Dr. Phillip Ligrani

Eminent Scholar in Propulsion Professor, MAE


5000 Technology Drive NW
Olin B. King Technology Hall
Room S236
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Dr. Ligrani has a strong past and present record of performing sponsored, fundamental and applied research for a variety of funding agencies, including ones in the USA and Europe. As such, he has successfully managed a wide variety of research programs, for different industrial, foundation, and government sponsors. As of April 2021, research funding awards have been received from the following organizations: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory - Aerospace Systems Directorate, CFDRC – Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Corporation, Alabama State Innovation Program Fund, University of Alabama in Huntsville Endowment for Eminent Scholar in Propulsion, University of Alabama in Huntsville Start-Up Funds, AEDC – Arnold Engineering Development Center of Arnold Air Force Base, National Science Foundation, Honeywell Aerospace Corp., The Boeing Company, IHI Corporation, the Henry Luce Foundation, South Carolina Institute for Energy Studies (SCIES-AGTSR) of the Department of Energy, U. S. Army Aviation Research and Technology Activity-AVSCOM, NASA-Ames Research Center, NASA-Lewis Research Center, Hispanic Research Center-Arizona State University, Turbo and Power Machinery Research Center-Seoul National University, Solar Turbines Incorporated, UCON U.S.-Japan Center-Weber State University, General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center, Pratt & Whitney Corporation-Florida, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Pratt & Whitney Corporation-Canada Corp., the Gas Technology Institute, Intel Corporation, HEET-High Efficiency Engines and Turbines Program - South Carolina Energy Research and Development Center, Invesys Corp. - Foxboro Company, Ceramatec Advanced Materials and Electrochemical Technologies Corp., CISCO Systems Inc., SEEDA-South East England Development Agency, EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of Great Britain, ISIS Innovation, John Fell Fund, European Community Sixth Framework Programme, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources - KIGAM, Lockheed Martin UK, The Royal Academy of Engineering, Rolls Royce PLC, Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) Engineering Board of Great Britain, Office of Naval Research, Naval Postgraduate School Research Foundation, Aero-Propulsion Laboratory-Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Naval Postgraduate School Direct Funding.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1980
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1975
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1974

Honors & Awards

  • 2020 College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Member Award. University Award, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • 2020 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Mentor Award. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • May 2020. Hermann Oberth Award in recognition of outstanding individual scientific achievement in the field of astronautics and advancement of the aeronautical sciences. AIAA – American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Greater Huntsville Section of the AIAA, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • March 2020. Employee Service Award, Five Years of Service. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • ASME IGTI Outstanding Service Award 2019.
  • 2019 University Distinguished Research Award for Excellence. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • Outstanding Senior Faculty Member Award for 2019. College of Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
  • Member. European Union Academy of Sciences (EUAS). 2019 to present.
  • Guest Professor. School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China. 2019 to 2022.
  • Outstanding Mechanical Engineer of the Year Award 2016, ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers, NAS - North Alabama Section, USA.


  • ASME, Member, Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineering.
  • ASME, American Society of Mechanical Engineering, K-14 Gas Turbine Heat Transfer Committee. December 1986-Present.
  • IGTI, Member, International Gas Turbine Institute Heat Transfer Committee.
  • ASEE, Member, American Society for Engineering Education.
  • AIAA, Member, Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  • ICHMT, Member of the Scientific Council, International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer.
  • EUAS, Invited Member, European Union Academy of Sciences.


  • Traditional Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics Investigations involving electronics cooling, heat transfer augmentation, drag reduction, turbulent boundary layers, flows in channels with dimpled surfaces, flows in curved channels, elastic turbulence, slot impingement cooling, and macro-scale pumps and pump flows. Also included are aerodynamics investigations with high- speed, compressible flows at transonic and supersonic Mach numbers, including SWBLI – Shock Wave Boundary Layer Interactions. Related projects involve transonic and supersonic experimental testing. Research interests also include experimental diagnostics in high speed flows, and air breathing propulsion.
  • Air Breathing Engines - Gas Turbine Heat Transfer, Cooling, and Aerodynamics Losses, including internal cooling, film cooling, impingement cooling, cooling of extremities, aerodynamic performance including aerodynamic losses, and transonic turbine flows and heat transfer. This subject area includes the effects of uses of bio-fuels, synthetic fuels, and renewable energy sources in relation to gas turbines and gas turbine heat transfer and cooling technologies. Note that an important area of turbomachinery research interest involves heat transfer and aerodynamics investigations with high-speed, compressible flows at transonic and supersonic Mach numbers, including linear cascade studies.
  • Micro-Fluidics and Millimeter-Scale-Fluidics, including micro-pump flows, and the effects of slip phenomena on gas and liquid flows in micro-scale passage flows with and without surface roughness, including the effects of hydrophobic surfaces and elastic turbulence.
  • Experimental Techniques, including development of millimeter-scale multiple-hole pressure probes, subminiature hot-wire anemometry, and infrared thermography.

Recent Publications

  • Spatial Coherence of Low-Frequency Unsteadiness Associated With a Normal Shock Wave (P. M. Ligrani, K. Goethals, and M. Cox), Aerospace Science and Technology, Vol. 112, Paper No. 106637, pp. 1- 14, May 2021.

  • Louver and Effusion Cooling Heat Transfer For a Double Wall Effusion Plate With Impingement Jet Array Coolant Supply (S. R. Vanga, P. M. Ligrani, J. Knox, F. Liberatore, R. Patel, and Y.-H. Ho), International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 168, Paper No. 120861, pp. 1- 13, April 2021.

  • Effects of Coolant and Wall Temperature Variations on Impingement Jet Array Thermal Performance (S. Lu, Q. Deng, P. M. Ligrani, H. Jiang, Q. Zhang), Numerical Heat Transfer, Part A; Applications, Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 68-82, January 2021.

  • Effects of Coolant Supply Arrangement on Double Wall Cooling: Hot-Side Effusion Performance and Cold-Side Nusselt Numbers at Different Initial Blowing Ratios (A. J. Click, P. M. Ligrani, D. Ritchie, F. Liberatore, R. Patel, and Y.-H. Ho), International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 156, Article No. 119808, pp. 1-15, August 2020.

  • Vortex Generation in a Finitely Extensible Nonlinear Elastic Peterlin Fluid Initially at Rest (R. A. Handler, E. Blaisten-Barojas, P. M. Ligrani, P. Dong, and M. Paige), Engineering Reports, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 1-17, March 2020.

  • Recent Investigations of Shock Wave Effects and Interactions (P. M. Ligrani, E. McNabb, H. Collopy, M. Anderson, S. R. Marko), Advances in Aerodynamics, Vol. 2, Article No. 4, pp. 1-23, February 2020.

  • Thermal Transport of Viscoelastic Fluids Within Rotating Couette Flows (P. M. Ligrani, M. Su, A. Pippert, and R. A. Handler), AIAA Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 121-133, January 2020.

  • Parametric Study of Wind Tunnel Test Section Configurations For Stabilizing Normal Shock Wave Structure (P. M. Ligrani, and S. R. Marko), Shock Waves, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 77-90, January 2020.

  • Flow and Heat Transfer Characteristics of Micro Pin-Fins Under Jet Impingement Arrays (X. Lu, W. Li, X. Li, J. Ren, H. Jiang, and P. M. Ligrani), International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Volume 143, Paper No. 118416, pp. 1-14, November 2019.

  • Winglet-Pair Target Surface Roughness Influences On Impingement Jet Array Heat Transfer (P. M. Ligrani, P. McInturff, M. Suzuki, and C. Nakamata), Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 15-35, January 2019.