Chemical Engineering Personal Statement Tsrt

Chemical Engineering Personal Statement 5

When I compare my largely First World upbringing to the life of my grandmother who lives in a rural Malawian village with no electricity or running water, questions of renewable energy seem irrelevant; yet, growing up in a country which is largely fuelled by charcoal and diesel causing immense ecological damage, such an issue is essential to everyone. Clearly oil will run out, yet what we will do at that point is far from clear. Further research into renewable energy and the refinement of current industries may provide the solution, but that chance to be a part of this process as a chemical engineer really excites me intellectually, as well as providing a true cause to channel my energies.

I like to challenge myself, hence why I have undertaken Further Maths and I will broaden my mathematical knowledge yet further through an AEA next June. Beyond such a mere desire to test my intellectual reserves, I recognise that Maths is the keystone to success in engineering, so whatever I can do to develop my understanding can only widen my career avenues in this critical field. The study of Mechanics was decisive in my degree choice as it has deepened my appreciation for the way in which Mathematics can be applied to real world situations such as calculating the outcomes of collisions through using the principle of conservation of momentum; the sheer purity of a theory that always works dazzles, yet also provides a sense of satisfaction that only seems to come through mathematical studies. However, I realise that we cannot live in a mathematical vacuum and that we cannot model our entire world with a range of formulas; such a realisation drives me to grasp how things work. Therefore, the study of Physics inspires a keen interest in me. Experiments such as finding the speed of sound and the acceleration due to gravity were particularly enriching.

To become a truly well-rounded science student, Chemistry has been the other area that I thrive in, even if I annoyed my GCSE teacher by always reading a couple of chapters ahead of the rest of my class, such was my desire to leap into the unknown. However, it did result in my being awarded the school's Year 11 Chemistry prize. I've since learnt the downside to such hubris and the need for intellectual rigour as well as speed! Within the A-Level syllabus, I have relished the study of the energetics of chemical reactions. David MacKay's thesis in 'Sustainable Energy' that we are actually in the middle of an entropy crisis, not an energy crisis, encouraged me to read further into thermodynamics. With further reading, I was fascinated to discover the way Newton's Laws of Motion have been applied in conjunction with the laws of thermodynamics in the field of Fluid Mechanics to shape several of our modern manufacturing processes. It is this confluence of scientific and mathematic theorems with real life solutions that drives me to study Chemical Engineering as I believe it will satisfy my research desires (which I am sure will be fostered further through study in the UK), alongside my wish to forge a career that has a genuinely functional basis.

Over the last year my volunteer work helping to fight HIV/AIDS in my grandmother's village led to me being selected by the British Council for the Global Changemakers Forum in the UK. Meeting people from over 40 different countries vastly improved my communication and interpersonal skills; the real bonus to this lay in my peers voting me onto a panel to speak at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, making me the youngest person to ever attend the WEF, a genuine thrill which opened up a huge range of career and life possibilities. This, together with the maturity and leadership skills I have gained as a School Prefect and in touring with my school's rugby team to South Africa, have hopefully given me the requisite experiences and skills needed to succeed as an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering.

Universities Applied to:

  • St Catherine's College, University of Oxford (Engineering Science) - Rejected after interview
  • Imperial College, London (Chemical Engineering) - Offer (A*AA)
  • University of Manchester (Chemical Engineering) - Offer (AAB)
  • University College, London (Chemical Engineering) - Offer (AAB)
  • University of Nottingham (Chemical Engineering) - Offer (ABB)

Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018

Chemical Engineering Personal Statement 7

Given its diverse and everchanging nature, and the opportunity to contribute to quality of life around the world, the field of engineering offers a very unique appeal. In particular, the chance to study the design of chemical reactions on a large scale is what has drawn me so much to Chemical Engineering, and since discovering the subject, I have found a number of reasons why I would particularly enjoy studying this course.

Firstly, the problem solving element to Chemical Engineering is one of the main attractions of the subject. Whilst undertaking a work placement at the engineering firm MottMacdonald, I worked on a problem faced by a team of water engineers designing a new pipeline, in which the steep gradient of the pipe would cause the fluid to travel at an excessively high velocity. Using only the most basic properties of fluids, the engineers were able to design an effective but very low-cost solution to this problem. Seeing all this, I could only imagine the range of solutions that could be implemented using more advanced Fluid Mechanics theory. Another topic I look forward to studying is Thermodynamics, an area I have been able to explore through watching a series of "Thermodynamics and Kinetics" lectures provided by MIT OpenCourseWare. The lectures covered various concepts relating to heat and work, and each of the Four Laws in turn. I greatly enjoyed the mathematical grounding of all these topics, and feel my ability and interest in maths would allow me to cope well with the highly mathematical nature of the course. However, above all, I enjoyed seeing how the fundamental theories of Chemical Engineering can be applied to create innovative solutions in industry.

Another driving factor for my desire to do the subject is the design element. I particularly like how the component steps of a chemical process - from delivering the reactant mixtures to heat exchange to waste disposal - all assemble together. The need to meet design requirements in an economical manner poses yet another challenge, along with the increasing importance of sustainable production. Integrating and resolving all these various elements into one single, functional process is what makes process engineering appeal to me so much. For these reasons, I am greatly looking forward to the final-year design project.

Furthermore, given my experience working in teams, I would be well-suited to team-oriented tasks such as the design project. Having completed a Headstart course at Newcastle University, and currently undertaking the Engineering Education Scheme, my ability to work well in teams in an engineering context has improved. I also recently set up a peer tutoring scheme at my school, which involved bringing together a team of academically able students to help out with other students struggling at their subjects. Whilst acting as a maths/sciences tutor myself, I was also responsible for managing the team, which included ensuring the tutors were keeping to the rota, collecting ideas and getting reports on tutoring sessions at which I was not present. Besides team activities, my interests also include music. I have achieved Grade 6 Piano and Grade 7 Violin so far, and I aim to achieve Grade 8 on both instruments over the upcoming year.

During my gap year, I will be participating in the Year in Industry. My aim is to improve my knowledge of the applications of engineering theory in industry and as a result be better able to understand how the concepts introduced in the course are used in real-world situations. From my current experience, Chemical Engineering appears an exciting field that I feel well-equipped to study, and one that I believe will be enjoyable, challenging, and above all, stimulating to undertake at university.

Universities Applied to:

  • Imperial College London (MEng Chemical Engineering with a Year Abroad) - Offer (AAA in Maths, Chemistry, Physics) Firm
  • University of Cambridge (MEng Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences) - Rejection
  • University College London (MEng Chemical Engineering with Study Abroad) - Offer (AAB with A in Maths) Insurance
  • University of Bath (MEng Chemical Engineering) - Offer (AA in Maths, Chemistry)
  • University of Manchester (MEng Chemical Engineering with Study in Europe) - Offer (AAA in Maths, French, 1 other)

Grades Achieved:

  • Maths (Advanced Higher) - A
  • Chemistry (Advanced Higher) - A
  • Physics (Advanced Higher) - A
  • French (Advanced Higher) - A
  • Maths (Higher) - A
  • Chemistry (Higher) - A
  • Physics (Higher) - A
  • English(Higher) - A
  • Biology(Higher) - A

Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018


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