Throughout my academic career, I have worn many hats in various fields of application: renewable energy, earthquake engineering, seakeeping and stability in the Arctic, and now disaster science. Underpinning all of these applications are an appreciation of complex systems, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, and scientific communication (both written and visual)

Counterfactual framework for uncovering black swans

PI: Dr. David Lallemant, Dr. Susannna Jenkins. Nanyang Technological University. Sponsored by the National Research Foundation Singapore.

  • Develop a framework to apply downward counterfactual thought experiments to past events
  • Analyze Singapore-based case studies related to earthquakes, volcanoes, building collapses, and tropical storms
  • Hosted the Counterfactual Black Swans Workshop (August 26-27, 2019), a 28 person workshop to bring together hazard scientists, risk communication experts, engineers, and insurance consultants to apply our framework to a broader context. Read more from my blog post here, and workshop report here.

Papers in prep

  • Counterfactual risk framework for uncovering black swan events: application to natural hazards
  • Black elephants of Asia: The looming natural hazard risks no one wants to discuss.
  • Past disasters of post-war Singapore.

Invited Presentations and Seminars

  • Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Annual Meeting. Uncovering black swan events: consequence-driven seismic risk assessment of critical infrastructure in Singapore. July 29, 2019 in Singapore. Oral presentation.
  • Natural Hazards Workshop and Researchers Meeting. In the absence of consequential past events for disaster risk analysis: a counterfactual framework for uncovering black swans. July 14-18, 2019 in Broomfield, CO. Oral presentation.
  • European Geosciences Union General Assembly. Consequence-driven risk framework for uncovering black swan events: volcanic ash in Singapore. April 7-10, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. Oral presentation.

In the media

Monitoring ice accumulation for surface ships traveling in the Arctic


PI: Dr. Christopher J. Earls. Cornell University. Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

  • Develop stochastic inversion framework for monitoring evolving surface ship mass properties during Arctic operations
  • Establish proof of concept for framework, demonstrated at both full-scale and 1:23 model-scale. Framework utilizes existing on-board ship telemetry and validated sea-keeping software
  • Exercise the framework for various ice configurations at model-scale, for a single variable and multi-variable inversion scenarios
  • Implement computer vision algorithm to determine incoming ocean wave time history and infer forces on a ship at sea in near real time

Peer Reviewed Papers and Conference Proceedings

  • Yolanda C. Lin and Christopher J. Earls. Multi-parameter stochastic inversion for rst and second moment mass properties of a model-scale ship with topside ice accumulation. Applied Ocean Research, 82, January 2019
  • Yolanda C. Lin and Christopher J. Earls. Stochastic inversion framework to monitor evolving mass properties of a ship at sea during arctic operations. The 30th American Towing Tank Conference. Conference Proceedings. October 3-5, 2017
  • Yolanda C. Lin, Christopher J. Earls, Joel T. Park, and Tim C. Smith. Stochastic inversion for the roll gyradius second moment mass property in ships at full-scale and model-scale. Applied Ocean Research, 63:24–35, February 2017

Papers in review

  • Yolanda C. Lin and Christopher J. Earls. Validation experiment of a single-view image sequence algorithm to identify scale and sea state characteristics.

Invited Presentations and Seminars

  • CEE Graduate Student Seminar at Cornell. Ice aboard!? Monitoring ice accumulation on a ship surface during Arctic operation. November 16, 2017 in Ithaca, NY. Seminar presentation.
  • The 30th American Towing Tank Conference. Stochastic inversion framework to monitor evolving mass properties of a ship at sea during arctic operations. October 3-5, 2017 in West Besthesda, Maryland. Oral presentation.
  • 9th Annual Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Research Symposium at Cornell University. Stochastic inversion framework to monitor evolving mass properties of a ship at sea. March 24, 2017 in Ithaca, NY. Poster presentation.
  • SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering. Convergence study for stochastic inversion framework to monitor evolving surface ship mass properties during arctic operations. February 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Poster presentation.
  • 7th Annual Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Research Symposium at Cornell University. Inferring mass properties of R/V Melville with stochastic ice accumulation. March 20, 2015 in Ithaca, NY. Poster presentation.

In the media

Development and illustration of a risk-based framework for built facilities


PI: Dr. Ross B. Corotis. University of Colorado Boulder. Sponsored by Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

  • Developed a methodology for performance-based risk analysis for maintenance and design of mast arms and bridges, as applicable to the Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Investigated seismic risk of bridges in regions of low to moderate seismicity.

Peer Reviewed Paper

  • Yolanda C. Lin, Abhishek Paul, Ross B. Corotis, and Abbie B. Liel. Framework Methodology for Risk-Based Decision Making for Transportation Agencies. ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering, 1(3):04015006, September 2015

Technical Report

  • Ross B. Corotis, Abbie B. Liel, Yolanda C. Lin, and Abhishek Paul. Development of risk-based decision methodology for facility design. Technical Report CDOT-2014-4, Colorado Department of Transportation, 2014

Biomass Scenario Model (BSM)


PI: Dr. Brian Bush. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Sponsored by DOE, EPA

  • Document inputs and data references for the BSM
  • Analyzed potential policies and incentives to foster growth of domestic biofuel production and use
  • Investigate competing end uses for biomass resources
  • Lead a sensitivity analysis on the latest version of NREL’s biofuel supply chain model, BSM v3.0 built in STELLA, a system dynamics software

Peer Reviewed Paper

  • Christopher M. Clark, Yolanda C. Lin, Britta G. Bierwagen, Laurence M. Eaton, Matthew H. Langholtz, Philip E. Morefield, Caroline E. Ridley, Laura Vimmerstedt, Steve Peterson, and Brian W. Bush. Growing a sustainable biofuels industry: economics, environmental considerations, and the role of the Conservation Reserve Program. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2):025016, June 2013

Technical Reports

  • Yolanda Lin, Emily Newes, Brian Bush, Steve Peterson, and Dana Stright. Biomass Scenario Model Documentation: Data and References. Technical Report NREL/ TP-6A20-57831, May 2013
  • Emily Newes, Brian Bush, Daniel Inman, Yolanda Lin, Trieu Mai, Andrew Martinez, David Mulcahy, Walter Short, Travis Simpkins, and Caroline Uriarte. Biomass Resource Allocation among Competing End Uses. Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-54217, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, May 2012

Research as an undergraduate

Universally accessible wood structure


Honors thesis. Dartmouth College. Advised by Professor Vicki May.

  • Designed and presented a proof-of-concept for an alternative solution to provide universal access for structures traditionally otherwise inaccessible, such as treehouses.
  • Awarded Brieanna S. Weinstein Engineering Design Prize, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, for demonstrating outstanding design skill in developing or creating new technologies, systems, or adaptive devices to address the needs and challenges of people (particularly children or adolescents) with physical or developmental disabilities.

Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center for Orthopaedics


Undergraduate Research Assistant. Dartmouth College. Advised by Professor John P. Collier

  • Machined and tested impact and tensile samples of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) using Izod and Instron instruments
  • Monitored varying accelerated aging protocols to mimic in vivo conditions.