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Viha Parekh

from Medical Student to Aerospace Structural Engineer
I design what our future aircraft will look like
Aviation, Defence and Public Safety, Manufacturing
Job Level
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Ask me about

  • How I followed my dreams instead of the expected path
  • My first job of designing commercial airplanes
  • Developing futuristic airplane prototypes and testing them

About me

  • International Experience

For as long as I can remember, I have loved aviation, space, technology and design. Studying mechanical and aerospace engineering at university brought together all these passions. For me, the challenge of engineering lies in understanding the fundamental technical concepts and being able to connect the dots to have a practical and meaningful impact on the world. I am also passionate about giving back and investing in the next generation – mentoring and conversations about STEM are important to me.

No career path is a straight-line; the twists and turns on mine have led me to study, work and live overseas as well as work on cutting-edge technologies across different military and passenger aircraft. Currently at Boeing, I am a structural analysis engineer where I work within a team of engineers to solve aircraft design problems.

About my role

  • Analytical
  • Curious
  • Intuitive
  • Passionate
  • Practical

Aerospace structural engineers apply 3D models and fundamental mathematics to ensure aircraft are safe and efficient. Structural engineers work with stakeholders across an aircraft’s lifecycle, from the end-user to suppliers, to turn customer requirements into design concepts and then support production and in-service maintenance. 

This means that the types of problems aerospace structural engineers can work on are vast and varying; for example, early-stage technologies involve research and development of new, futuristic concepts alongside hands-on build and test of prototypes. Later in the aircraft design cycle, both in-service and during production, structural engineers rapidly address defects to keep production lines stable and aircraft usable.  

Structural engineers work closely with other engineering disciplines such as aerodynamics, systems, avionics, manufacturing, and materials. Together these teams develop aircraft technologies that help connect and protect the world.

Students Book Here Educators Book Here


  • High School Certificate
  • Bachelor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Masters of Systems Engineering (ongoing)


  • Aerospace Systems
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)
  • Physics
  • Specialist Mathematics (Maths C)


  • Australian Student Prize: Top 500 in Australia in Year 12
  • Featured in Aviation Week magazine in American Institute of Aeronautics Astronautics “20 Twenties”
  • Sponsorship to global space industry conferences


  • Cooking
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Seeing family and friends

15 year old me!!

“Be what makes you happy, challenges you and lets you be true to yourself. Everything else will fall into place.”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Got in to medical school after Grade 12 because it was the expected career path
  2. Followed my dreams instead, and graduated with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering
  3. Moved cities for first job at Boeing designing commercial airplanes
  4. Moved overseas for a year to work for Boeing in Seattle
  5. Landed back in Melbourne and started working in the defence industry

My employer

Behind every Boeing product and platform is a person using critical and creative thinking to solve complex problems and produce future aerospace products that defy gravity, break the speed of sound and allow Boeing to live out its mission to connect, protect and explore our world. Our teams span the areas of defence, space, commercial products and technologies. At Boeing, you could play a hand in taking products from inception and design to delivery and beyond, and solve challenges that enable all of humanity to take flight.