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Engineers Week 2018 - Meet Samir Davé


Today we talk  Hoover Dam, Jeeps and cutting-edge water technology with Samir Davé.

Samir Davé is a Market Segment Leader for Industrial Water for Jacobs’ Oil, Gas and Chemicals business. From visiting client sites in remote villages to reading Triumphs of Engineering, Samir is constantly inspired to take on the world’s toughest infrastructure challenges.  

During National Engineers Week, he shares more details. 

Tell us what you do. 

I am a civil / environmental engineer with over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry helping clients develop solutions for their most complex water supply and wastewater treatment issues.  

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering? 

Growing up in India, my father, a civil engineer, used to take me to his project sites, which varied from water treatment facilities, oxidation ponds, water and sewer systems, water storage and supply facilities. My motivation for tagging along was a ride in his Jeep, but I got so much more from the experience than a fun ride. 

He shared a book with me titled Triumphs of Engineering that illustrated how the Hoover Dam was built, among other awe-inspiring engineering marvels that I found breathtaking; it inspired me to be a civil engineer.  

What has been your most exciting career moment so far? 

I got an opportunity to lead the industrial water market segment for oil and gas clients, and it has allowed me to tackle challenges all around the world – from helping clients find reliable sources of water in Brazil, to solving complex wastewater treatment challenges in Colombia, to meeting stringent effluent cyanide limits on the Texas Gulf Coast.    

If you could go back in time and work on any engineering project, what would it be? 

I would love to go back and lead the team that designed and built the Hoover Dam. 

What is your favorite part of your job? 

My favorite part is seeing a satisfied client. One of our key clients needed a reliable, high-quality water supply to support the expansion of its multi-billion-dollar polyethylene and plastics plant, used for making items such as plastic bottles and car interiors. From concept to commissioning and start-up, we designed and managed the construction of a water treatment facility that became operational last year. It also exceeds my client’s water quality requirements, and seeing their satisfaction reaffirmed my passion for what I do.         

If you’re not in the office, you’re likely…

Visiting clients, spending time with family, playing tennis, running or biking.  

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

I spent three years working on an liquified natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, where I also got to visit remote villages as part of a community outreach program, interacting with native people and cultures who had not ever interacted with civilization as we know it. The opportunity also gave me a chance to visit some of the most virgin tropical forests in the world, including some trekking on the famous Kakoda Trail and visiting World War II memorials.     

What advice would you give to the future generation of engineers? 

Learn to adapt to a fast-changing global economy by remaining on the cutting edge of technology. For example, rapid advances in membrane technologies have made it possible for our customers to reuse their own industrial effluent, reducing their dependence on fresh water and increasing the security of an uninterruptible water supply.