Associate Professor Rajnish N Sharma

PhD (Fluid dynamics) - Auckland; BE Hons 1st Class - Auckland

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Associate Professor


Dr Rajnish Sharma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Auckland, specialising in the subject areas of Aerodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and their application. He has been an academic here since August 2001, and became a permanent member of staff in 2007.

His academic career commenced at the Fiji National University (formerly Fiji Institute of Technology), and later, he joined the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji, as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering. After completing a PhD in Fluid Dynamics / Wind Engineering at the University of Auckland in 1996, on a USP-NZ Government Fellowship, he returned to USP and helped with the accreditation of a new Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree programme (curriculum development, lab development) and setting up / commencing a Postgraduate Programme of Study before migrating to NZ in July 2001.

Since 2008, Dr Sharma has supervised 15 PhD’s and several ME’s to completion, and is currently mentoring 8 more PhD’s as principal supervisor, and several others as co-supervisor.

He currently serves as the Head of the Mechanical Engineering Programme, the Academic Head of the Thermofluids Laboratory at Newmarket campus, Convenor of the Thermofluids Teaching Group, and, represents the Department on the Faculty Academic Programmes Committee. He has previously served on many significant committees of the Department, Faculty and the University (both at USP and the UOA).

Over the years, Dr Sharma has developed collaboration with several industries and research institutes, and regularly provides consulting services to clients from outside of the University. He has also served on organising and scientific committees of several international conferences over the years.

Research | Current

Dr Sharma’s research utilises experimental, analytical and numerical / computational (cfd) methods, and include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Extreme weather performance and operation of fixed wing UAVs (windstorm, icing and other rough conditions); Unsteady aero-fluid dynamics of lifting surfaces at low Reynolds numbers (UAV wings, turbine blades)
  • Flow control (e.g. separated flows over wings; jets as alternatives to control surfaces on UAVs);
  • Fire engineering - interaction between fire, ventilation and suppression systems (road tunnels, atria)
  • Unsteady hydrodynamics of tidal turbines (operating under real turbulent flow conditions); Aerodynamic analysis of novel wind turbine systems (e.g. telescopic blades; duct-shroud systems);
  • Wind resource assessment using linear (e.g. WaSP) and Numerical Weather Prediction (e.g. WRF) methods;
  • Synthetic and continuous jet flow turbulence, interactions, and their impingement fluid/thermal/heat transfer dynamics;
  • Ultra micro gas turbine (UMGT) systems (micro-combustion, micro-turbine, micro fluidics), Micro TPV
  • Micro scale thermal management technologies (pulsating heat pipes, liquid-liquid two phase flows in microchannel heat exchangers; jets / synthetic jets);
  • Wind engineering and building aerodynamics (wind turbulence and its unsteady interaction with the built environment, structures, buildings (with and without dominant openings);
  • Natural and wind induced ventilation;
  • Industrial fluid mechanics / thermal-fluid dynamics; and more.

PhD / ME Opportunities

  • Fixed wing UAV aerodynamics under rough weather conditions (e.g. Stormy / icing / fire conditions).
  • Aerodynamic flow control of fixed wing UAVs (e.g. Utilising novel jet and other concepts).
  • Micro scale power generation for UAVs, portable devices and cubesats (e.g. UMGT, Thermo-PV, Fuel Cell, Etc.).
  • Micro scale thermal management (e.g. Pulsating heat pipes, synthetic jets, microchannel heat exchangers, Etc.).
  • Wind engineering and building aerodynamics (e.g. Tropical cyclone wind and turbulence characterisation, Interaction of tropical cyclone winds with buildings and structures, Buildings with openings / wind catchers - wind loads / ventilation, Applying NWP methods to predict long term extreme winds, Etc.).
  • Characterisation of the urban wind climate

For further details, email Dr Rajnish N Sharma:

