• Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Office: Pastore 331A
  • Phone: 401.874.2774
  • Fax: 401.874.2355
  • Email: hongyan_yuan@uri.edu
  • Mailing Address: 230 Pastore Hall
    51 Lower College Road
    Kingston, RI 02881


  • Computational mechanics
  • Cellular and molecular biomechanics
  • Nanomechanics


  • Ph.D. – Engineering Science & Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 2010
  • M.S. – Mechanical Engineering, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, 2007
  • B.S. – Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2002


  • Holly McIlwee Golecki*, Hongyan Yuan*, Benjamin Potter, Calla Glavin, Josue A. Goss, Michael D. Phillips, Kevin Kit Parker, Effect of Solvent Evaporation on Fiber Morphology in Rotary Jet-Spinning.” Langmuir, Oct. 2014 (* Equal contribution)
  • Megan L. McCain*, Hongyan Yuan*, Francesco S. Pasqualini, Patrick H. Campbell, and Kevin Kit Parker. Matrix elasticity regulates the optimal cardiac myocyte shape for contractility, American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 306: H1525–H1539, 2014. (* Equal contribution)
  • Gang Wang, Megan L McCain, Luhan Yang, Aibin He, Francesco Silvio Pasqualini, Ashutosh Agarwal, Hongyan Yuan, Dawei Jiang, Donghui Zhang, Lior Zangi, Judith Geva, Amy E Roberts, Qing Ma, Jian Ding, Jinghai Chen, Da-Zhi Wang, Kai Li, Jiwu Wang, Ronald JA Wanders, Wim Kulik, Frédéric M Vaz, Michael A Laflamme, Charles E Murry, Kenneth R Chien, Richard I Kelley, George M Church, Kevin Kit Parker, William T Pu, Modeling the mitochondrial cardiomyopathy of Barth syndrome with induced pluripotent stem cell and heart-on-chip technologies, Nature Medicine, 20, 616–623 (2014)
  • Yinfeng Li*, Hongyan Yuan*, Annette Bussche*, Megan Creighton, Robert H. Hurt, Agnes B Kane, Huajian Gao, Graphene penetrates cell membranes spontaneously through edge asperities and corner sites, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (30), 12295-12300, (2013) (* Equal contribution)
  • Hongyan Yuan, and Huajian Gao, On the mechanics of integrin clustering during cell-substrate adhesion. Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica 25 (5), 467-472, (2012)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang, and Sulin Zhang, Membrane-Mediated Inter-Domain Interactions. BioNanoScience: p. 1-6, (2011)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Ju Li, Sulin Zhang and Gang Bao. Variable nanoparticle-cell adhesion strength regulates cellular uptake. Physical Review Letters, 105(13): 138101, (2010)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang, Ju Li, George Lykotrafitis and Sulin Zhang. One-particle-thick, solvent-free, coarse-grained model for biological and biomimetic fluid membranes. Physical Review E, 82(1): 011905, (2010)
  • Hongyan Yuan and Sulin Zhang. Effects of particle size and ligand density on the kinetics of receptor-mediated endocytosis of nanoparticles. Applied Physics Letters, 96(3): 033704, (2010)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang and Sulin Zhang. Dynamic shape transformations of fluid vesicles. Soft Matter, 6: 4571-4579, (2010)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang and Sulin Zhang. Virus-Inspired Design Maps of Nanoparticle-Based Bioagents. PLoS ONE, 5: e13495, (2010)
  • Hongyan Yuan, Jonah H. Lee and James E. Guilkey. Stochastic reconstruction of the microstructure of equilibrium form snow and computation of effective elastic properties. Journal of Glaciology, 56(197): 12, (2010)
  • Xu Huang, Hongyan Yuan, Wentao Liang and Sulin Zhang. Mechanical properties and deformation morphologies of covalently bridged multi-walled carbon nanotubes: Multiscale modeling. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 58, 1847–1862, (2010)
  • Sachin S. Terdalkar, Shan Huang, Hongyan Yuan, Joseph J. Rencis, Ting Zhu and Sulin Zhang. Nanoscale fracture in graphene. Chemical Physics Letters, 494(4-6): 218-222, (2010)

professional experience

  • Assistant Professor (09/2014–present) Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Rhode Island.
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate (08/2012-07/2014), Harvard University
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate (01/2011-07/2012), Brown University
  • Engineer (08/2002-07/2005), Beijing, China

awards and honors

  • The Haythornthwaite Research Initiation Grant, $20,000, Applied Mechanics Division, ASME, 2014
  • Tuition Fellowship for attending GEM4 Summer School on Cell and Molecular Mechanics, 2011
  • Haythornthwaite Foundation Travel Award for attending ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, 2010
  • Second place in paper competition in the annual graduate research symposium of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, 2010, Pennsylvania State University
  • First prize in the Provincial Olympic Chemistry Games for high school students, 1997, P. R. China