CFD Research founder, Dr. Ashok K. Singhal

CFD Research founder, Dr. Ashok K. Singhal

Courtesy CFD Research

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of The University of Alabama System, announced that Sangeeta Singhal has pledged $1,000,000 to establish the Ashok K. Singhal Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, named in honor of her late husband, Dr. Ashok K. Singhal.

Pending approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, this gift will create the first endowed Chair in the College of Engineering (COE) that is endowed by an individual, non-corporate donor.

Dr. Ashok Singhal founded the local engineering firm CFD Research in his basement in 1987. In the ensuing 35 years, he guided the company as its president, CEO and eventually chairman to significant growth and success in Huntsville. His dedication to his work reflected his passion for science, innovation and technology, and his spirit of giving to the community has impacted UAH in numerous ways.

Dr. Singhal served on the UAH College of Engineering (COE) Industrial Engineering Advisory Board on two separate occasions, as well as the UAH Foundation Board. In 2008, Dr. Ashok and Sangeeta Singhal established the Singhal Scholarship for undergraduate engineering students as well as the CFD Research Scholarship.

“I’d like to thank Sangeeta for this gift that will enable us to honor Dr. Singhal’s leadership and innovation in engineering, as well as his selfless philanthropic spirit and support of UAH, by establishing the Dr. Ashok K. Singhal Chair,” says UAH Interim President, Dr. Charles L. Karr. “This gift will be used to distinguish one of our top-level faculty in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering with an endowed chair position named after Dr. Singhal. As a member of the President’s Corporate and Foundation Partners, CFD Research has made a lasting contribution to UAH’s success, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them through our collaborative efforts to help change our community for the better.”

Following a recommendation from the College of Engineering Dean, the UAH Provost will present the Ashok Singhal Endowed Chair to the UA System Board of Trustees for final review and approval. The successful candidate will have exhibited a strong record of research funding and an appointment as a senior associate professor or professor.

The Ashok K. Singhal Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was announced at the CFD Research ribbon cutting for the Dr. Ashok K. Singhal Laboratories.

The Ashok K. Singhal Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was announced at the CFD Research ribbon cutting for the Dr. Ashok K. Singhal Laboratories.

Courtesy LaFreeda Jordan

“It means a lot to the family to honor him this way,” says Dr. Singhal’s spouse, Sangeeta Singhal. “He was a great man and a true supporter of education. He always used to say that ‘education should be free to young people like sunshine.’”

This endowment will be used to support the teaching, research and professional development of a selected mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty member. The Singhal Chair will be one of the highest academic accolades a COE faculty member can receive and will help ensure the College of Engineering continues to promote the highest standard of excellence by attracting and retaining respected colleagues and recognized scholars who are experts in their respective disciplines.

“I am truly humbled that Ms. Sangeeta Singhal and her family have elected to create the first endowed chair established by an individual, non-corporate donor in the history of the College of Engineering at UAH,” says Dr. Shankar Mahalingam, dean of the UAH College of Engineering. “We are grateful for the opportunity to carry on Dr. Singhal's legacy and to contribute to innovations in science, engineering and technology through research and teaching.”

Faculty chosen for this honor will play a pivotal role in UAH’s mission to provide advanced research education for developing new curricula; supporting post-doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate research assistants; mentoring junior faculty colleagues; acquiring state-of-the-art research equipment and cultivating innovative research.

“I first met Dr. Ashok Singhal in 1987 at the annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference when I was a Ph.D. student at Stanford University,” Dr. Mahalingam adds. “Aside from his technical brilliance in the field of computational fluid dynamics, it was evident that he was always seeking top talent to work at CFD Research. What set him apart as an outstanding entrepreneur and successful business leader was his warm and engaging personality, his ability to motivate everyone around him to achieve the very best and his unconditional support for his employees. It is an honor for UAH and the College of Engineering to have the opportunity to recognize one of our outstanding faculty members with the Ashok K. Singhal Endowed Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.”

As the north Alabama economy continues to expand, the need for homegrown engineering talent will grow as well. The Singhal Chair will help UAH attract and retain faculty with the expertise to train the next generation of engineers for the future workforce in the state and beyond, while continuing to encourage innovative research at the frontiers of engineering and technology.

“Dr. Singhal will always be an inspiration to UAH and the Huntsville community through the examples he set for hard work, groundbreaking ideas and a desire to give of himself to others,” says Dr. Mahalingam.

“Ashok also always said your education can never be taken away from you,” Sangeeta Singhal remembers. “With a good education, you can go anywhere in the world and earn a living. Ashok always supported the University of Alabama in Huntsville and wanted it to be a great institution.”

CFD Research Corporation specializes in engineering simulations, advanced prototypes and innovative designs for aerospace, defense, life sciences, materials, energy and other industries.



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