Thomas Gillis

I have joined the van Rees lab in November 2019 as a BAEF fellow ( My contributions to the lab research concern vorticity-based methods, fluid-structure interaction solvers and high-performance computing frameworks.

As one of the main author of the FLUPS library (, I contribute to the development of a pre-exascale implementation of a vortex method. This tool is the key ingredient in the study of the energy harvesting through collaboration among multiple agents (birds, fish or wind-turbines) and its underlying phenomena: the interactions between wakes and flow devices.

I have received my PhD in engineering at Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), under the supervision of Profs. Grégoire Winckelmans and Philippe Chatelain. My work focused on accurate and efficient treatment of solid boundaries for the Vortex Particle-Mesh method.

Wim M. van Rees

Wim M. van Rees is Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is affiliated with the Center for Ocean Engineering and is currently the MIT Sea Grant Doherty Professor in Ocean Utilization. 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 joined the MIT faculty in 2017.

His main research interests are to apply advanced numerical simulations to solve bio-inspired forward and inverse problems in fluids, solids, and fluid-structure interaction. He has applied these ideas in the fields of vortex dynamics, design and control of biolocomotion, and non-linear elasticity of plates and shells. Wim’s vision for future research is to exploit bio-inspired active and passive deformation of flexible structures in fluid flows for actuation, locomotion, and renewable energy harvesting.

His latest CV can be downloaded here.