Archana Sharma

Archana Sharma

Senior Advisor, Head Relations with International Organisations at CERN Principal Applied Scientist, Physics Department, CERN CH 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Contact Information

Recently honoured with the highest civilian award for Indians living abroad by the President, Government of India, the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman, and Bharat Gaurav at the British Parliament, Dr. Archana Sharma is a Principal Staff Scientist at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, active in the field since 1989 in high energy physics. A Ph.D. from Delhi University in 1989, a D.Sc. from the University of Geneva in 1996, and an MBA from International University in Geneva. Archana has worked at CERN experiments on R&D and the commissioning of large-scale radiation detectors. She is the founder and Project Manager of CMS GEM Collaboration since 2008, bringing a new technology GEM (Gas Electron Multiplier) - for exploiting one of the most sensitive detectors with the highest discovery potential. The GEM project spanned about 40 institutions in 17 countries, yielding over 75 PhDs under her leadership, many from India and including technology transfers with Indian industries.

Archana also serves as Senior Advisor heading Relations with International Organisations at CERN, in support of CERN's objective of integrating and highlighting fundamental research towards Science Diplomacy for Sustained Development Goals.

Dr. Sharma is Head of the Engagement Office for the ‘Compact Muon Solenoid’ Experiment at CERN, which connects her with a collaboration spanning 57 countries and about 250 institutions. She has collaborated with events at the ILO Geneva and World Communication Forum Davos as the spokesperson for diversity and excellence in scientific communication. She is well known for her relentless efforts in mentoring hundreds of young students particularly girls in STEM, via her NGO based in New Delhi. Archana is also a patent owner of a family of gas detectors, an author of over 1200 publications and 3 popular science books:

The first Indian to be exceptionally be employed by the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), Switzerland in 2001, Archana Sharma is a principal scientist currently serving as Senior Advisor Senior Advisor for Relations with International Organisations like the United Nations and WHO. She has hence proven to be an exemplary professional who has passionately kept in touch with her motherland.

At CERN since 1989, Sharma has broken many new grounds pioneering the development of gaseous detectors. Her projects have yielded over 75 PhDs from 20 countries, including India and Sri Lanka. With great ingenuity and creativity she has threaded South Asia in all her initiatives beyond the call of duty:

Archana started mentoring students from 2001, and each year the engagement of Indian students increased; she facilitated between 10 and up to 40 Indian students per year doing their internships at CERN in the field of Nuclear Science and

Engineering. In her laboratory over 650 students have interned over last 20 years from various countries.

She leveraged her privileges and shared them with Indian students. She raised money, arranged for visas and visits, and has selflessly dedicated her life to her students. Her focus continues to be India and South Asia, where she continues several series of high-impact activities; a report from 2014:

