He worked on polymer nanocomposites in Italy, then spent four years at Korea Institute of Science and Technology to work on porous materials for carbon capture.
Following that, Patel worked at University College London on hybrid membranes for gas separation and fuel cell application.
He arrived in Chicago in 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow assisting Professor of Chemistry Fraser Stoddart in the lab at Northwestern University. Stoddart won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016. It was there that he developed expertise with smart polymers.
“It was a big privilege to work in Stoddart's lab,” Patel said. In 2017, he joined Aramco because "it is a great place to do fundamental and applied research.”
As a member of the Drilling Technology team at the Aramco Research Center-Houston, Patel works on smart materials that better distribute stresses at the subatomic level in wellbore cement jobs.
Patel has published more than 60 scientific papers and holds 18 patents. In addition to his journal articles, he authored a book in 2014 on nanoclays and organized and chaired a session at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Clay Mineral Society in 2019, highlighting Aramco's application of clay and minerals in drilling and cementing fluids.
Recognition of his visionary work with advanced materials led to an appointment on the editorial board for Scientific Reports in 2021, the world's 6th most cited scientific peer-review journal. He is the guest editor for a special edition of the journal about carbon capture and storage.