Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Shahryar Khalique Ahmad

(Research Scientist)

Org Code: 617

Mail Code: 617
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: Science Application International Corp.

Brief Bio

I study the Earth’s water resources, how they are changing, and the impacts of human footprint on these resources. Understanding the availability of and movement of water through the ecosystem is the key to their sustainable management. My current research focuses on enhancing our understanding of the evolution and mechanism of hydrologic extremes, such as droughts. I use hydrological models to study Earth processes that govern the water cycle components such as rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil moisture retention, and vegetation condition, variation in which lead to extreme events.

Current Projects

Earth Information System Freshwater

Hydrology / Water Cycle

The Freshwater pilot of Earth Information System (EIS) develops a prototype Freshwater Information System built around NASA modeling and remote sensing capabilities. The pilot enables the interactions between several critical modeling, assimilation, analytics, and visualization capabilities using the Mississippi river basin as a case study.


Research Scientist

Science Application International Corp. - Beltsville, MD

April 2021 - Present

  • Studying hydrologic cycle under the anthropogenic and climate stresses of fires and droughts
  • Investigating the evolution and mechanism of hydrologic extremes, such as droughts using hydrological modeling and data assimilation
  • Developing prototype for Freshwater Pilot of Earth Information System demonstrating open science and visualization capabilities to further the outreach of NASA datasets for freshwater and earth science-relevant variables

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Washington - Seattle

September 2016 - March 2021

  • Management of fully automated operational web interface of South Asian Surface Water Modeling System (SASWMS) used by various operational agencies in South Asia 
  • Development of cropwater demand model for an irrigation advisory for marginal scale-farmers in Southeast Asia using weather forecasts and remote sensing products such as GRACE
  • Prototyping Flood Inundation Forecast and Management system for Houston
  • Deployment and management of Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model for Mekong River Basin
  • Assessment of future volume change in Tonle Sap Lake in Mekong River Basin using climate model projections and satellite data (INFEWS project)


Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, 2018-2021

  • Dissertation: Towards Forecast-Informed Sustainable Hydropower Operations
  • Advisor: Dr. Faisal Hossain

Master of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, 2016-2017

  • Thesis: Investigating the value of Weather Forecasts from Numerical Prediction Models for Hydropower Maximization
  • Advisor: Dr. Faisal Hossain

Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 2012-2016

Professional Societies

American Geophyscial Union

2018 - Present

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

2017 - Present

American Water Resources Association

2016 - Present

Freshwater Initiative


American Meteorological Society


2022 - Present


  • ASCE EWRI Best Case Study Award in Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 2021-2021
  • NASA Space Apps Challenge, Best Use of Data Award, 2020-2020
  • MIT Energy Hack Chevron Challenge Winner, 2020-2020
  • Grow with Google Challenge Scholarship, 2018-2018
  • Washington State AWRA Student Fellowship, 2017
  • Ivanhoe Foundation Fellowship, 2017
  • Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship for Research Internship, 2015
  • Academic Excellence Award at IIT Kanpur, India, 2015-2016
  • Merit-cum-Means Scholarship at IIT Kanpur, India, 2013-2014



Lahmers, T. M., S. V. Kumar, K. A. Locke, et al. S. Wang, A. Getirana, M. L. Wrzesien, P.-W. Liu, and S. K. Ahmad. 2023. Interconnected hydrologic extreme drivers and impacts depicted by remote sensing data assimilation Scientific Reports 13 (1): 3411 [10.1038/s41598-023-30484-4]

Chang, C.-H., H. Lee, S. K. Do, et al. T. L. Du, K. Markert, F. Hossain, S. K. Ahmad, T. Piman, C. Meechaiya, D. D. Bui, J. D. Bolten, E. Hwang, and H. C. Jung. 2023. Operational forecasting inundation extents using REOF analysis (FIER) over lower Mekong and its potential economic impact on agriculture Environmental Modelling & Software 105643 [10.1016/j.envsoft.2023.105643]

Ahmad, S. K., S. V. Kumar, T. M. Lahmers, et al. S. Wang, P. Liu, M. L. Wrzesien, R. Bindlish, A. Getirana, K. A. Locke, T. R. Holmes, and J. A. Otkin. 2022. Flash Drought Onset and Development Mechanisms Captured with Soil Moisture and Vegetation Data Assimilation Water Resources Research [10.1029/2022wr032894]

Konapala, G., S. V. Kumar, and S. Khalique Ahmad. 2021. Exploring Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 diversity for flood inundation mapping using deep learning ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 180 163-173 [10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2021.08.016]

Ahmad, S. K., F. Hossain, G. W. Holtgrieve, T. Pavelsky, and S. Galelli. 2021. Predicting the Likely Thermal Impact of Current and Future Dams Around the World Earth's Future 9 (10): [10.1029/2020ef001916]

Bose, I., S. Jayasinghe, C. Meechaiya, et al. S. K. Ahmad, N. Biswas, and F. Hossain. 2021. Developing a Baseline Characterization of River Bathymetry and Time-Varying Height for Chindwin River in Myanmar Using SRTM and Landsat Data Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 26 (11): 05021030 [10.1061/(asce)he.1943-5584.0002126]

Bose, I., F. Hossain, H. Eldardiry, et al. S. Ahmad, N. K. Biswas, A. Z. Bhatti, H. Lee, M. Aziz, and M. S. Kamal Khan. 2021. Integrating Gravimetry Data With Thermal Infra‐Red Data From Satellites to Improve Efficiency of Operational Irrigation Advisory in South Asia Water Resources Research 57 (4): [10.1029/2020wr028654]

Hossain, F., M. Bonnema, N. Biswas, et al. S. Ahmad, B. Duong, and N. Luong. 2019. When Floods Cross Borders, Satellite Data Can Help Eos 100 [10.1029/2019eo115775]