Engineering a Sustainable Future: My Journey in Purdue University’s Professional Masters Program

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Vivek Parikh

Looking at my journey at Purdue's Chemical Engineering Professional Master's Program, I'm struck by the depth of experiences and learning that have shaped my professional and personal outlook. My motivation for enrolling in this esteemed program was a blend of ambition to refine my skills and a vision to contribute to the evolution of the chemical engineering industry. Purdue's distinguished reputation presented itself as a dream opportunity, and the journey thus far has exceeded my expectations, merging rigorous technical knowledge with enriching personal growth.

The curriculum's well-rounded approach, emphasizing both core engineering and managerial acumen, has been transformational. Courses such as  Introduction to Energy Systems by Dr. Vilas Pol and Material Science for Battery Storage Systems by Dr. Edwin Garcia significantly broadened my understanding of energy systems, igniting a fervent passion for battery technologies.

My tenure as a treasurer in the Purdue Graduate Student Association (PGSO) was pivotal, equipping me with invaluable leadership and teamwork skills. Support and mentorship from Julayne Moser was instrumental during challenging times, providing direction and encouragement. Purdue's abundant resources and mentorship have been cornerstones of my growth. The guidance in crafting resumes and preparing elevator pitches, especially as an international student, was invaluable. Bev Menzter, as the School’s Industrial Career Counselor, inspired me to delve beyond the curriculum, motivating explorations into the recyclability of lithium-ion batteries. This venture  significantly influenced my success in  interviewing for internship positions and I was successful in receiving an offer from PVInsights.

During my Co-op at PVinsight Inc., the robust foundation built at Purdue was put to the test. Tasked with creating a model for battery degradation, I drew upon the expertise and software tools acquired under the guidance of Dr. Gracia and Dr. Pol. My experiences, particularly the hands-on project under Dr. Pol's mentorship and the leadership skills honed at Purdue University, prepared me to confidently represent my company at the RE+ conference in Las Vegas, navigating the industry landscape and engaging with professionals with poise.

As I look to the future, my commitment to contributing to the renewable energy sector's sustainable development remains unwavering. The blend of academic theory and practical Co-op  experience positions me to drive innovation and address the pressing challenges in energy systems within chemical engineering.