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Since beginning secondary school, I've been very interested in Chemistry and Computing. Besides my normal schoolwork I've read around these two subjects. Because I am also very keen on Mathematics and Physics, I want to pursue a degree course that combines all or most of these. Both of my parents are Science/Engineering graduates and they have taught me some of the qualities needed for a degree course in this field. This has encouraged me to find out about the opportunities available
Aims I have applied to several firms for sponsorship while at university and during a gap year, with the intention of getting Engineering-related work experience. This would give me valuable experience for the course at university. I hope to obtain a Master of Engineering degree and become employed in research and development in the oil or food industry. Eventually, I would like to do postgraduate study, and perhaps even teach Chemistry/Engineering
Interests I play basketball, tennis, volleyball, and I like kayaking. By far my biggest sports interest, however, is orienteering. I've won several trophies for Andalusian and league championships, and I've helped to organise regional orienteering events. I have also designed the database system for my club. My greatest interest outside school is computing. I have done a large amount of web design. I help maintain the computer systems at my father's workplace; and I also do some part time work teaching people on a one-to-one basis how to use their computers. I like writing manuals or "notes" on things related to computers, and have published an article on web design in a small US computer magazine. I have written papers on the use of data-logging and other equipment for my school's science department. This year, I was responsible for laying out my school's entire yearbook using DTP software. Recently, I was employed developing a web site and training staff for an organisation in London
When I have time I play the keyboard, and also do some sound engineering: I used to operate the mixing desk at my local church, as well as help at my parents' workplace, which is a professional recording studio. I enjoy teaching and have given weekly tuition in Maths and English
General Points I've lived in Spain for 14 years and am fluent in Spanish. In addition, my parents work with North Africans, Middle Easterners, Americans, Spaniards, Britons, and people of other nationalities. I have gained valuable experience growing up with many different cultures around me, and as a result appreciate the difficulties of cross-cultural communication. I have been part of several "King's Kids", teams which perform music and dance all over Spain. This entailed travelling away from home for 3 weeks at a time, and having to work with around 60 other people. I think that this has made me a fairly rounded person, and I therefore feel confident about "fitting in" with people from any culture.
Chemistry Personal Statement
My first Chemistry lesson at senior school. My teacher poured a generous amount of a curious orange powder (which I later learnt to be ammonium dichromate (VI)) onto a heatproof mat. She ignited it and I was dumbfounded, for she had created a volcano in the laboratory! It was this demonstration of a simple thermal decomposition that sparked my interest in Chemistry. It was not just the demonstration that interested me; it was the desire to understand how and why. It was at this time that I realised my true passion for the sciences and how they can be utilised in the world of today.
I have an analytical mind and take great interest in absorbing new material as well as developing my understanding of what I have already learnt. As a result of my academic performance I was awarded the honour of sixth form scholar at the British School of Paris. I am conscientious, highly motivated and have a particular interest in Chemistry and for this reason I am taking the AEA examination in Chemistry in the summer. I want to keep going above and beyond what I know already. In my free time I read around my interests; I am a subscriber to 'New Scientist.' One of the most fascinating articles that I have read recently was an account of what the world would be like if there was no oil today, as well as potential alternatives when it finally runs out. This intrigued me as I have a specific interest in organic Chemistry. This is because I find the depth as well as breadth of the discipline extremely profound. I am currently reading Steve Squyres 'Roving Mars': a book about the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Vehicles. When not reading around my area of interest I can be found tutoring fellow members of the sixth form in Chemistry and Mathematics. This has allowed me to gain a helpful insight into how others think as well as giving me a sense of community within the school and has helped me further my understanding of Chemistry, as when tutoring, I have to look at aspects of the syllabus from a different angle. I am part of the school's Maths challenge team and hope to compete in the 2008 International Senior Maths Challenge.
I took part in a Headstart course at the University of Nottingham over the summer in which I had my first true experience of chemical engineering. This intrigued me as I had found a practical application for Chemistry in today's world. The two major projects that we carried out involved the separation of ink from water using activated carbon and research into Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology; a topic that really captivates me. My team at Headstart demonstrated high levels of skill and enthusiasm in solving any task that was put in front of us. These two projects really appealed to my key interests, Chemistry and Mathematics as well as Physics.
