Catching up with Peter Murphy

Peter MurphyPeter Murphy (ChemE 1T5+PEY, MASc 1T9) has been an ambassador for the University of Toronto Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry (ChemE) since his first year of studies. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate education, he took time out of his schedule (often on weekends) to present our department at recruitment events. Even now as an alumnus, he continues to do the same.

On January 28, 2023, Murphy plans to share his experience with prospective undergraduate students during Explore Engineering. During 2022, Murphy returned to meet students during Welcome to Engineering in May and then again in October during the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s alumni speaker series. He also returned in November 2022 to meet with our current graduate students during the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association Alumni Panel.

Murphy recently met with Jennifer Hsu, ChemE’s Manager of External Relations, to discuss the value of his involvement with our department and offers advice to students.

Describe your ChemE experience?
My ChemE experience was wonderful, the Professional Experience Year I had at IBM really helped build a strong foundation for my professional career and gave me the skills to easily apply my problem-solving skills to different fields. My research gave me the insights into teaching and public sector work techniques that furthered my ability to communicate across different fields. My public speaking and project management skills would not be what it is today though without the Skule community, from Frosh to the Association of Leadership in Chemical Engineering, Troost Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering, to the student chapter of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

Describe your career-path since graduating from our undergrad program?
I worked as an account manager for a major consumer packaged goods organization before returning to school to work on several smart city programs around Canada through my masters. Since then, I have been working as a management consultant with the Poirier Group, fixing companies and helping organizations across North America.

Do you still keep in touch with your class? How has your ChemE network helped you?
I do, my class gets together frequently for events and social gatherings. My network has been instrumental in work and life, whether it’s a reference or recommendation, or four friends to help me move at any given time. My friends from undergrad are friends for life.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to prospective students?
The true value you get out of U of T is the network you come away with. While academics are important don’t discount extracurriculars, sports, or the peers in your class and the major impact they can have on your life.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to current students?
You are never ever going to decide what you want to be for the rest of your life, only what you try next, so give things a go and don’t be afraid to make your own path.