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Purva Mhatre Shah brings Structural Engineering, Circular Economy, and Sustainability Management Skills to the EarthShift Global Team

Work in waste management and environmental impact assessments prompted a doctoral focus on sustainability assessments for Circular Economy implementations in built environments.

Purva Mhatre Shah

The newest member of EarthShift Global’s international consulting team is Sustainability Analyst Purva Mhatre Shah, who brings an outstanding academic background in civil and structural engineering and a doctorate in Sustainability Management to our experienced team.

Purva’s educational path was driven by a lifelong interest in buildings and structures. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at St. John College of Engineering and Technology, Palghar, India, she began to incorporate life cycle and sustainability elements into work towards her master’s degree in Structural Engineering at the Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s College of Engineering and Technology in Navi Mumbai, India.

“I saw so many buildings being demolished, and thought, this is crazy,” recalls Purva. That sparked her decision to intern for Mumbai-based Enviro Analysts Pvt Ltd, a consulting organization that provides a range of engineering services. “That’s where I started learning about impact assessments, mostly in India,” she says; she worked on environmental impact assessments of multistoried buildings and townships and helped clients with environmental clearance of projects.

She went deeper in a subsequent internship at Mumbai’s Earth5R, a community-oriented socio-environmental nonprofit. Her work there focused on a range of waste-management issues including mangrove protection, social awareness on waste segregation, and design of business models for sustainable and profitable waste collection and recovery models.

The experience of interviewing stakeholders (from rag-pickers to politicians) for implementation of waste management projects influenced her decision to focus her Ph.D. studies at the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) in Mumbai on assessment practices for implementations of the circular economy in built environments. This included evaluation and modeling of material circularity and analysis of barriers and enablers to adoption of circular economy principles, with an emphasis on transportation infrastructure.

“The work I did with Earth5R helped me a lot, in terms of perceiving impacts and trying to see things from the perspective of multiple stakeholders,” explains Purva.

Purva has published three research papers in reputed journals, with a primary focus on Circular Economy. Topics include the built environment and an in-depth review of Circular Economy initiatives in European Union nations for the Journal of Sustainable Production and Consumption.

Her research using Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment brings a unique resource to the EarthShift Global’s team for social life cycle assessments (SLCAs). “Doing social LCAs made me realize how important it was to consider the perspectives of various stakeholders – from workers, to supply chain actors, consumers, and even society for that matter,” she notes.

In her new role at EarthShift Global, Purva hopes to apply those skills, as well as her understanding of material systems and passion for Circular Economy principles and environmental and social sustainability, on a broader scale, helping client companies and organizations realize their goals for more sustainable business models and practices.

Like many of her EarthShift Global colleagues, Purva has a teaching background, having led the diploma section for civil engineering at her undergraduate alma mater while serving as a lecturer there.

She is currently working from Mumbai but plans to move to the US.