With several decades of experience in the niche, Smita Shah is an accomplished engineering professional who has worked with a variety of firms during her career. Before entering the field, Shah studied at several institutions, most notably graduating from Northwestern University, MIT, and Oxford University with engineering and business qualifications. Following this, she would go on to work with various organizations before founding SPAAN Tech in 1998.
In the following decades, Smita Shah would lead the firm to receive several accolades, including being named Best of Business in Chicago Engineering Services by the Small Business Commerce Association, among a variety of other awards. Throughout this time, the entrepreneur herself would receive praise from a variety of sources, including being an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist and being named a Young Civil Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Throughout this time, the engineering entrepreneur has been involved in a variety of philanthropic causes and has supported the After School Matters non-profit alongside the Museum of Science and Industry, and several others. For the past several years, she has served as the chair of the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee, a non-profit organization that she helped to establish. In her role with the organization, Shah has been involved in a variety of activities and initiatives across Chicago, with many of these focusing on celebrating the contributions of the Indian-American community to the city.
For the past several years, the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee has held an annual event named the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon. The event, which looks to honor the man it was named after and has entered its fifth year, seeks to highlight the fact that Chicago is made up of a variety of cultures, each of which helps contribute to the city’s success.
The most recent event was attended by a variety of leading figures in the Chicago community, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, World Business Chicago CEO Andrea Zopp, First Lady Amy Eshelman, and Senator Dick Durbin. During the luncheon, Mayor Lightfoot announced that October 2 would be named Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago to recognize the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Alongside this, Mayor Lightfoot noted that the day would help celebrate the lasting legacy that he has had, as well as the deep roots that Indian culture has across the Chicago community. Speaking at the luncheon, Smita Shah noted that this was an honor, both for herself personally and for the Indian-American community as a whole. Furthermore, she highlighted how the program can help Chicago natives to recognize the impact that Indians have had on the city. Learn more: https://cee.mit.edu/tag/smita-shah/
This is something that is further enhanced through Chicago’s position as a sister city to Delhi, which Smita Shah notes helps to highlight the connection between the two cities. Shah has also noted that this is one of the primary reasons why the Delhi Committee of Chicago founded the Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Alongside this relationship, the organization looks to celebrate the principles of truth and non-violence.