Dr. Ajay Agrawal

The T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award honors a faculty member who exemplifies the constant guidance and leadership necessary to make The University of Alabama College of Engineering exceptional.

Dr. Ajay K. Agrawal, professor and the Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2023 T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award.

Agrawal earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee and Kanpur, respectively. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Miami in 1988. Agrawal began his career at UA in 2005 as the Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair. Prior to beginning his tenure at UA, Agrawal held faculty positions at Michigan Technological University, Clemson University, and the University of Oklahoma.

His teaching and research center around energy efficiency and utilization. The primary goal of his research is to reduce the harmful effects of fuels through clean combustion, high fuel efficiency, and fuel flexibility. Agrawal has conducted fundamental and applied research on combustion and fluid flows for NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Although Agrawal’s research is primarily experimental in nature, his work has resulted in three patents, more than 250 journal articles and conference papers, and a co-authored monograph entitled “A Gallery of Combustion and Fire.”

As an endowed chair, Agrawal has advanced his career and elevated UA’s research reputation. Through the funds provided by the endowment, Agrawal championed the creation of, and now directs, the Engines and Combustion Laboratory (ECL) at UA. As a result of Agrawal’s leadership and dedication to the field, the ECL is now one of the top combustion research laboratories in the country.

Agrawal has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career as a result of his innovative and leading-edge research. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and The Combustion Institute. He was selected as the winner of UA’s Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award in 2013. In 2019, Agrawal was selected as the winner of UA’s annual Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes and promotes excellence in research, scholarship, and teaching. Agrawal received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee in 2020. He was also the recipient of UA’s SEC Faculty Achievement Award in 2022.

This award was established as a tribute to T. Morris Hackney and was made possible by the contributions from John H. Josey and his son, Howard Josey.


2023: Dr. Ajay Agrawal
2022: Mark L. Weaver
2020: Bharat Balasubramanian
2019: Kenneth G. Ricks
 Gregory B. Thompson
2017: W. Edward Back
2016: John Baker
2015: Jay K. Lindly
2014: Susan L. Burkett
2013: Tim A. Haskew
2012: Allen S. Parrish
2011: K. Clark Midkiff Jr.
2010: Kenneth J. Fridley
2009: Viola Acoff
2008: Beth Todd
2007: Kevin Whitaker
2006: David B. Brown
2005: Charles L. Karr
2004: John Wiest
2003: David Cordes
2002: Robert Griffin
2001: Stuart Bell
2000: Lloyd “Pete” Morley
1999: Verle N. Schrodt
1998: Daniel Turner
1997: Gary C. April