Dixia Fan

Dixia Fan

Thinker / Maker / Explorer

My name is Dixia Fan. I am a PhD candidate in the department of Mechanical Engineering of MIT, working with Prof. Michael S. Triantafyllou. I am interested in the field of fluid structure interaction with passive and acticve control. My master's work focused on the determination of the complicated structure (Blow-out Preventer) hydrodynamics in the oscillitory flow. I am currently working on the flexible cylidner response undergoing unsteady non-uniform vortex shedding.

Research interests:
  • Ocean Engineering & Hydrodynamics
  • Robotics & Control
For more Information:


Email Address


Phone Number (Maria Riefstahl)

Research interests:
  • Ocean Engineering & Hydrodynamics
  • Robotics & Control
  • BS, Ocean Engineering, Shanghai JiaoTong University 2013
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT 2016
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, MIT expected 2018
Research / Work Experience:
  • American Bureau of Shanghai Scholarship2014
  • MIT Graduate Exploration Fellowship2013
  • SJTU Top 1% Best Undergraduate Thesis2013
  • Lloyd's Register Educational Trust Scholarship2012
  • SJTU Academic Excellent Scholarship2009-2011
Papers in Refereed Journals:
  • Chen Y, Fu S, Xu Y, Fan D. High order force components of a near-wall circular cylinder oscillating in transverse direction in a steady current[J]. Ocean Engineering, 2013, 74: 37-47.
  • Xu Y, Fu S, Chen Y, Fan D. Experimental investigation on vortex induced forces of oscillating cylinder at high Reynolds number[J]. Ocean Systems Engineering, 2013, 3(3): 167-180.
Conference Papers and Presentations:
  • Fan D, Triantafyllou M. Hydrodynamics of Multi-Component Structures in Oscillatory Flow, MechE PhD Qualification Presentation. 2014.
  • Xu Y, Fu S, Fan D. Online Safety Monitor Design of the Jacket Platform Based on Structural Members Failure Study. ASME 2013 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering.
  • Fan D, Fu S. Reseach on the Identification of the Far Wake of the Object in Motion Based on the Hydrodynamic Characters of the Harbor Seal’s Vibrissa. SJTU 2013 Top 1% Undegradaute Thesis Presentation.
  • The Control System and Strategy of Vortex Induced Vibration Experimental Facility Using Force Feedback Technology 2012, CHN, No. 201210437233.9
  • Self-Excited Vortex Induced Vibration in Two Directions Experimental Facility for Deepwater Riser Segments in Uniform Flow 2012, CHN, No. 201210439276.0
  • Run like a Segaway --- a Self-Balanced Car 2015-presentLecturer
  • 2.154 Maneuvering and Control of Surface and Underwater Vehicles 2015T.A.
  • 2.22 Design Principles for Ocean Vehicles 2014T.A.
  • 3-D Designing and Animation 2010-2013Lecturer
  • Introduction to Programming: C#.net 2010-2013Lecturer
  • Introduction to Embedded Development 2010-2013Lecturer
Major Consulting:
  • Global Graduate Union2013-2015
Professional Memberships and Activities:
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers 2015-Student Fellow
  • MIT Mining, Oil & Gas Club 2015-Student Fellow
  • American Physical Society 2015-Student Member
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2013-Student Member
  • SJTU Intellectual Vehicle Club 2010-2013CTO

Under Construction

Graduate Teaching Experience

During the graduate period, I have been TA for various class of Ocean Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. At the same time, I have developed interesting class for local high school students to get exposed to amazing science and technology quest in order to inspire them to further pursue STEM program in their college.

Altogher, three different classes were developed.

Run Like a Segway

we will be developing a system based off of the BRobot which is a 3D printed open source robotic platform. We will be deriving the state­space model for our particular system. Building off of the simple balancing controller that has already been implemented, we will be deriving our own adaptive control algorithm that allows for balancing under variable mass placed on top of the robot.

Building Your Tanker in the Virtual World

Gliding in the Ocean

Undergraduate Teaching Experience

Under the encouragement of several professors as well as many friends, I initiated developing these introductory-level open courses providing class takers an opportunity to approach these useful topics and I can, therefore, take advantage of these chances to introduce and also discuss with the students, especially freshmen and sophomores, to and about the exciting researches emerging from related engineering disciplines, which I hope that may eventually lead to some great inspirations.

Altogether three different classes were developed and taught by me. You can find the related information from following sections with learning packages.

3D Design Using Autodesk Inventor

This course is designed for students without any prior 3-D modeling and designing experience, and want to have a basic understanding of 3-D modeling and designing. It will discuss the fundamental principles of 3-D modeling and designing and its corresponding softwares(In this course, we will use Autodesk Inventor as the main software designing tools).

Introduction to Embedded Development

This course is designed for students without any backgrounds of electricity and electronics that are interested in an introductory level survey of embedded development. This course will introduce undergraduate students to the basic principles of analogy and digital circuit and illustrate the common single chip development tools and its corresponding process. And by the end of this course, students are required to be able to develop the simple single chip systems by themselves.

Introduction to Programming

This is a fast-paced introductory course to computer programming(using C# programming language). It is designed for those students with little or no prior programming experience.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic ideas and principles of computer programming
  • Manipulate various C# data types, such as arrays, strings, and enumeration
  • Isolate and fix common errors in C# programs
  • Apply object-oriented approaches to software problems in C#
  • Building simple desktop graphic user interface(GUI)
  • Write small-scale C# programs using the above skills

My Address

Building 48-015, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Mobile Number

617-253-4330 (Maria Riefstahl)

Email Address


"Stay foolish. Stay Hungry." ---- by Steve Jobs