I have also worked with the advertising agency TBWA\G1 in Paris. G1 is TBWA's automotive industry specialist. Whilst I was there I was asked to make a presentation on the 'green credentials' of various automotive companies. That is, researching the technologies that companies such as Shell and BMW use in order to be more environmentally friendly and said technology's commercial viability. I have recently applied for work experience with GlaxoSmithKline for the February half term holidays.
I like to get involved in a host of extra curricular activities. I am in the process of completing the Gold Level of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. I participate in the school's Model United Nations and took part in the 2006 Paris Conference. I am the cofounder of the school's film society and enjoy rowing and rock climbing. It is not just Chemistry that interests me, it is how Chemistry and science in general can be used to advance technologies in various diverse fields: from the advent of new medicines to the improvement of fuels and of various industrial processes. In short, how science is shaping our lives.
Chemical Engineering personal statement ***
I have always enjoyed studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and I would like the opportunity to continue this study. Chemical Engineering appeals to me because of the challenges involved in the application of scientific theory to practical, real world problems such as how to deal with nuclear waste. I particularly look forward to studying fluid dynamics as I was introduced to this during the Engineering Education Scheme (EES). I am aware that in today's world chemical engineering has an increasingly important role across a wide range of industries from pharmaceuticals to petrochemicals. The broad range of career paths, and the opportunity to contribute to society through technological innovation, is for me, one of the main attractions of chemical engineering.
I have applied to take part in the Year In Industry scheme during which I hope to gain practical experience, as well as greater maturity enabling me to go into my degree course with improved skills and broader experience. I also hope to study e-learning courses on project management and presentation skills run by the IChemE. In Year 12 I took part in the EES, which improved my understanding and skills in team working, time management, and report writing, as well as visual and oral presentation. Throughout the course of the project the team had to frequently correspond with mentors in industry and academia and this experience has broadened my appreciation of practice and application in a real life situation. In July I attended a week-long 'Into Engineering' seminar run by REACT Engineering. Working in two teams, we were given a design exercise based upon a typical decommissioning project. I also attended a Headstart course at Newcastle University, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One of the main activities was to design, manufacture and test a small crane. I found both of these experiences very challenging, as we were given only limited time so we had to prioritise our tasks and carefully plan our work.
This year a fellow student and I were awarded £500 by the European Scholarship Prize to fund a visit to Prague to do research for our A-level History coursework. I gained an understanding of the city's culture and history and further developed my independence. During the summer I represented my school on a Connexions review of a government white paper on 14-19 education. I gained an insight into the government's proposals and learned a lot about working with different groups of people. Last year I was part of the editorial team for the school magazine. I wrote a number of articles and I was responsible for ensuring that staff contributions were ready for the deadline. I also enjoy participating in a range of sports and have represented the school at football and cricket, which has further enhanced my team working skills.
In my spare time I am working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. In September I completed a 4-day expedition in the Lake District, which tested my endurance but gave me a great sense of achievement. As part of the award I have been helping at the local youth café once a week, which I am really enjoying as it gives me the chance to meet new people. I also enjoy reading, particularly books on physics and Russian history. I am really interested in computers and I am currently trying to configure a Linux based file and print server for my home network.
Chemical Engineering personal statement *
I have great interest in questions such as "How do you convert raw materials into useful products through the application of chemistry on a large scale, or more accurately, how to create and operate facilities relating to the manufacture of commodities essential for modern everyday life, in a safe efficient and environmentally friendly manner?" Questions such as these were triggered at a younger age by issues such as the origins of plastics, and how they are extracted, and produced. I am currently reading into the subject in my spare time. "Chemical Engineering and Industrial Processes" by the BP educational service, which currently provides a very useful insight into some of the challenges facing a chemical engineer, from Concepts of design to Industrial processes.
Studying maths mechanics is helping me develop my numeric skills, which I believe combined with chemistry, will help me greatly with Chemical Engineering. My studies of economics, combined with my subscription to the FT through the school library, have helped me to keep up to date with current affairs. This includes recent events in the petrochemical industry. More recently, following some research, I have become very interested in the concept of supercritical solvents, which is an area I hope to explore more in later life. It is because I find chemistry so fascinating and the idea of chemical engineering so appealing that I have chosen to follow chemical engineering as a future career path.
