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Sankaran Mahadevan

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
John R. Murray Sr. Professor of Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Intellectual Neighborhoods

Research Focus

Uncertainty quantification, Risk and reliability analysis, Machine learning, System diagnosis and prognosis, and Decision-making under uncertainty. Applications to structures, materials, networks and systems in civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering and healthcare.

Click below to read about the ARPA-E funded power grid management project:

Click below to read about the NASA-funded air transportation safety assessment project:

Click here for more on risk and reliability engineering studies at Vanderbilt.


Dr. Sankaran Mahadevan (John R. Murray Sr. Professor) is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served since 1988. He also has a joint appointment as Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is founder-director of the Master of Engineering program in Risk, Reliability and Resilience Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and Co-director of Vanderbilt’s Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability (LASIR).
Professor Mahadevan’s research and teaching interests are in uncertainty quantification, risk and reliability analysis, machine learning, system diagnosis and prognosis, and decision-making under uncertainty. He has applied these methods to a variety of structures, materials and systems in civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering. His research has been extensively funded by NSF, NASA, DOE, DOD, FAA, NIST, as well as Airbus, GM, Chrysler, GE, Union Pacific, ABS, Northrop-Grumman, Rolls Royce, and Mitsubishi. In particular, during the past decade, he has been at the forefront of academic research on digital twin methodologies for aircraft, rotorcraft, ship structures, and additive manufacturing, funded by FAA, U.S. Air Force, U. S. Army, ABS, and NIST. At present, he is extending these concepts to air transportation and power grid systems, funded by NASA and U. S. Department of Energy.

Professor Mahadevan has served as founder-director of an NSF-IGERT funded multidisciplinary graduate program in Reliability and Risk Engineering and Management at Vanderbilt University, since 2001. He has directed 45 Ph.D. dissertations and 25 M.S. theses, and taught many industry short courses on reliability methods, verification and validation, and uncertainty quantification. He has co-authored more than 600 technical publications, including two textbooks, 300 peer-reviewed journal papers, and 300 conference papers, research reports and book chapters.

Professor Mahadevan is currently serving as Managing Editor of ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, and also as Associate Editor of ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics and ASTM Journal of Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing. He has served as General Chair of multiple prominent conferences such as the AIAA Structures, Dynamics and Materials (SDM) Conference, AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches (NDA) Conference, ASCE Engineering Mechanics and Probabilistic Methods (EMI/PMC) Conferences, and the Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) Society. He has led multiple professional technical committees in ASCE, ASME and AIAA; currently he is Vice-President of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, and Vice-Chair of the ASME V&V50 Subcommittee on VVUQ in Advanced Manufacturing.

Professor Mahadevan has been elected Fellow of three professional societies: AIAA, ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, and Prognostics and Health Management Society. He won the Best Paper of the Year Award from the Military Operations Research (MORS) Journal in 2012, and has won Best Paper awards at multiple conferences including the AIAA Structures, Dynamics and Materials (SDM) Conference, International Modal Analysis Conference (IMAC), ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference, and the ASCE Probabilistic Methods Conference. He has received the Distinguished Probabilistic Methods Educator Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Professor Award at Vanderbilt University, and the SEC Faculty Achievement Award.

Click here to visit the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering website.