Notable Work

  • In 2017 SAHEPI: South Asia High Energy Physics Instrumentation series of workshops of which one has been held in Colombo, Sri Lanka others in Nepal and Mauritius among others.
  • In 2019 SASEP: South Asia School Education Program
  • Over the last decade she travelled the length and breadth of South Asia and in India at Institutions, Universities, raising awareness about STEM, raising scientific temper by giving talks and workshops about her work, impact and engagement in science and engineering at technological festivals, institutional events etc. Sharma has become a role model to girls particularly from small towns and underprivileged backgrounds with her enthusiasm and approachable manner. Archana instituted a special training for students in India, in collaboration with Quark-Net United States; this initiative has already impacted more than 150 teachers of which around 35 are trained: https://
  • Archana initiated a special bi-annual training for high school teachers from CERN dedicated to India and South Asia, that amalgamated 21st century pedagogical tools, Organised by Life Lab Foundation for Education and Research that she has founded and leads, in collaboration with CERN and The International School of Geneva. The second edition was held in Bhutan in 2022 . And the third edition is scheduled for 2024.
  • Major outreach events by LifeLab Foundation at 150 schools including Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas, an impactful interaction with over 30,000 students and teachers as participants from 150 schools in 11 cities
  • Since 1989, Archana has worked on several CERN experiments both on R&D being involved in designing and prototyping, and on running laboratories for construction, installation and commissioning of large scale gaseous detectors. She is the founder and leader of CMS GEM Collaboration since 2008, for exploiting one of the most sensitive detectors for trigger and tracking in the CMS Experiment at LHC, with the highest discovery potential.
  • Sharma pioneered the development of resistive plate chambers and micro-pattern detectors, her publications, review articles and a special volume on Instrumentation on Particle Physics edited by her are widely referred to and cited.
  • She is the co-owner of patents on a family of detectors called THRAC – Timing and High Rate Capable devices
  • Archana has served on numerous committees and plays a vital role in advisory review boards for leading International Conferences, Publications and Symposia in the Archana is an examiner for European Commission Horizon 2020 projects and advisor/reviewer for some national funding agencies. She has shepherded new groups at CERN and in her experiment from other countries.
  • Sharma has been on board as honorary Adjunct professor is several institutions where she teaches courses on radiation detectors and their applications in high energy physics and in other fields like medical imaging and diagnostics, astronomy, space etc. (has given over 30 courses in various -international- institutions).
  • She has been actively facilitating knowledge exchange and capacity building in the science and technology sector exploiting her Chairperson mandate in the International Committee and the Career Committees of CMS experiment.
  • Archana is the author and co-author of over 1200 publications with over 300 publication of less than 10 authors. She is invited regularly for keynote talks in international conferences and public addresses in various science and technology.
  • Over the last 15 years Dr. Sharma actively participates in several Indian initiatives for promoting Science and Technology, and was recently one of the key thematic-group member on “Mega Sciences” for the formulation of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) - 2020 at the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and The Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, GOI.
  • In 2021, Archana has been appointed Senior Advisor for Relations with International Organisations in support of CERN's objective of integrating and highlighting fundamental research towards Science Sharma is leading setting up collaborations with the United Nations Agencies like the WHO, ITU, WMO, UNITAR among others.
  • She has collaborated with events at the ILO Geneva and World Communication Forum Davos as spokesperson for diversity, excellence in scientific She is also well known for her relentless efforts in mentoring young students particularly girls in STEM and Physics in particular.
  • Archana is a senior contributor to various European Science Diplomacy Forums like GESDA Geneva Science Diplomacy Anticipator, and the Science Diplomacy Hub in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Archana is lead advisor at an NGO called Life Lab Education and Research Foundation with the objective to create partnerships for STEM education with Indian institutions for the benefit of the underprivileged students and teachers in India.
  • Editor at Nuclear Instrumentation and Methods she has edited a Special Volume on Instrumentation in Particle Physics: Click Here
  • Installed a new technology, GEMs in CMS for reduction of fake signals by a factor of 5
  • Technology transfer to Micropack Industries in India from CERN
  • Chair CERN wide task force on green house gases towards SDGs
  • Member Expert Committee Experiments at FAIR, Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in GSI Germany; comprises 16 internationally acknowledged independent They advise FAIR with regard to the technical and scientific progress of experiments
  • Books for inspiring young students into STEM careers for social impact - The A to Z of CERN Universe Unlocked - written with two students One from India (Robin Mathews) and one from Edinburgh (Ben Richard)
  • Participated in Vaibhav interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Oct 2, 2020 to showcase long-term vision and strategies for technologies from MegaProjects like CERN, for sustained developments goals and social impact in India:
  • Participating in health data governance discussions at the highest level in WHO and other international organisations, to create an impact for global good governance

Awards and Recognitions

Selected Miscellaneous Activities beyond call of duty at CERN

  • 2016: now Reviewer of Horizon 2020 projects for European Commission.
  • 2016: Review Article Published in NIMA Special Volume for Women Achievers.
  • 2016: Awarded IEEE Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2006 – 2007: Contributor to CMS Times monthly Newsletter Point 5 News.
  • 2004: Appointed Senior member IEEE
  • 2005: Contact person Asia in the IEEE Organizing committee for International IEEE conferences on Nuclear Science and Medical Imaging; Member Transnational Committee.
  • 2004: Co-Chair IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Rome
  • 1999 – 2002: Editor of Column - Physics Watch in CERN Courier
  • Frequent appearances in printed press and media CNN-IBN, BBC, and European media.
  • Notably: Meet Dr Archana Sharma, An Indian Scientist At CERN

Selected Recent Publication Highlights

  • Chief Editor: Upgrade of the Muon System of CMS Technical Design Report LHCC 2015-TDR-13 CMS-TDR-013. Click Here
  • Chapter Editor: Technical proposal for the CMS Upgrade through 2020. Click Here
  • Editor Special Volume on Detector Technologies: NIMA Volume 666, Pages 1-222 (21 February 2012). Click Here
  • Guest Editor: European PhysicsJournal - Special volume with state-of-the-art review articles on Greenhouse Gases for radiation detectors
  • Editorial Board Member at Policy Labs Frontiers. Click Here