Meet the Champion: Samar Patel from Goulburn Valley Water

Samar Patel will be joining the Intelligent Water Networks at the end of October as part of the new cohort of Champions. We asked him a few questions to get to know the engineer a bit better.

Can you give us a bit of your personal background?

My name is Samar, and I find these questions incredibly hard to answer. I immigrated to Australia from India, when I was offered a job here when I was just a student in University in India. I moved here (in WA) and loved the natural landscapes.  I am married and have a two-year old boy. Most of my free time I try and spend some quality time with my family. I am an avid history, pop-culture and quiz enthusiast (basically a giant nerd) and love taking on construction projects for my kid.

And what is your professional background?

I am a mechanical engineer by discipline, and a reliability engineer by practice. My experience in the water industry is quite less as compared to my peers in general, as most of my career I have been a field engineer working in the mining/manufacturing sector. I especially enjoy working to optimise of control philosophies, energy management and reliability engineering.

What inspired you to want to become a champion?

In my immediate vicinity there are three IWN champions (current, or previous). All of them have spoken very highly of the program. I can see that they bring a certain amount of objective decision making along with a keen understanding on leadership interpretation. These are some values I see would be key to going where I want to go with my career. In addition to that, new technology excites me quite a lot. I have in my career always wanted to try more and more innovative products as opposed to the traditional approaches, and IWN is the perfect platform for disruptive thinking.

What IWN program interests you the most?

Asset Optimisation is perhaps something that interests me the most, but that is perhaps because I am in Asset Management. In addition to that, Data Analytics stream is something I am actively involved with.

What are you hoping to get out of your new role?

I am hoping to develop my leadership skills to learn how to be a change agent in my organisation. In addition to that I am hoping to establish friendships with people across the industry to be able to discuss ideas in this uniquely non-competitive nature of the water industry that not many other sectors enjoy.

And if anything, what do you want to give back to IWN?

For the moment I want to see what I can contribute to IWN rather than say something that it does not need. It’ll be a wait and watch for this answer.