Teaching | Current

Dr Sharma has taught across the different areas of Mechanical Engineering over the years but his current teaching spans across the thermofluids suite of courses including Mecheng211 Thermofluids, Mecheng311 Thermal Engineering, Mecheng325 Dynamics of Fluids and Structures, Mecheng711 Computational Fluid Dynamics, Mecheng712 Aerohydrodynamics, Mecheng713 Energy Technology, and Mecheng715 Building Services. He has also coordinated and taught in the Final Year Projects courses in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Postgraduate supervision

As principal supervisor (since 2008):

  • 15 PhDs, several MEs, and many Masters Level Dissertations completed
  • 8 PhDs currently in progress (of which 2 are under examination Sep 2021)
  • Many Undergraduate Final Year Projects completed

As co-supervisor (since 2008):

  • 3 PhDs completed
  • Several currently in progress



  • Head of Mechanical Engineering Programme of Study
  • Member, Faculty Academic Programmes Committee
  • Academic Head, Thermofluids Laboratory
  • Course Director, Several courses in the Department of Mechanical Engineering


  • Member, Faculty Equity Committee
  • Final year projects coordinator
  • Convenor of the Thermofluids Teaching Group
  • Member, Faculty Timetabling Committee

Areas of expertise

Aerodynamics, Fluid dynamics, Fluid mechanics, Unsteady fluid/aerodynamics, Fixed wing UAV aerodynamics, Heat transfer, Thermal-fluid systems, Tunnel and Atroum Fires, Microscale combustion and power productiion (UMGT, micro TPV), Wind engineering, Building aerodynamics, Turbulence, CFD modelling, Wind energy and wind turbines, Tidal turbines, HVACR, Building services, Synthetic jets and Jet flows, Impingement heat Transfer, 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Wang, H., Ding, L., Zhang, L., Zou, Q., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Control of two-degree-of-freedom vortex induced vibrations of a circular cylinder using synthetic Jets: Effect of synthetic jet orientation angle and phase difference. Ocean Engineering, 217.10.1016/j.oceaneng.2020.107906
  • Abdollahi, A., Norris, S. E., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Pressure Drop and Film Thickness of Liquid-Liquid Taylor Flow in Square Microchannels. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 156.10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2020.119802
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stuart Norris
  • Wang, H., Ding, L., Zhang, L., Sharma, R. N., & Yang, L. (2020). Numerical study on two-degree-of-freedom vortex induced vibrations suppression of a circular cylinder via synthetic jets at different excitation frequencies. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND FLUID FLOW, 8410.1016/j.ijheatfluidflow.2020.108593
  • Abdollahi, A., Norris, S. E., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Fluid flow and heat transfer of liquid-liquid Taylor flow in square microchannels. Applied Thermal Engineering, 17210.1016/j.applthermaleng.2020.115123
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stuart Norris
  • Kay, N. J., Oo, N. L., Richards, P. J., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Characteristics of fluctuating pressure measurement systems utilising lengths of 3D-Printed tubing. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 199.10.1016/j.jweia.2020.104121
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Richards, Nicholas Kay
  • Krishan, G., Aw, K. C., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Comparison of the flow-field characteristics of a slot synthetic jet with and without sidewalls. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 82.10.1016/j.ijheatfluidflow.2020.108535
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kean Aw
  • Ha, T. B. N., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). The unsteady hydrodynamic response of lightly loaded tidal turbines. Renewable Energy, 147 (1), 1959-1968. 10.1016/j.renene.2019.09.137
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ha Tran
  • Kay, N. J., Oo, N. L., Gill, M. S., Richards, P. J., & Sharma, R. N. (2020). Robustness of the digital filter to differing calibration flows. JOURNAL OF WIND ENGINEERING AND INDUSTRIAL AERODYNAMICS, 19710.1016/j.jweia.2019.104061
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Richards, Nicholas Kay


Contact details

Alternative contact

Primary office location

BUILDING 902 - Bldg 902
Level 4, Room 411
New Zealand

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