Dixia Fan

Assistant Professor

Dr Fan headshot

McLaughlin Hall, Room TBD

Kingston, ON K7L3N6


Phone: 613 533 6000 x TBD
Email: dixia.fan@queensu.ca 
Group Website: www.i4fsi.com

Research Interests

  • AI in Fluid Mechanics
  • Vortical Flow Control and Sensing
  • Bioinspired Robotics
  • Metamaterial for Aero/Hydro Morphing Structure
  • Autonomy for Amphibious (Aerial / Aquatic) Swarms

The i4-FSI Lab (Intelligent, Informational, Integrative, and Interdisciplinary Fluid-Structure Interaction Lab) is at the intersection of fluid mechanics, artificial intelligence, and nature-inspired design. We are interested in combining domain expertise (fluid mechanics, robotics, and control) and proper machine learning tools to address the inherent spatial and temporal non-linearity and multiscality of fluid-related problems at a greater scale and a broader scope.

Research Phil

We envision a research paradigm shift in fluid mechanics to a physics-informed (and -informative) probabilistic learning framework, which leads to disruptive technology transform in the aerospace and marine industry to a more efficient, safe, and eco-friendly future. Some of the current research topics include 1) study of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of fish, birds, insects, mammals locomotion, 2) development of novel programmable metamaterial for aero/hydro morphing structures and 3) advancement of machine learning and bio-inspired algorithm for vortical flow control and sensing. 

To learn more about Dr. Fan's research, publications, students, facilities or more, please visit www.i4fsi.com 


Dixia Fan obtained his Ph.D. (2019) and MSc (2016) from MIT Mechanical Engineering and BSc (2013) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering. He is an assistant professor (2021) at Queens University, Canada, and the director of the i4-FSI Lab. Additionally, He is the founder of the MIT Smart Hydrodynamics Lab, featuring the world's first intelligent towing tank (ITT). His research interests focus on physics-informed (and -informative) machine learning, and vortical flow control and sensing in both fundamental fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems as well as aero/aquatic bio-propulsion and maneuvering.


We are always looking for self-motivated undergraduates, graduates (both MSc and Ph.D.), postdocs, and visiting scholars, as well as collaborators and sponsors, to join our research effort on AI in fluid mechanicsbio-inspired robots, and smart environmental monitoring. We encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Please send Dixia an email, if you are interested!

Select Publications

5. Fan, D., Yang, L., Wang, Z., Triantafyllou, M. S., & Karniadakis, G. E. (2020). Reinforcement learning for bluff body active flow control in experiments and simulations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences117(42), 26091-26098.
4. Wang, J. S., Fan, D., & Lin, K. (2020). A review on flow-induced vibration of offshore circular cylinders. Journal of Hydrodynamics32(3), 415-440.
3. Fan, D., Wang, Z., Triantafyllou, M. S., & Karniadakis, G. E. (2019). Mapping the properties of the vortex-induced vibrations of flexible cylinders in uniform oncoming flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics881, 815-858.
2. Fan, D., Jodin, G., Consi, T. R., Bonfiglio, L., Ma, Y., Keyes, L. R., ... & Triantafyllou, M. S. (2019). A robotic intelligent towing tank for learning complex fluid-structure dynamics. Science Robotics4(36).
1. Calisch, S., Gershenfeld, N., Fan, D., Jodin, G., & Triantafyllou, M. (2019). Fabrication and characterization of folded foils supporting streamwise traveling waves. Journal of Fluids and Structures91, 102563.

STEM Outreach 

Dixia is passionate about STEM education outreach. The Shanghai STEM education center that he established in 2017 has now reached more than 3,000 students and 150 teachers so far via various educational camps and extracurricular activities. Additionally, he hosts a monthly educational "SYNK" podcast at www.synk.org

Related educational publications: 
2. Li, A., Yu, Y., Jodin, G., Fan, D., Xie, H., Sun, C., ... & Xu, J. (2020, April). STEM 3.0 for Chinese Students with SeaPerch Underwater Robots: An Experimental Summer Camp for Hands-on Thinkers in Shanghai. In 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) (pp. 133-138). IEEE.
1. Consi, T. R., Fan, D., & Jodin, G. (2020). FishBots: Bio-Inspired Marine Robots Give Students a Hands-On Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. Marine Technology Society Journal54(4), 6-15.