Dr Vigya Sharma

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining
Sustainable Minerals Institute

Overview

Vigya is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia

She has several years of experience in applied research across domestic and international mining and energy sectors. Specifically, her interests are in understanding how the presence (or absence) of resources impacts development outcomes in host communities and regions. In her current role, she is leading the Centre’s work on fossil fuel transitions, particularly looking at the social, political and economic impacts of coal phase-out in India, China, and Australia.

Vigya also coordinates and is the primary lecturer for the undergraduate course on Humanitarian Engineering, offered to students in the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT). She led the design and delivery of this course, first introduced at UQ in 2020.

She advises several PhD students on topics including energy transitions, just transitions, mine closure, and energy and development.

She serves on the Editorial Boards of Energy Research and Social Science and Sustainability Science. In 2023, she was invited to join the UN Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET), established at COP27. CEET is an Independent Advisory Council to the UN Secretary-General, to contribute to their goal to build a coalition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and to support the United Nations to achieve global decarbonisation goals by mid-century.

Prior to joining CSRM, she was based at the Energy and Poverty Research Group (EPRG), an interdisciplinary pan-UQ initiative established to support positive social, environmental and health outcomes vital for sustainable and productive livelihoods in energy-impoverished communities globally. Vigya led this group's engagement and research in India, a priority country for both UQ and the EPRG.

Initially trained as an engineer, her PhD in social sciences has allowed her a deep appreciation for interdisciplinary thinking and practice. She continues to build on these skills and undertake wide-ranging research, research management, training, and engagement to contribute to long-term positive change in the energy and resources sector.

Research Interests

  • Honours/ Masters thesis projects on energy transitions, coal phase out, and community energy and climate action in Australia
    We are looking for suitable Hons/ Master's students with background in social/ environmental science (human geography, journalism, environmental management) who may be interested to work in these topic areas. 1. Social aspects of coal transitions in Australia 2. Mapping energy and climate action across Australian communities 3. Media discourse analysis of Australia's coal narrative 4. Social and environmental risks of large scale renewable energy projects Please get in touch if you'd like to discuss further.
  • Social and institutional dynamics underlying energy transitions
    What do just transitions mean for coal regions - China, India, Australia, South Africa? How do past global experiences inform governance on just transitions in a rapidly changing landscape?

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Adelaide
  • Master of Science, Royal Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Technology, Kurukshetra University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Sharma, Vigya and Loginova, Julia (2024). The social costs of India’s energy transition: socioeconomic dependencies and lessons from international experiences. The role of coal in a sustainable energy mix for India: a wide-angle view. (pp. 75-103) edited by Mritiunjoy Mohanty and Runa Sarkar. New Delhi, India: Routledge.

  • Sharma, Vigya and Loginova, Julia (2023). The social aspects of India's energy transition: coal, critical minerals and socio-economic dependencies. The role of coal in a sustainable energy mix for India: a wide-angle view. (pp. 75-103) edited by Mritiunjoy Mohanty and Runa Sarkar. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781003433088-7

  • Herington, Matthew, Malakar, Yuwan and Sharma, Vigya (2020). A hindu philosophy perspective on the temporal nature of energy justice in Odisha, India. Energy Justice Across Borders. (pp. 177-194) edited by Gunter Bombaerts, Kirsten Jenkins, Yekeen A. Sanusi and Wang Guoyu. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-24021-9_9

  • Sharma, Vigya (2017). Mining and climate change. Mining in the Asia-Pacific: risks, challenges and opportunities. (pp. 301-320) edited by Terry O’Callaghan and Geordan Graetz. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-61395-6_18

  • Sharma, Vigya (2016). Human security for Mongolian herders: evolving risks and opportunities. Understanding the many faces of human security: perspectives of northern Indigenous peoples. (pp. 230-250) edited by Kamrul Hossain and Anna Petrétei. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Nijhoff. doi: 10.1163/9789004314399_015

  • Smith, Timothy F., Choy, Darryl Low, Thomsen, Dana C., Serrao-Neumann, Silvia, Crick, Florence, Sano, Marcello, Richards, Russell, Harman, Ben, Baum, Scott, Myers, Stephen, Sharma, Vigya, Bussey, Marcus, Matthews, Julie, Roiko, Anne and Carter, R. W. (2014). Adapting Australian coastal regions to climate change: a case study of South East Queensland. Climate change and the coast: building resilient communities. (pp. 269-284) edited by Bruce C. Glavovic, Mick Kelly, Robert Kay and Ailbhe Travers. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b18053

  • Sharma, Vigya and Sarker, Tapan (2013). Sustainable resource development in Asia: challenges and opportunities. The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change. (pp. 225-252) edited by Moazzem Hossain, Tapan Sarker and Malcolm McIntosh. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar. doi: 10.4337/9781781005750

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.