Madhura Parab
Senior Structural Engineer

10 reasons why Madhura Parab loves her job

“I've seen my engineering on Google Earth”

A career in structural engineering can open a world of possibilities. Madhura Parab shares what she’s learned working in an engineering environment.

Madhura Parab of Worley.

1. I’m proud of what I do every day

I am a senior structural engineer. I get to work on massive steel structures from design, right through until they’re built.

My job also involves leading a team of engineers and designers to deliver projects for our customers. Leading a team is something I never thought I’d do, but it’s a testament to what you can achieve once you step out of your comfort zone.

2. My ideas become a reality

Being able to see the ideas in my head become a reality is what drew me to structural engineering. From day one, with initial designs, until the project closeout, it’s incredibly rewarding to witness our ideas transform into tangible structures and projects. And being able to say, “I was involved in creating that.”

3. I’m challenged every day

I don’t suit repetitive work, so my family encouraged me to pick a field that would challenge me intellectually every day. Structural engineering has done just that.

Every structure is unique and has its own set of challenges. My work has given me every opportunity to learn, adapt and exceed my own expectations.

4. I work on fascinating projects

I started my engineering career with the idea that structures are always built where they will be used. But early on, I worked on a project that blew my mind.

It involved building massive structures on a completely different continent, transporting them by barges, railway and trailers, and assembling the modular pieces on site. It’s one of the most fascinating projects I’ve worked on.

Later, I looked it up on Google Earth and felt accomplished seeing the structures I’d played a role in creating right there on my screen.

The nature of my work has changed a lot since I started. This allows me to continue to evolve my skillset. Most projects I work on now are sustainability related. Ranging from carbon capture projects to a renewable hydrogen generation plant. It’s rewarding to see the impact the work we’re doing is having on the world around us.

5. I get to travel the world

My career has taken me all over the world. From a small town in India to Europe via Delhi. I did my masters in Germany then moved to Belgium for work. The confidence I got from moving abroad for work gave me the confidence to travel outside of work. I’ve been to most countries in Europe. As well as to the United States and the UK.

Madhura Parab of Worley sitting at a cafe in city square in Ghent.

6. I can use my imagination

An interesting concept that I stumbled upon in civil engineering was biomimicry. Imagine using nature’s wisdom existing in the ecosystems to create sustainable and innovative solutions.

A great example of this is the East Gate Center of Zimbabwe, which draws inspiration from termite mounds for an efficient cooling system. Imagine using similar concepts in the energy sector to make industrial structures more sustainable. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

7. I’m encouraged to develop my career 

I took part in our Future Leaders program, a development and mentorship opportunity that allowed me to explore different areas of the business. This gave me an insight into areas like sales, business development, marketing, and more.

It was eye opening to see how the projects I work on, filter through the rest of the company. And how engineering fits into the full life cycle of the business. It’s one of the best things I’ve done in my career. The knowledge and support I gained from my mentors throughout the program have been incredible.

Having someone in your corner encouraging you to take new opportunities, is something I wish for everyone to have in their career.

8. There’s always something new to learn

A friend once told me you should always try to learn something that you’ve never done before. Put yourself out of your comfort zone.

9. Being courageous pays off

My dad always told me that if I wanted to make my mark on the world, I had to do something that others believe is too difficult. And don’t worry if you make mistakes. If it was easy, everybody would have done it. That’s the advice I’d give to future engineers.

10. I’m surrounded by inspirational women who support me

I’ve always been inspired by strong women. When I was younger, the Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla was a huge inspiration of mine. I’m lucky enough now to be surrounded by incredible women at Worley too, who support and inspire me. That’s why I want to become that person for the next generation of female engineers too.

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