Skip to Main Content


Ashish Sharma is the climate and urban sustainability lead at the Discovery Partners Institute, which is part of the University of Illinois System. He also is on the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and holds a joint appointment as a climate scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from Jaypee University of Information Technology, he holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Arizona State University. Dr. Sharma has expertise in atmospheric sciences, focusing on regional climate, air quality and assessing adaptation and mitigation strategies. Through collaborative research across science, engineering, social sciences and policy, he studies environmental justice issues including heat, fog, air quality and high-impact weather. He has published more than 30 journal articles and 40 conference papers. Dr. Sharma has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Walder Foundation and IBM. Dr. Sharma is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. He serves on the Trust for Public Land’s Natural Solutions Tool advisory committee (2022). He has co-authored an assessment of climate change impacts on the Great Lakes region (2019), a special climate assessment for Illinois (2021) and a report for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on aligning research priorities to enhance resilience to extreme heat (2019). As a coauthor of the first climate action plan for the Chicago metro region (2021), he received the American Planning Association Merit in Sustainability Award (2022) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Climate Leadership Award (2021). The Illinois State Museum exhibits his work on climate change, injustice and heat in Chicago. He has contributed as a reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and many international scientific journals. He is the associate editor of the Frontiers in Environmental Science: Atmosphere and Climate journal. He has testified on urban heat island effect and solutions before the Chicago Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy (2021). He has briefed the U.S. Senate Climate Task Force, the U.S. House of Representatives and congressional staff on the impacts of climate change in the Great Lakes Region (2019).

Research Interests

  • Regional climate modeling: Interactions between land, large bodies of water and the atmosphere, lake breeze, urban heat island effect, land data assimilation, hydrometeorological extremes
  • Microscale modeling: Climate modeling at hyper-local scales (~m scales)
  • Climate adaptation and mitigation: Interactions between urban ecology and urban heat islands in a changing climate, green and cool roofs and energy consumption and savings with best practices
  • Air quality modeling: Meteorology and atmospheric chemistry feedbacks
  • Climate action plans: Climate policies
  • Other focus areas: Machine learning, crime and environment

Research Areas


  • Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, Arizona State University, 2012
  • Master’s degree in aerospace engineering, Arizona State University, 2009
  • Bachelor of technology degree in electronics and communication engineering, Jaypee University of Information Technology, 2007


Awards and Honors

  • Climate Leadership Award at the Annual Climate Leadership Conference hosted by the EPA-selected Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry
  • Fellow, Royal Meteorological Society (2016-present)
  • Executive Committee Member, Illinois Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (IL-CURES) (2019-present)
  • Exhibit in the Illinois State Museum on the impacts of climate change, injustice and heat in Chicago


Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Research Scientist, Climatology, Illinois State Water Survey

Affiliate, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

In The News

Recent Publications

Byun, K., Sharma, A., Wang, J., Tank, J. L., & Hamlet, A. F. (2022). Intercomparison of Dynamically and Statistically Downscaled Climate Change Projections over the Midwest and Great Lakes Region. Journal of Hydrometeorology23(5), 659-679.

Dimitrova, R., Sharma, A., Fernando, H. J. S., Gultepe, I., Danchovski, V., Wagh, S., Bardoel, S. L., & Wang, S. (2021). Simulations of Coastal Fog in the Canadian Atlantic with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Boundary-Layer Meteorology181(2-3), 443-472.

Fernando, H. J. S., Gultepe, I., Dorman, C., Pardyjak, E., Wang, Q., Hoch, S. W., Richter, D., Creegan, E., Gaberšek, S., Bullock, T., Hocut, C., Chang, R., Alappattu, D., Dimitrova, R., Flagg, D., Grachev, A., Krishnamurthy, R., Singh, D. K., Lozovatsky, I., … Wauer, B. (2021). C-FOG life of coastal fog. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society102(2), E244-E272.

Sharma, A., Wuebbles, D. J., & Kotamarthi, R. (2021). The Need for Urban-Resolving Climate Modeling Across Scales. AGU Advances2(1), [e2020AV000271].

Viecco, M., Jorquera, H., Sharma, A., Bustamante, W., Fernando, H. J. S., & Vera, S. (2021). Green roofs and green walls layouts for improved urban air quality by mitigating particulate matter. Building and Environment204, [108120].

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Find a Career at DPI

See Open Positions