Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Brunel University, UK, 2021
  • M.E., Aerospace Engineering, Brunel University, UK, 2016
Academic Appointments
  • Postdoctoral Appointee, Sandia National Laboratories, 2021 - 2023
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Brunel Unversity, 2016 - 2018
Professional Honors
  • STEM Masterclass Speaker at Royal Institution
  • Vice-Chancellor’s travel prize for Postgraduate research students
  • Mechanical Engineering Student Ambassador Award

Dr. Dhanji focuses on applying the fundamentals of mechanical and aerospace engineering to investigations of incidents involving mechanical and combustion equipment failures, fires, explosions, and consumer products. She has expertise in heat transfer characterization, droplets atomization, combustion performance, and multi-phase flow physics. She has experience in the design, installation, and commissioning of experimental laboratories that include engine dynamometers, high-pressure systems, fuel injectors, programmable logic controls (PLCs), monitoring and data acquisition systems, and the design standards and regulations that are applicable to these systems. Her project experiences include collaborations with US Department of Energy, automotive and injector manufacturers, and fuel suppliers. She performed extensive experimental and CFD studies to understand the effects of fuel injection on droplets' distributions, fuel-air mixing processes, heat transfer of fuel films impinging on surfaces, fuel film evaporation rate, and flame and soot characterization.

Dr. Dhanji received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University, London, as well as MEng (integrated Bachelors and Masters degree) in Aerospace Engineering also from Brunel University, London. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Dhanji was a Post-Doctoral Appointee at Sandia National Laboratories, where she worked on sustainable fuels for Aviation and Automotive applications, focusing on fuel injection and combustion performance using a range of thermal and optical diagnostics. She has setup high-speed telemetry system with fast response Thermocouple arrays to obtain high spatially and temporally resolved temperature and heat flux trends of fuel impinging on surfaces. She has performed a series of optical diagnostic techniques ranging from low-coherence interferometry (LCI) for film thickness quantification, Diffused-Backlight Illumination (DBI) for simultaneous soot characterisation and high-speed visualization, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), particle image velocimetry (PIV) and laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) for fuel spray, atomization and in-cylinder flow studies. She has conducted extensive analysis on health and safety risks, written reports, and designed appropriate systems  to mitigate these risks in lab-based environments containing high pressure and temperature vessels, mixed chemicals and Class 3 and 4 lasers. She has also designed and tested prototype boilers during her internship at Worcester Bosch Thermotechnology.