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Alok Shirolikar

Specialist Engineering Project Management
Enbridge Fueling Futures Initiative
Alok

Alok Shirolikar

Alok

Alok Shirolikar

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Education Pathway
School Subject

About me

I was born/grew up in: Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

I now live in: Houston, Texas, USA

I completed my training/education at:  I completed my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from RV College of Engineering in Bangalore, India and a Masters in Science in Computational Science and Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. I also completed my Professional Engineering Certification in the State of Texas. I continue to train and keep up with latest technological advances through online course providers such as Udemy or edX and other university affiliated online learning portals and being an active member of professional organizations like American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

What I do at work

Everyday at work I meet and chat with my team members. We meet either virtually or one-on-one and plan how we will carry out projects and tasks. We update each other on the tasks we are working on to ensure we are working efficiently toward the same goal. With everyone's input in mind I figure out the best way to complete my tasks.

In my current role, I am responsible for a number of tasks. These include determining the size and thickness of pipe required for carrying liquids and gases. I am also responsible for coming up with methods to protect the pipe and equipment. These can degrade externally and internally over their life time. This is especially true for equipment that functions underwater. Finally, I manage both internal and external teams to fabricate and construct the pipeline or equipment.

I use STEM skills everyday for tasks. I have to calculate if the pipe is properly designed to withstand the loads it will carry during its life. I also track progress on the projects and tasks to ensure they are completed as planned. Some of the software tools I use include Excel, MathCAD, MATLAB, and Python. I have to undertake safety training for working on and being transported on offshore platforms and ships. An example of this is the HUET, or Helicopter Underwater Egress Training. This is required in case of the accidental event of a helicopter landing on water.

My career path is

I did not expect to work in offshore oil and gas when I was in high school. I thought I would be in aviation or journalism when I was in high school. This is because I watched a lot of “Murder She Wrote”! I credit my parents for where I am today. They always pushed me to be my best and ensure I obtained a STEM degree. My dad was a Scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (the NASA equivalent in India). My mother taught the Hindi language at the University.

My career has taken many twists and turns because I have always kept my mind open to learning new skills, trades and new ways of doing things. I worked as a local auto mechanic’s assistant in high school. I started a book share club in the neighborhood and volunteered to organize many cultural events in the neighborhood. I was part of the swim and volleyball teams in high school. My motto has always been not to worry about failing because it is through failure that you will learn how to fly.

I am motivated by

The opportunity to see my work go from a mere idea to a physical reality on every project excites me the most. My designs have to sustain the harsh and unforgiving environment of offshore energy infrastructure. At the same time, they have to work in harmony with marine life. The challenge of balancing these requirements makes my work the most interesting. I have always loved the water from a young age. This led me to get my scuba diving certification and has kept me interested in offshore oil, gas, and wind energy work. The opportunity to travel around the world and experience different cultures has been the most rewarding.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My work helps people lead happy lives across the world. Sometimes I come across pictures of friends and family having a great time on a beach vacation or gathered to celebrate holidays. I smile because I know I did the work possible for them to fly, drive, or sail there and create those treasured memories. My career matters even more as the world transitions toward a future of sustainable energy. We must build more and safer sustainable infrastructure to secure the futures of my friends and family. In this way, they'll be able to create even more magical memories.

Outside of work I

I enjoy travelling, scuba diving, swimming and hiking. I volunteer in many organizations from LGBTQ+ organizations and local food banks to schools and neighborhood civic associations. I love yoga and meditating to help keep me relaxed.

My advice to others

If you are interested in building things, working with diverse people and travelling around the world, the best way to get there is getting an education in STEM.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Foreign Languages
  • Geography
  • Foods & Nutrition
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Computer Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative
  • Didn't really care about grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned Best by Doing
  • Was an avid dancer (jazz, hip-hop, classical)
  • Enjoyed doing yoga regularly

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