Dr. Mukesh Sharma is currently professor of civil engineering at IIT Kanpur from where he completed his M. Tech. and later did his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1994. Prior to Joining IIT Kanpur in 1997, Dr. Sharma was employed with the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi. Dr. Sharma stands out in the field of air quality management as he highlights the issues through scientific analyses and then argues for changes in policies which easily find favour with stakeholders. One of his biggest achievements is the inclusion of new air pollutants (ozone, arsenic, nickel, benzene and benzo-(a)pyrene) to the Revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards in 2009.
Dr. Sharma spearheaded the consultation with various stakeholders before the revised air quality standards were notified by the central government. His pathbreaking research on the formation of fine secondary aerosols in atmosphere through atmospheric chemistry has transformed the thinking on how air quality must be improved in India. He engaged in studies on emissions inventory and source apportionment for Indian cities, most notably in Kanpur, and has determined an optimum mix of management options to control emissions from motor vehicles and industries. His innovative research on the sequestration of carbon dioxide through algal mass holds considerable promise in mitigating climate change. He also identified the merits of titanium dioxide and nanoparticles in controlling emissions of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds. The industrial units in Vapi, Gujarat, are in process of installing pilot plants based on Dr. Sharma’s technology, supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Dr. Sharma, an expert in engineering science and who has melded rigorous research with policy engagement, has published over 100 papers in national and international journals and conferences. He has also been the principal investigator of many research projects funded by France, Norway, Sweden, USA, the World Bank, and various agencies in India.
Dr. Mukesh Sharma has received several international and national awards. He is the first Indian to receive the Kong Ha Award in Air Quality from Clean Air Asia, a UN supported foundation. He is also an associate editor and is on the editorial board of international scientific journals. His other awards include Hiyoshi Environmental Award by Hiyoshi Corporation, Japan; Excellence in Research and Technology Development, Ministry of Environment (Ontario), Canada; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship; and Faculty of Engineering Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada.