Background and activities

I am pursuing an Industrial PhD in collaboration with Krüger Kaldnes (Veolia Water Technologies, Norway), Nofima AS, and NTNU. My project is a part of CtrlAQUA SFI; an international project to develop technological and biological solutions for closed-containment systems for Atlantic salmon farming. 

About me: I completed my B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Thereafter, I moved to the USA to get my M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where I studied water chemistry and water treatment. After my studies, I joined Veolia Water Technologies (VWT) USA where I worked for three years on industrial wastewater treatment, before moving to VWT Norway. Here, I was offered the opportunity to do an Industry PhD on the water treatment challenges faced in land-based farming of Atlantic salmon.    

My research goal is to develop strategies for managing the biological water treatment system in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). In particular, I focus on the nitrification process in biofilms under varying salinities, from freshwater to seawater. I am also studying the impact of salinity on biofilm microbial communities and how microbial strategies may be utilized to improve bioreactor design and management. With every new day of research, I am falling deeper in love with these fascinating creatures. 

You can find out more about what I do in these videos:

How fast can one switch from freshwater to seawater?

Improving salmon production with better water quality – the eco-way | Sharada Navada


Education & Work Experience

2015-present  Process engineer, Krüger Kaldnes AS (Veolia Water Technologies), Norway

2013-2015  Process specialist, Veolia Water Technologies, Pittsburgh PA, USA

2012-2013  M.Sc., Environmental Engg., Carnegie Mellon University, USA

2008-2012  B.Tech, Chemical Engg. (Honors) with Minor in Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India


Internships / Research Exchange

  • TU Delft, Netherlands (Research exchange, March - June 2020) with Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht at Department of Environmental Biotechnology  
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA ( Internship, Summer 2011) with Prof. William Green at Department of Chemical Engineering 
  • Suzlon Energy Ltd., India (Internship, Summer 2010) 



Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


  • Navada, Sharada; Gaumet, Frederic; Tveten, Ann-Kristin; Kolarevic, Jelena; Vadstein, Olav. (2020) Seeding as a salinity acclimation strategy in nitrifying bioreactors. Smolt Conference of the Future . Nofima; Sunndalsøra (virtual). 2020-10-21.
  • Navada, Sharada; Gaumet, Frederic; Vadstein, Olav; Spanu, Claudia; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Kolarevic, Jelena. (2019) Improving salinity adaptation in nitrifying bioreactors by seawater priming. AE2019 . European Aquaculture Society; Berlin. 2019-10-08 - 2019-10-10.
  • Navada, Sharada; Sebastianpillai, Marianna; Gaumet, Frederic; Vadstein, Olav; Fossmark, Ragnhild Olsen; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Kolarevic, Jelena. (2019) Salinity change strategies for biofilters in RAS for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). NordicRAS ; Berlin. 2019-10-07 - 2019-10-08.
  • Navada, Sharada; Vadstein, Olav; Gaumet, Frederic; Tveten, Ann-Kristin; Spanu, Claudia; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Kolarevic, Jelena. (2019) Improving salinity adaptation of nitrifying biofilms with seawater priming. 8th IWA Microbial Ecology & Water Engineering Specialist Conference (MEWE) ; Hiroshima. 2019-11-17 - 2019-11-20.
  • Navada, Sharada; Vadstein, Olav; Tveten, Ann-Kristin; Terjesen, Bendik Fyhn; Mota, Vasco C.; Gaumet, Frederic; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Kamstra, Andries. (2019) Influence of rate of salinity increase on nitrifying biofilms. 8th IWA Microbial Ecology & Water Engineering Specialist Conference (MEWE) ; Hiroshima. 2019-11-17 - 2019-11-20.
  • Sebastianpillai, Marianna; Navada, Sharada; Fossmark, Ragnhild Olsen; Vadstein, Olav. (2019) Nitrifying Capacity and Microbial Community Structure during Start-up of Freshwater and Brackish water Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. NBS Contact Meeting . Norske Kjemiske Selskap; Røros. 2019-01-24 - 2019-01-27.
  • Navada, Sharada. (2018) Effect of change in water salinity on nitrification in moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR). Presentation at Smolt production in the future – 5th Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture . Nofima AS; Sunndalsøra. 2018-10-23 - 2018-10-24.
  • Navada, Sharada; Verstege, Gerhardus C.; Terjesen, Bendik Fyhn; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Gaumet, Frederic; Mota, Vasco C.; Kamstra, Andries. (2018) Biofilter salinity change strategies for Atlantic salmon post-smolt production in RAS. AQUA 2018 . World Aquaculture Society, European Aquaculture Society; Montpellier. 2018-08-25 - 2018-08-29.
  • Navada, Sharada. (2017) Improving salmon production with better water quality - The Eco-Way. Oslo Innovation Week ; Oslo. 2017-08-30 - 2017-08-30.
  • Navada, Sharada. (2017) Lower energy need with better biofilter. AQUA NOR ; Trondheim. 2017-08-15 - 2017-08-18.
  • Navada, Sharada. (2017) Secrets of a biofilter - Why microscopic things matter. AQUA NOR ; Trondheim. 2017-08-15 - 2017-08-18.