A Circular Social Service

Shantanu Naikade, E.I.T., a decarbonization engineer-in-training at Shell working in agriculture and forestry, is a big supporter of circular economies—physically and socially. "When you think about sustainability, it’s not only about making things more efficient, but it’s also about using less in the first place and using things from more sustainable sources."

His passion for initiatives in spaces evolving the energy transition, such as biofuel generation and sustainable fertilizers, revolve around the circular economy concept—taking waste products and using them as viable parts of another process. In a circular social sense, Naikade’s gratitude for opportunities spurs on a desire to create similar experiences for others. He was a member of the APEGA Student Liaison Committee in 2020 to 2021 and founded a University of Calgary Chapter of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers for his fellow students in 2020.

It was these endeavours in leadership and inclusivity that earned him an APEGA Ivan Finlay Leadership Award in March 2022. The Ivan Finlay Leadership Awards recognizes students enrolled in engineering or geoscience undergraduate or graduate degree programs in Alberta who have effected positive change through volunteering or leadership roles in campus and community organizations.

Circular gratitude for good

Naikade founded the American Institute for Chemical Engineers chapter when he noticed students with a chemical engineering specialty weren’t the first chosen to participate in design clubs. He created a design club so they too could experience the hands-on learning that influenced his education the most. The newly founded team built a sustainably powered car, which is now set to compete in a race in spring 2023.

"This group brought students together and fostered an environment of collaboration and creativity. At the end of the day, the best learning opportunities are when you get to get your hands on something and really take it from zero to completion, or when you can help organize an event that helps land your fellow students jobs."

Service to success

An enthusiastic collaborator, Naikade believes working in diverse groups is extremely important. He leads by example, creating places for students to foster cross-specialty learning in the engineering profession by promoting inclusivity. "Think about something as complex as a refinery, that you learn about in class—there are a lot of elements of chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering in those, but if you only hang out with chemical engineers, you’ll only understand the chemical engineering portions."

His dedication to service—to the environment and to others—comes from watching his family commit to small acts each day. His parents would reuse glass pasta jars to store dry spices. His grandparents would bring people together to help them reach their goals. "When you open opportunities for people, you feel like you’ve positively impacted their life. Growing up I saw the effects of that within my family, so now I ask, ‘How I can help other people and do the same?'"

He explains success can be a function of the opportunities one has, so he tries to broaden his network, and that of others, stating it’s good to have a general nature of openness and helpfulness. Currently, Shantanu is the co-chair of the Future Leaders and Energy Committee at Shell and is on the programs team for the Society of Petroleum Engineers Young Professionals.

This consistent dedication to service—acts big and small—creates change socially and environmentally, explains Naikade. "I think it’s all about the choices we make on a day-to-day basis."

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Shantanu Naikade, E.I.T.