Krishnan Mahesh, Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Krishnan Mahesh

Richard B. Couch Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering


213 NAME


(734) 764-3723


Additional Title(s)

  • Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Krishnan Mahesh’s research focuses on the simulation of complex, multi-physics turbulent flows. Mahesh received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai), and in 1996 obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He is a 2018 Fulbright-Nehru Specialist, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Mahesh is a recipient of the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and the Francois N. Frenkiel Award from the American Physical Society. He has received the Taylor Award for Distinguished Research, McKnight Presidential Fellowship, Guillermo E. Borja Award, and McKnight Land-Grant Professorship from the University of Minnesota.


  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering (1996), Stanford University
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering (1990), Standford University
  • B. Tech. Mechanical Engineering (1989), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

Research Interests

The Mahesh laboratory is involved in the computation, analysis, and modeling of turbulent flows. The overall vision of the laboratory is to transform the role of simulations in the design and optimization of future Navy platforms and enable the discovery of the fundamental science central to their multi-physics, turbulent flows. Traditionally, high-fidelity simulation methods like direct numerical and large-eddy simulation have been restricted to fairly simple geometries and flow physics. We are developing numerical methods, turbulence models and simulation tools that are flexible enough to handle multi-physics flows in engineering geometries without compromising the accuracy needed to simulate turbulence. Most of our simulations use unstructured grids on massively parallel computing platforms. We develop our own simulation codes – MPCUGLES being our flagship software. Group members perform hands-on work on developing state-of-the-art algorithms, which they implement into parallel simulation codes and use to perform simulations on some of the largest parallel computers in the country. The simulation results are then examined to elaborate on the underlying flow physics. The MPCUGLES software has the accuracy to perform benchmark calculations of fundamental flows, as well as the flexibility to simulate flow in highly complicated engineering geometries. We conduct research into a variety of applications including: marine propulsors, cavitation, hydroacoustics, flow over rough surfaces, laminar-turbulent transition, turbulent mixing, fluid/structure interaction, flow control, and moving-body flows. We are always interested in hiring strong new members to our group. Please contact Professor Mahesh if you are interested.

Research areas:
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  • Best Paper award, 2021 AIAA Hampton Roads Section (HRS) Laurence Bement Young Professional Paper Competition, for J. Fluid Mech., 790: 275-307 (2021)
  • Fulbright Scholar, Host: Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (2018)
  • Best Paper Award, Fifth International Symposium on Marine Propulsors (2017)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2011)
  • Taylor Award for Distinguished Research, University of Minnesota (2010)
  • Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (2009)
  • Fellow, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (2005)
  • McKnight Presidential Fellowship Award, University of Minnesota (2005)
  • Guillermo Borja Award, University of Minnesota (2005)
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, University of Minnesota (2003)
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2002)
  • Francois N Frenkiel Award, American Physical Society (1997)
  • Institute Silver Medal, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (1989)