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Insights How a safe choice turned into an inspiring career in safety engineering with Parth Doshi

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, this week we catch up with Parth Doshi, System and Safety Engineer, who is part of the Safety and Systems Assurance team. Parth is based in Vancouver. 

Is safety engineering a good career? 

I graduated from University of Alberta with a degree in chemical engineering. After graduating in 2019, I worked as a process engineer in the oil and gas sector. It didn’t take me very long to realize that I wanted to work in a different industry, so I joined AtkinsRéalis ’s rail and transit team as a Systems and Safety Assurance Engineer. I have a background in safety from my university courses, and I liked the stability of a career in rail and transit engineering and also the opportunity to move to Vancouver.

What inspired you to become a safetyengineer?

Honestly, I was inspired after I chose engineering and actually started studying it. As a kid, I did not really know what I liked—I liked many things…there’s so much out in the world that I hadn’t tried or felt yet. But I took a gamble, applied to university in Canada, and went with the safe option of engineering. 

Even though I started out being unsure about making such a big decision about the rest of my life so young, engineering turned out to be exactly what I want to do.

What is the coolest thing you are working on?

Transit projects are pretty cool. I work on the Trillium Line extension in Ottawa. I never imagined working on trains that carry people to their job or home. And not just working on it, but making sure the system is safe for them to use. I really like that.

What do you think has had the biggest impact on your career development to date?

There are actually two things. The first one is the four years of my degree because those four years changed my life. The inspirational period is what I would call it. I enjoyed every bit of it and discovered my passion for safety engineering. Add moving countries and being exposed to different cultures and making new friends—those things change you as a person. It’s a definite before-and-after story. 

The second thing is the process of looking for a job after graduation. It was frustrating, and sometimes it was hard to stay positive, but I was patient and resilient. It was a good lesson that eventually hard work pays off if you are diligent.

What is the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

“You don’t know what you like until you try it,” is something my senior at a previous company told me. It helped me understand that no matter where you are in life, you can always step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. You discover what you like, and sometimes it might even surprise you. 

A good example is that my background in chemical engineering is the total opposite of what I’m doing right now, and I would never have known how much I enjoy working in rail and transit engineering if I hadn’t taken a chance and tried it. Students don’t always realize this, but no matter what kind of engineering you do, your job paves your path. You are not limited to what you have studied. There are so many other things in engineering you can explore.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Tell us some fun facts about yourself.

I have a new puppy. His name is Barfee, and which is an Indian sweet. I love mountain biking and playing the videogame FIFA. And, since I’ve been watching Friends lately, I have to weigh in on the debate: I think Ross and Rachel were on a break, but that does not mean what Ross did was right!

Are you interested in pursuing a career in safety engineering?

 You can learn more about safety and systems assurance expertise, through our engineering for a better future channel.

Learn more about Safety and systems assurance career opportunities.