Pipeline People: Dr. Sameera Naib, Chair, Young Pipeline Professionals Europe (YPPE)
Dr. ir. Sameera Naib is working as Senior Integrity Engineer at ROSEN. He specializes in remaining life estimations, crack assessments, fracture mechanics, risk analysis and integrity management.
He is a mechanical engineer who has completed bachelors in Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore, India in 2012 and master’s in Computational Mechanics of Materials And Structures (COMMAS) at Stuttgart University in 2015. From 2015 – 2019, he undertook his doctoral research on the effects of heterogeneous material properties on the crack assessments of welded connections in Ghent University, Belgium in collaboration with Maribor University, Slovenia. He was guided by Prof. Stijn Hertele, Prof. Wim De Waele and Prof. Nenad Gubeljak who are the pioneers in the field of structural integrity assessments.
After being associated with Young Pipeline Professionals Europe (YPPE) for four years, Sameera is now chairing the committee starting January 2023. YPPE is a voluntary organization that promotes in career advancement and network building of young pipeliners across Europe. The committee consists of pipeline industry professionals who are voluntarily working towards promoting the goals of YPPE.
The chair of YPPE – Dr. ir. Sameera Naib answers few questions from his perspective that were put forward to him by PTJ.
Why did you join YPPE?
From my childhood days, I have always been motivated by my parents to indulge in activities that serve people and the community. They believed that these activities will not only help me to feel part of a community but also help to develop my self-esteem and confidence, learning new skills and gaining a sense of achievement and purpose.
With this motivation, I have been volunteering for several organizations in different fields. When I began my career in the pipeline field, I was undertaking my research. During this time, I was looking for a platform that will give me an opportunity to network with the pipeline industry. When I came to know about YPPE in 2019, I took my membership and started to attend webinars. With the transition to the industry from the university, came an opportunity to be a part of the YPPE committee. I took this opportunity as I knew that this platform will not only be an opportunity to network but also will help me develop various skills. Being on the committee for 2 years, I am rearing to utilize the opportunity of chairing the YPPE committee to help young pipeliners advance and flourish in their careers parallelly honing my abilities and competence.
How do you measure success in your career?
Achieving goals is widely accepted as a measure of success. Accomplishing the goals is possible only by setting realistic ones in professional and personal life. Thus, for me, success begins with keeping following aspects in mind:
- List of goals to achieve in a certain period
- Plan for achieving goals
- Threats and backup plans
- Positive and negative effects on the stakeholders if the goals are (not) achieved
If I put sincere effort in achieving the goals by considering all the above aspects, then I believe I am successful. The fruits of the effort will follow based on merit.
What are you passionate about outside YPPE?
My passion has always been in science and engineering. Right from a young age, I have been exposed to the concepts and applications of science in day-to-day life, by my family. This has helped me appreciate the science around me and keep my curiosity to learn new concepts running.
Apart from my interest in science and engineering, I visit several places for their history, culture, and people. I believe that interaction with people from all walks of life boosts empathy and respect towards cultures.
I am a sports enthusiast and an ardent cricket fan. My passion also lies in cooking. Being a vegetarian, I believe cooking at home provides several varieties of food that satisfies the taste buds. In my free time, I indulge myself in learning Indian philosophy, reading, sports (cycling, running, swimming etc.), and social activities like volunteering.
What should we do to attract more young people to a career in the pipeline industry?
It is unfortunate that the pipeline industry is always subjected to a lot of criticism in the media. Also, the fact that the oil and gas industry is ageing, and the industry is not seen as a futuristic one. Environmental concerns, economics and technological advancements are some key factors that have reshaped the priorities and preferences of the youth.
Being “young” in the industry, I can say that the pipeline industry has a lot of catching up to do with “newly born” industries to motivate and spread awareness about the importance of pipelines to the youth. The water we drink, taking out the sewage from our houses, petrol we put in our car, heating our homes – all these don’t magically fly. It must be transported through these pipelines as it is the cheapest, safest, and most efficient means. A huge industry that is valued at billions of euros and is deep in the organizational structure of society is in no way a negative industry to be in. The importance of this industry must be promoted from the school level up to the university. Summer camps and training could be organized to promote the same.
In addition to positive promotion, adapting to the technology, providing monetary benefits, assisting in education, and training and empathetic leadership are important aspects of attracting and retaining the young in the pipeline industry.
How you think the global pipeline industry will change over the course of your career?
I started my career in the pipeline industry by undertaking research on the effects of heterogeneous properties on the crack assessment of complex welds in steel pipelines. Subsequently, I was involved with the integrity assessments of water and wastewater pipelines for three years. Now, I am associated with the integrity assessments of pipelines undergoing energy transition. With this experience, I can say that pipelines will continue to be an important part of this world - a neural network transporting water, waste, and energy.
More importantly, the current and upcoming years bring several challenges in assessing the integrity of the pipelines as they are aging. Majority of the pipelines were installed in the previous decades and are now nearing the end of their technical life. Does this mean replacement? It would be unwise to replace all the ageing pipelines.
From the perspective of an integrity engineer, I can foresee that the approach towards pipeline integrity assessments will change in the coming decade. I perceive that the industry is set to move away from extremely conservative standards and codes to assessments based on research and insights. With the changing energy scenario, the repurposing of the pipelines will throw a new spectrum of complexities. I perceive that several opportunities will open-up to learn new skills, implement my technical knowledge and assist pipeline operators to utilize their assets to the optimum levels. Looking ahead, I see immense prospects in the field of pipeline integrity assessments.