Meet Bhavana “BJ” Patel
Meet BJ. BJ Patel is a Senior Associate and Project Architect at Page. She was born and raised in India where she watched her father, the son of a poor farmer, work to become a civil engineer. He eventually started a successful construction company so when she was young, BJ decided she wanted to be like him. She set a goal to attend her father’s alma mater and become the first female general contractor in her city.
When the time came to declare civil engineering as her chosen field of study, BJ’s father warned that as a woman in India, she could face limitations in that field. He had seen many female civil engineers given little opportunity to move up in their careers. Instead, he suggested she consider architecture, where he had heard of successful women being recognized and accepted. With her father’s encouragement and support, BJ successfully completed five years of higher education, passed 12 state board exams and worked for three years in India as an architect before moving to the United States. BJ says her father was right: as a female architect, she received much respect from engineers, contractors and clients in India.
After moving to the United States, BJ earned her second architecture degree at the University of Houston and became licensed to practice in Texas. After working at other firms, she truly feels at home now at Page. In her initial talks with principal Art Chavez during the interview process, BJ immediately felt understood and valued, and she realized that Page would care about her development as an architect as well as recognize her hard work.
She loves coming to work every day with her supportive project manager and team members. While her favorite project to date is confidential, she references it because of its uniqueness, technical challenges, and the many opportunities it provided to learn. “I feel very happy and satisfied every day I learn something new,” she says. Many of BJ’s clients are very happy and satisfied that she brought her experiences and perspective to bear on their projects.