Dr Abhishek Asthana

Dr Abhishek AsthanaIn addition to his role as Deputy Director of DTA Energy, Abhishek is the Director of Hallam Energy and Reader in Energy Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University. Upon joining the university in 2009, he established Hallam Energy, a spin-out aimed at delivering industry-focused energy R&D consultancy services. Since then, he has led more than 50 projects of energy research, knowledge transfer and consultancy, winning external funding of more than £3.4 Million. He has developed 5 commercial software packages and is the inventor of 4 patents. He is an advisor to various government departments and local authorities in the UK and abroad. He is a reviewer and advisor to the International Energy Agency (IEA) on India. Abhishek leads 3 courses – BEng Energy Engineering, BEng Chemical Engineering and MEng Chemical Engineering. Abhishek is a Chartered Engineer himself as well as assessor and interviewer for the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET)’s professional registration for Chartered Engineers (CEng). He is also IET’s Global Ambassador to India.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

My job is like a hobby for me – I really enjoy doing it. The most rewarding part of my job is that it is never dull or repetitive. Whether I am expanding my professional network, bidding to secure funding for research, doing research and creating new knowledge, engaging in knowledge transfer activities or doing consultancy work to solve real world engineering problems, every situation is new with its own challenges and requires me to be creative and innovative. Once you become famous in your academic field, you get to travel all over the world for conferences and, especially as keynote speaker, you need not even worry about the travel costs!

Even teaching students is an exciting part of my job and requires me to be always innovative. Learning engineering is a science but teaching it is an art. If I can genuinely make students interested in the subject beyond the classroom, I consider my efforts a success. Transferring my knowledge to the next generation and seeing them go beyond it gives me great satisfaction.

I thoroughly enjoy working at Sheffield Hallam University because of the great working environment, support from my superiors and unlimited opportunities to grow and develop my career.

And the most challenging?

The most challenging part for me is managing the conflicting demands of research, teaching and consultancy activities in my job. Usually, I have myself to blame for it as I tend to become over-ambitious.

What would you be doing if you hadn’t decided to follow this career path?

As a teenager, I wanted to be a professional cricketer. (Un?)Fortunately, repeated fractures in my right shoulder closed that door.

How do you relax when you’re not at work?

Gardening, playing tennis with my son and swimming.

What’s your favourite blog?

None. I stay away from blogs and social media.

Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

A child with no worries.