As a fifth year PhD student in chemical engineering (in North America) who's about to submit his thesis in 4 months, I have a serious doubt about my capabilities.
My PhD thesis was in an area not exactly in my PhD supervisors forte and I did not think that to be an issue when I accepted the PhD offer. Though, he was always available to offer ideas when I was stuck or guide me with a problem, I did not get much help on the technicalities of my works. Infact, he learned more about the future scope of my modeling technique, my research area as I continued to work on it.
However, since my PhD work is (in a way) entirely my own idea, it also meant that I was limited by my technical skills. I have tried my best to make my work as much rigorous as possible. But I think I did not do a good job.
My supervisor on the other hand seems very pleased by my work. He never complained about my productivity and rigorour of the work. The experimental collaborators also seemed satisfied by my work.
However, I think I have wasted my PhD time, which has resulted in a weak work. My manuscripts are about to be submitted, so I don't know if the work I have done is upto the mark in academic community or not.
I have been to many conferences, but I have neither got any praise for my work, nor any critique on them. So, I am not at all confident about my contribution to academia.
I am losing my passion for academia, and I don't think I have the necessary skills to survive in industry.
If I look at the quality of my PhD work, I think I am not the correct person to pursue further in academia. Can my PhD thesis be an indication of my suitability for a future academic career?