Parth Patel is a senior mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry with experience in the aerospace industry.

Tell us about your studies at Imperial 

"I learnt how to think in a broad manner and solve problems. Academically, it was very challenging, but it was a very good foundation to begin a career."

Tell us about your work history

I work as a senior mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry, involved in project design, execution and management.  Prior to this I worked in the aerospace industry as a design engineer. My role involved design work, design review, contract management, supervision, commercial and legal considerations and problem solving on site."

How has your time at Imperial helped you in your career to date?

"My time at Imperial provided a sound technical background and allowed me to think in a broad manner and solve problems in a manner that others with engineering backgrounds cannot."

What are your career highlights?

"My career highlight was working on a gas to liquids plant in Qatar for three years, helping resolve engineering, construction, commissioning, start-up, operations and maintenance issues. Having worked on the project for two years in London beforehand, it was very rewarding to be able to see the project come together on site and through to operation."

What are your future ambitions regarding your career?

"I hope to begin to move into more senior project management roles."

What advice would you give to current students?

"To current mechanical engineering students I would suggest that while focusing on passing exams etc. they take enough time to really understand the fundamental and practical knowledge they are exposed to so that when they take up a career in engineering, they can think for themselves and challenge the existing standards and practices in a competent manner, using that ability to solve problems."

What's the most difficult decision you've ever had to make?

"It was difficult to decide whether to stay in engineering or try to get a job in finance in London. Staying in engineering has paid off - and it pays just as well."

What are you most proud of?

"My work in the Qatar, specifically helping to erect a very problematic 140m tall flare derrick (part of a refinery) with eight risers."