Dr. H.R. Sharma was born on April 03, 1934 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. After a brilliant academic career, he completed his Bachelor of Science (Engineering) from Aligarh Muslim University in 1956. In the same year he joined U.P. Irrigation Department as Assistant Engineer(Design).
September 1961, he proceeded to Germany for higher studies on a Scholarship from the Government of German Democratic Republic. He pursued his research work at the famous Hubert-Engel's Laboratorium of the Technical University, Dresden. In September 1964, he was awarded the degree of 'Doctor of Engineering' with high praise.
In September 1971, Dr. Sharma left for Norway on a Norwegian Government Fellowship for post-doctoral research work in Hydro Power Engineering. He was the only one selected for this Fellowship from India. In September 1974, he was awarded the degree of 'Doctor of Technical Sciences' by the Norwegian Technical University. He is the First Asian to receive this highest academic degree.
After serving for 22 years in Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department, Dr. Sharma joined the Central Water Commission on Deputation as Director, Hydel Civil Designs in October 1978. In this capacity he was responsible for planning and design of hydel civil structures for more than 20 hydro power projects in India and neighbouring countries.
In March 1982, Dr. Sharma joined the Central Electricity Authority to head the newly created Tidal Power Cell, first as Director and later in December 1984 as Chief Engineer. All the investigations and studies for a 900 MW Tidal Power Project in the Gulf of Kachchh which were of highly specialised and complex nature were carried out under his direction and guidance for the first time in the country within the time bound schedule. Under his direction and guidance.
During 1990-92 Dr. Sharma held the post of Member(Hydro), Central Electricity Authority and ex-officio Addl. Secretary to Govt. of India. He is the first Civil Engineer to hold this post.
During 1991-92 Dr. Sharma also held the charge of Chairman, Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation (Govt. of India Undertaking). During his tenure as Chairman, the Tender Stage design and drawings for the World Bank aided Nathpa Jhakri Hydro-electric Project (1500 MW) were completed in house in record time. International Tenders were invited, evaluated and recommendations sent to World Bank which were accepted without any change.
On superannuation in April 1992, Dr. Sharma was appointed as Advisor to Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation.
During 1993-2005, Dr. Sharma was Advisor on Water and Power to Govt. of Mauritius.He established the Water Resources Department and executed, among others, the most prestigious and largest Water Resources Project of Mauritius,Midlands Dam in a record period of less than 3 years and at 2/3rd of the estimated cost by a French Consultancy Firm.
On return from Mauritius Dr. Sharma held the various important positions in Multinational Consultancy Organizations as well as with Hydro Power Developers, such as:
General Manager (Hydro Power & Tunnels), SMEC.
Chief Technical Principal, Hydro Tasmania Consulting Pvt Ltd.
Director- Design & Engineering, GVK Technical and Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd.
Chief Technical Principal, Tractebel Engineering Pvt Ltd.
Dr. Sharma has more than 58 years rich experience as a Hydro Power Engineer. He has been engaged practically in all aspects of hydro power engineering starting from investigations through planning, feasibility study, detailed feasibility study, detailed engineering to construction monitoring. He has been associated with practically all the major and important Water Resources and Hydro Power Projects of the country and neighbouring countries.
Dr. Sharma has carried out unique designs and several innovations in the field of Hydro Power, Water Resources and Tidal Power Engineering. Some of his innovative ideas, such as elimination of surge tank(s), dispensing with concrete lining in power tunnels and steel lining in pressure shafts in competent rocks and using diversion tunnels as tunnel spillways, have already found application .He has been responsible for the preparation of a number of Indian Standards. He is a recognized International Expert in Hydro Power Engineering.
A few examples of the pioneering work done by Dr Sharma are briefly discussed below:
Dr. Sharma evolved unique design for sediment excluding arrangement at Ichari Power Intake under Yamuna Hydel Scheme Stage-II, commissioned in 1975. The Scheme has been functioning efficiently since then, the prototype efficiency being more than 95%. The design has become more or less a standard model and is being adopted at a large number of hydro power projects.
Dr. Sharma developed unique control system for Chibro-Khodri Hydro Power Stations operating in Tandem: The Chibro (240 MW) and Khodri (120 MW) hydro power stations are fed through a common water conductor system consisting of 7m diameter and 12 km long pressure tunnel without any appreciable storage in-between to act as a downstream surge tank for Chibro power house and an upstream reservoir for the Khodri power house. The latter is fed through a 6 km long head race tunnel taking off from the tail pool of Chibro underground power house. The system itself is unique in the world. The Chibro- Khodri system came into operation in March 1984. Since then the control system is functioning satisfactorily. This has eliminated the construction of the diversion dam and the sediment excluding arrangement for the Khodri Power House resulting in a saving of hundreds of millions of rupees and considrable construction period. The successful performance of the system has encouraged adopting similar layouts at other hydro power complexes. For example, the diversion dam and sediment excluding arrangement have been eliminated at the Rampur Hydro Power Project located downstream of the 1500 MW Jhakri underground power station. The Rampur Power Station (412 MW) has already been commissioned.
Pioneering Work in Tidal Power Development in India: Dr. Sharma in his capacity as Chief Engineer (Tidal) and Director (Tidal) carried out pioneering work in tidal power development in India. For the first time in the country the highly specialized and complex investigations were carried out and detailed feasibility report prepared under his direct guidance and supervision. An entirely new approach was suggested for the execution of the project. Close interaction was held with the leading experts in the world. The final recommendations were discussed in an International Symposium held in New Delhi in February 1988 and were widely acclaimed.
Dr. Sharma has contributed more than 130 Technical Papers to National/International Journals and Conferences. He is widely travelled and has participated as Author/Chairman in a large number of National and International Conferences. In HYDRO-2010, held in Lisbon (Portugal), he chaired the Technical Session on Regional Focus: Asia and Latin America and also participated as a Panelist on Award and Structuring of Hydro Concessions. He is the author of the following two books:
Integrated Water Resources Management with Special reference to Mauritius
Memoirs of 55 Golden Years of an Engineer: Challenges and Achievements.
Dr. Sharma is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineers. He has been President of International Society of Rock Mechanics- India for the years 2011-2013. Dr Sharma has held several important assignments, such as Member, Indo-Bangladesh Joint Committee on sharing Ganga Waters; Independent Consultant , Mahavali Authority of Sri Lanka for Kotmale dam project; Leader, Indo-Soviet Working Group for Hydro Power in Moscow; Chairman , Karnali (Chisapani) Coordination Committee for 10,800 MW hydro power project in Nepal; Leader, Technical Team for Purlia Pump Storage Scheme (900 MW) for Japan; International Consultant for Specific Studies for 6000 MW KALPASAR Tidal Power Project in the Gulf of Khambat, Gujarat, inter alia.
Dr. Sharma is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, such as Diamond Jubilee Shanti- Yadav Mohan Award of Central Board of Irrigation and Power (1987) in recognition of his expertise and services rendered to Water Resources Development Technology; VASVIK Award in the subject of Electrical Sciences and Technology (1989) for doing significant and extensive work in the field of Hydro Power & Tidal Power Technology in the country.