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Wim van Rees

Contact Info

room 5-222

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Administrative Contact Fox, Geoffrey 5-204 617.253.9344


  • 2008

    Delft University of Technology

  • 2014

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich


Research Interests

Wim's main research interests are to develop and apply advanced numerical simulations to solve problems in bio-inspired propulsion, vortex dynamics, and shape-shifting structures. His vision for future research is to exploit biologically inspired active and passive deformation of flexible structures in fluid flows for actuation, locomotion, and renewable energy harvesting.


Wim M. van Rees is Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his BSc and MSc from Delft University of Technology in Marine Techology, and his PhD from ETH Zurich in 2014. In 2015 he performed research as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and he joined the MIT faculty in 2017. His awards and recognitions include an American Bureau of Shipping Career Development Chair (2017), a Seagrant Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization (2019), a Department of Energy Early Career Award (2020), and an Army Research Office Early Career Award (2021). His complete CV is can be downloaded here.

Honors + Awards

  • 2022 Allocation Year 2022 DOE Mission Science award
  • 2021 US Army Research Office Early Career Award
  • 2020 US Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program
  • 2019 Winner, Gallery of Fluid Motion, DFD-APS (poster category)
  • 2019 MIT Seagrant Henry L. Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization
  • 2017 ABS Career Development Chair


A full list of publications is maintained here.