Yulin Pan

Assistant Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering


208 NAME


(734) 764-9799


Dr. Yulin Pan was previously a postdoctoral researcher in the mechanical engineering department at MIT. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical and ocean engineering from MIT in 2016, with a minor in mathematics. His research is primarily concerned with theoretical and computational hydrodynamics, with applications in ocean engineering and science. He has made original contributions in nonlinear ocean wave mechanics, tidal flows, propeller, and bio-inspired foil propulsion. Alongside research, he is also an active writer on popular science of fluid mechanics.


  • B.S. Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2007; Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
  • M.S. University of Texas at Austin, 2009; Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016, Mechanical & Ocean Engineering

Research Interests

Theoretical and applied hydrodynamics, Nonlinear surface & internal wave mechanics, Wave turbulence theory, Flow-body interaction, Propeller and biomimetic foil propulsion. Active research topics include:

  • Theoretical, computational and experimental investigations to understand the fundamental physics of wave turbulence
  • Prediction and understanding of nonlinear ocean and coastal wave phenomenon
  • Response of ships and offshore structures in wave field
  • Development of computation and optimization methods for propellers and flapping foils
  • Propagation of internal waves/tides at geophysical scales

Research areas:
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  • NA 599 Stochastic Dynamics of Marine Structures


  • Pan, Y., Haley, P.J. and Lermusiaux, P.F.J. 2018, Interaction of internal tide with an inhomogeneous and rotational ocean background, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, sub-judice.
  • Pan, Y., Liu, Y. and Yue, D.K.P. 2018, On high-order perturbation expansion for the study of long-short wave interactions, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 846, 902-915.
  • Pan, Y. and Yue, D.K.P. 2017, Understanding discrete capillary wave turbulence using quasi-resonant kinetic equation, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 816, R1, 1-11.
  • Pan, Y. and Yue, D.K.P. 2015, Decaying capillary wave turbulence under broad-scale dissipation, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 780, R1, 1-11.
  • Pan, Y. and Yue, D.K.P. 2014, Direct numerical investigation of turbulence of capillary waves, Physical Review Letters, 113, 094501.
  • Pan, Y., Dong, X., Zhu, Q. and Yue, D.K.P. 2012, Boundary-element method for the prediction of the performance of flapping foils with leading-edge separation, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 698, 446-467.
  • Pan, Y. and Kinnas, S.A. 2011, A viscous/inviscid interactive approach for the prediction of the performance of hydrofoils and propellers with non-zero trailing edge thickness, Journal of Ship Research, 55, 1, 45-63.