Dr. Shankar Mahalingam

College of Engineering
Distinguished Professor, MAE


301 Sparkman Drive
Engineering Building
Room 102B
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Shankar Mahalingam is Dean of the College of Engineering and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). From 1989 to 2000, he was an Assistant and then Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. From 2000 to 2010, he was a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, and served as Department Chair during six of those ten years. He received his B.Tech., graduating with distinction, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1980), MS from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1982), and PhD from Stanford University (1989), all in Mechanical Engineering.

Professor Mahalingam's research interests include direct and large eddy simulations of turbulent combustion, forest fire modeling, flame spread experiments, computational fluid dynamics applied to turbulent combustion, acoustic-flow interactions pertinent to solid rocket motors, and cardiovascular fluid dynamics. He was amongst the earliest group of researchers to develop direct and large eddy simulation methodology to study coflowing jet diffusion flames. He is one of the leading experts in the area of modeling transition behavior in fires including marginal burning, and transition of surface fires to crown fires, utilizing both simulations and laboratory scale experimentation. He has received funding for his research as PI from a variety of agencies including AFOSR, NSF, ACS-PRF, USDAFS, and UCRLANL, and as co-PI on grants funded by AFOSR, ONR, SERDP, CAL-EPA-ARB, UCEI, JFSP, and industrial sources. He has authored or coauthored over 150 scientific papers that include 75 peer-reviewed papers (journals and refereed proceedings) and 82 full conference papers. Dr. Mahalingam was the recipient of two departmental teaching awards and an outstanding advisor award while at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has successfully supervised/co-supervised the dissertations of 14 PhD students including 4 to date from UAH. He is currently co-supervising 1 PhD and 1 MSE student and teaches one course every year at UAH. His current source of collaborative research funding is from the USDA, and NSF.

Dr. Mahalingam is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Shankar Mahalingam's Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1989
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1982
  • B.Tech., Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, 1980

Recent Publications

  • Rahimi-Borujerdi, P., B. Shotorban, S. Mahalingam, and D. R. Weise, “A sensitivity investigation of leaf-scale fire modeling to the pyrolysis gas composition and reaction kinetics,” paper 128FR-0020 presented at the 12th US National Combustion Meeting, 2021

  • Shannon, W., C. Anand, B. Shotorban, and S. Mahalingam, “Fire behavior in multiple burning shrubs separated horizontally and vertically,” Fire Safety Journal, 118, 103236, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2020.103236

  • Rahimi Borujerdi, P., B. Shtorban, S. Mahalingam, and D. R. Weise, “Modeling of water evaporation from a shrinking biomass slab subject to heating: Arrhenius approach versus equilibrium approach,”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 145, 118672, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2019.118672

  • Weise, D. R., T. Fletcher, S. Mahalingam, X. Zhou, L. Sun, and J. Li, “Fire spread in Chaparral – evaluating flame models with laboratory data,” Combustion and Flame, 191, pp. 500-512, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2018.02.012

  • Anand, C., B. Shotorban, and S. Mahalingam, “Dispersion and deposition of firebrands in a turbulent boundary layer,” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 109, pp. 98-113, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmultiphaseflow.2018.07.012

  • Shotorban, B., Yashwanth, B. L., S. Mahalingam, and D. J. Haring, “An investigation of pyrolysis and ignition of a moist leaf-like fuel subject to convective heating,”, Combustion and Flame, 190, pp.25-35, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2017.11.008

  • Anand, C., B. Shotorban, and S. Mahalingam, “Dispersion and deposition of firebrands in a turbulent boundary layer,” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 109, pp. 98-113, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmultiphaseflow.2018.07.012

  • Padhi, S., B. Shotorban, and S. Mahalingam, "A Computational Study of the Interactions of Three Adjacent Burning Shrubs Subjected to Wind,"" presented at the 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, June 12-16, 2017, and also Fire Safety Journal, 91, pp. 749-757, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.03.028

  • C. Anand, B. Shotorban, S. Mahalingam, S. McAllister, and D. R. Weise, “Physics-based modeling of live wildland fuel ignition experiments in the forced ignition and flame test apparatus,” Combustion Science and Technology, 189(9), pp. 1551-1570, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00102202.2017.1308357

  • Li, J., S. Mahalingam, and D. R. Weise, “Experimental investigation of fire propagation in single live shrubs,” International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26 (1), pp. 58-70, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF16042.