Meet the Scientist: Dr. David Mittmann

Last updated Jun 18, 2015


In the second installment of our “Meet the Scientist” series, we introduce Dr. David Mittmann, A-M Systems’ chief engineer.

Dr. Mittmann’s interest in bioengineering began while studying electrical engineering at Oregon State. He began work at W.L. Gore & Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona, helping develop artificial arterial grafts that were seeded with cryogenically preserved endothelial cells.

At the University of Akron for his master’s, Dr. Mittmann helped develop physical and mathematical models of unsteady fluid flow in anatomical structures.

His work at Akron City Hospital—developing bioartificial pancreas using semipermeable membranes seeded with islet cells—brought him in touch with Dr. Jeff Wenstrup of Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr. Wenstrup’s work on neural mechanisms underlying hearing and acoustically guided behaviors intrigued Dr. Mittmann, who completed his doctorate under his guidance.


An avid hiker and a mountain climber, Dr. Mittmann stands above Mt. Baldy near Sequim, Washington. (Image Courtesy David Mittmann)

While working on his doctorate, Dr. Mittmann learned techniques for acoustic stimulation, single- and multiple-unit recording, histological techniques, and the instrumentation involved in those techniques. Dr. Mittmann continued his neurophysiology research as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington working with Dr. Ellen Covey and Dr. Pete Casseday. Here he helped develop the techniques for in vivo patch clamping and sonar stimuli generation.

Returning to his roots in electrical engineering, Dr. Mittmann joined A-M systems in 1998 as the chief design engineer. Seventeen years later, he works with the design team to continually improve existing instruments while developing new products that best serve our customers’ requirements.

He has helped design over 10 instruments including intracellular (Model 3100), extracellular (Model 3600) and patch clamp amplifiers (Model 2400), and stimulators (Model 3800). In addition to the neurophysiology equipment, Dr. Mittmann helps design pulmonary and spirometry products, including calibration devices (3L Calibration Syringe), mouthpieces, nose clips, and breathing filters (HME filter).

Dr. Mittmann is on his way to the top of Mount Olympus (7,800 ft) in the Olympic National Park in Washington.

Dr. Mittmann is on his way to the top of Mount Olympus (7,800 ft) in the Olympic National Park in Washington.

In the community, Dr. Mittmann used his collegiate rowing expertise to help start the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association in Port Angeles. He has enjoyed coaching all three of his kids over the years in soccer. He’s an advocate for the Olympic Peninsula, which he calls “one of the best places for backpacking, mountain biking, and trail running.”

In his spare time, he loves to help his wife with fast-growing adventure sports events, including the Olympic Adventure Trail Run  and the Big Hurt Port Angeles .

If you have questions about any A-M Systems instruments or products, would like to have a custom instrument designed for you, or want to join him at the next tandem bike rally, please contact him at

Selected Publications:

Wenstrup, J.J., Mittmann, D.H., and Grose, C.D. (1999) Inputs to combination-sensitive neurons of the inferior colliculus. Journal of Comparative Neurology 409:509-528.

Mittmann, D.H., Wenstrup, J.J. (1995) Combination-sensitive neurons in the inferior colliculus. Hearing Research 90:185-191

Donovan, F. M. McIlwain, R. W. Mittmann, D. H. Taylor, B. C.(1994)Experimental Correlations to Predict Fluid Resistance for Simple Pulsatile Laminar Flow of Incompressible Fluids in Rigid Tubes. Journal of Fluids Engineering 116:516-521

Mittman, D.H., Taylor, B.C., and Donovan, F.M. (1993) A critical study of the suitability of the one-dimensional model for determining steady state resistance in oscillatory flow of incompressible fluids in rigid tubes. ASME Forum on Unsteady Flows, FED-Vol. 157:201-206.

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