Please tell us about yourself
Meet Yash Shah, M.S., Chemical Engineering, December 2017. Yash Shah is currently a Process Engineer for Catalent in Bloomington, Indiana. In his role, Yash monitors the plant’s equipment to ensure that they meet all required process specifications. If any anomalies occur, he is able to troubleshoot them and then recommend permanent fixes for non-conforming material. His role also entails commissioning new equipment and recommending maintenance schedules to ensure that the company maintains a steady and efficient process.
What did you study? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and uncommon career?
After earning his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India, Yash saw an opportunity to enroll in the Professional Master’s Program in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. “I saw that Purdue was one of the few schools which offered a pharmaceutical engineering specialization for chemical engineers. It aligned with my goals of leveraging my chemical engineering skills in the pharmaceutical industry.” Yash also says the one-year timeline for the degree was also a major factor in his decision to pursue his graduate degree in chemical engineering at Purdue.
How was the experience at Purdue?
Yash has found that many of his experiences at Purdue has provided him with notable skills that are critical and integral to his position at Catalent. Yash explains that, “Getting an introduction to the pharmaceutical industry through the electives I had taken at Purdue helped me get a head-start in understanding the dynamics of this highly regulated industry.” He also explains the significance of the management courses stating, “The Management courses, especially Financial Analysis and Management of Projects with Dr. Clark and Cristina Farmus, helped me understand the procedures followed in the industry on deciding which project to pursue based on the expected cash flow and rate of return.”
One of the most rewarding experiences with the program for Yash was the Capstone project. He found that many of the skills he acquired on the project were transferable to his current position. “I learned the most from the Capstone project where I got to work in the continuous manufacturing pilot plant at Purdue. During the project I got to work with various industrial scale equipment which helped me determine which parameters are critical from a processing point of view.”
What are your future plans?
All of these skills have allowed Yash to embody Catalent’s motto of “Patient First.” He states, “I wanted to utilize my skills and experiences as a chemical engineer to make a positive impact on the world. I am achieving that by working towards making sure that better treatments are delivered to patients through the products manufactured at Catalent. I have heard many “patient first” stories and I see how the work we do changes peoples’ lives for the better.”
Your advice to students?
As a recent graduate of Purdue, Yash advises current and prospective students to “take as much help as you can get from the various resources Purdue has to offer (career fairs, CCO, mentors, etc.). Also, don’t feel shy to reach out to people and ask for help. More often than not, people want to share their experiences and are willing to help.” In addition to his rewarding academic experiences, Yash says the many extracurricular experiences at Purdue University significantly enriched his experience as a graduate student. As a former President of the Chemical Engineering Professional Graduate Organization (PSGO), he states, “Being a part of the ChE PGSO was a great experience. Working towards something that was not related to academics helped me develop in a new dimension.” Ultimately, Yash says, “The long hours spent studying and completing assignments prepared me for a long day’s work in the industry. I often motivate myself by saying that if I could pull it off at Purdue, I can do it now too!”