IMR Materials Testing Technical Blog

Neel Nadpara- IMR Ithaca

Sometimes engineers kind of “fall into” the career. Many times, they were fortunate enough to get exposed to the field at a young age. IMR-Ithaca Metallurgical Test Engineer Neel Nadpara got the engineering bug in high school, and his path to materials testing was a result of being curious and open to new ideas and ways of thinking. Neel earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and a Masters in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut. He joined the IMR Ithaca metallurgical team in 2021.

What got you interested in engineering?

In high school, Neel was on a very successful FIRST Robotics Team. “This is where I learned that I really enjoyed designing, prototyping, and manufacturing. Naturally, when it came time for college I decided I wanted to study engineering”. Neel enrolled in Mechanical Engineering, and found it ticked a lot of the boxes he was interested in. “Until one day there was a presentation on materials science and engineering and I became very interested in the subject matter”.  He ended up studying both mechanical engineering, and materials science and engineering. When he decided to work towards a Master’s Degree, he focused on materials engineering. 

What do you enjoy about your engineering role at IMR?

Neel’s work at IMR gives him a lot of diverse opportunities and challenges. “I really enjoy the unique work and testing requirements that come through. I enjoy the challenge of getting samples made of alloys that are barely referenced in literature and figuring out how to prepare them, etch them, and examine them”. He also enjoys facing new testing challenges. “That’s when I learn more by trying new approaches and methods”. 

What advice you would share with someone thinking about a career in engineering?

Neel was fortunate that he got exposed to serious engineering practices in high school. He says “Figure out what interests you within the vast field of engineering.  Do what you can to gain exposure to what you think looks interesting”. Neel is grateful for having the opportunities to try different engineering methods in school. “At the end of the day, if you like what you do you will be successful at it.” 

Favorite Engineering-Heavy Movie: Iron Man