling, Applications, Sustainability and Policies, Chapter 1: Solar Energy Technologies: Principles and Applications, Elsevier publication, ISBN Number: 9780-1282-0539-6.
  2. D. Dsilva Winfred Rufuss, Composites and composite coatings: Mechanical and Tribology Aspects- Role of nanoparticles enhanced phase change material in renewable energy application, CRC press, Taylor & Francis.


  1. Title: Solar powered watering system for managing plants in the balcony garden.
    Role: Inventor and Applicant,
    Application number: 202041017853,
    Publication number: 22/2020,
    Publication date: 29-05-2020