A Day in the Life: Environmental Engineer

We had another successful year at our annual Engineering Career Day on September 15th.  As a follow-up to the career fair, we’re excited to have our next alumni contributor on Twitter’s @PennCareerDay highlight one of many possible paths for our students and alumni with engineering backgrounds.  Rakesh Shah will post on Wednesday, September 21st on his career as an environmental engineer in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, which began in 1978. Read about Rakesh’s background below, and remember to follow him on @PennCareerDay on the 21st!  *Please note, he will be posting from India, so please consider the time difference.

Rakesh started in the field of environmental engineering in 1975 while he was  earning  his Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  His interest  in this area began thanks to a research study trying to establish a method for removal of Sulphur Di Oxide from flue gases.   Fortunately, after completing his degree, he had an opportunity to work with a US based company dealing with removal of “Hexavalent Chromium” from their wastewater stream.

Rakesh’s experiences helped him recognize the importance of environment related issues and happenings that were likely to surface in the future.   Subsequently, when he returned to India  he decided to gain and develop expertise in the field.   This in turn led to establishing a company to provide environmental engineering and related services to organizations, industries and institutes in India.  Developing the company in a new field of activity (which was not generally even heard of then) required a lot of convincing and presentation to industry as well as regulatory authorities.  At the same time, developing staff / personnel to an adequate level of expertise and delegation of work required immense managerial input.  His training and experiences in the USA and specifically at the University of Pennsylvania allowed him to have a successful career.

Author: Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly is the Job & Internship Coordinator in Career Services.

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: Environmental Engineer”

  1. Congratulations, Rakesh, on the great work you have been doing upon your return to India. It is indeed a lifetime mission to rid the environment of toxic gases like Sulpher Dioxide.

    As for Hexavalent Chromium – we have that same contaminant down here in many of New Zealand’s (previously pristine) waterways. So much for our “clean green” image.

    Interestingly enough (and hopefully not too off-topic), one of my clients has a company in the US which has developed a marvellous (and eco-friendly) atmospheric decontamination technology (just Google the word “AsepticSure” if you are at all interested). This peer-reviewed, 03 and h202 based technology is of the vapor-mist variety. It produces trioxidane which not only eliminates all known bacteria, fungi, spores and viruses from both soft and hard surfaces – but returns the environment to a sweet smelling, 02 rich state.

    Anyway Rakesh… good to read of your successes and all the best for 2012.

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