I have thoroughly enjoyed studying the flute, piano, and singing, achieving grades five, six, and eight respectively in each of those instruments; I have also learned to play the organ. Having often led the services in my local parish by playing the flute and piano, I feel that I am confident when participating in public performances. I have been a dedicated member in several school bands, orchestras and choirs, performing in concerts and musicals, throughout my school life.
I am an enthusiastic cyclist, cycling at least once daily. My cycling trips have allowed me to see much of central London, which, cannot be appreciated by car or bus. I have also enjoyed classes in Taekwondo, in which I have achieved a yellow belt. Reading is a hobby, which I greatly enjoy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Garth Nix, Paul Davies and Ian M. Banks being among my favourite authors. I am also developing an interest in psychology, after having read Prometheus Rising, which captivated me because it gave accurate insights into human behaviour. I am planning to follow this by reading the sequel, the Illuminatus! Trilogy. I also have a strong affinity for chess, which, following my enrolment in the school chess club has helped me tackle problems in a more logical and strategic attitude. In addition helping the younger members of the club has allowed me to develop coaching skills.
At School, I have been a prefect for a first form class and take responsibility for them at certain times during the school day. I have also regularly visited Fulham Primary School, a local school that has many young children who do not speak English as a first language where I assist the teachers with their classes, helping individuals with problems. I am planning to attend a number of mathematical debates later this year held in central London by the ________ society. I am also a regular attendant at my school's Debating Society, which I believe has helped me develop a more critical mind, and has helped me structure my arguments in a clearer manner, and develop my team-working skills. Another society, which I am involved in, is the Newman Society, which has held some very interesting talks from public figures, including historians and politicians. I was awarded the first prize in a literary competition for poetry in my year. One especially enjoying and fulfilling experience was the Ballroom dancing class, which was run by the school. We have learned the Cha, Jive, Waltz, Tango and Salsa.
I intend to defer entry to university for a year in order to travel to New Zealand and Italy, where I hope to gain both valuable work experience, and improve my grasp of Italian culture and language, in which I am already fluent. I look forward to this experience and also to the rewards and challenges of higher education.
Sample Personal Statement for Chemical Engineering
I am convinced that the migration of the trout must be one of the most touching phenomena of life on this planet. In their thousands of miles' journey of migration to the sea, the trout swim inexhaustibly, often against the currents, with little rest and consumption of food, shuttling through countless turbulent rivers and treacherous shoals, with the sole purpose to fulfill their sacred mission of life reproduction. It is precisely this tenacity of the will that has guaranteed the successful survival of the trout family in the entire history of evolution.
The story about the trout is of apocalyptical implications to me. In the very first semester after I entered University of XX 1996 where I majored in chemical engineering, I experienced a period of severe frustration and depression resulting from my low academic ebb. Although in July that year I won the honor of Outstanding Senior Middle School Student of XX Municipality (a special title awarded to only 100 students out of a total of several hundred thousand students of the city that year) and succeeded in the very competitive national college entrance examinations, I still went through a period of disorientation and maladaptation to the formal and challenging university education. All my academic efforts seemed to little avail and by the end of the semester I found myself below the average level of the class. I lost my past glory.
Nevertheless, I did not lose my self-confidence. Ever since the end of my primary school I had been the athlete of my school (by the second year of my senior middle school I had become the national level-2 athlete, winning second prize in the national juvenile sports meeting in the javelin event) and this athletic experience endowed me with the spirit of incessant perseverance, athletically as well as academically. As an athlete, I realized that, apart from perseverance, making strategic adjustments was also necessary. Therefore, while making psychological adjustments, I endeavored to improve my methods of study and gradually but unmistakably I achieved remarkable improvements in my academic performance. As a result, my sustained ascendance in academic performance led to my overall GPA 3.23 (3.61 for my specialty GPA), bringing me five scholarships and two Outstanding Student Leader honors. While laying a solid academic foundation in chemical engineering, my undergraduate education reinforced my already deep interest in chemical engineering and prepared me for a lifelong career in this field.
My thesis entitled The Experiment and Model Study on the Carbinol Synthesis Through the Flow Direction Switching is an indication of my research interest and potential. The research was aimed at exploring possible alternatives to fossil fuels, a cutting-edge subject in chemical engineering research. The Forced Unsteady-State Operation (FUSO) as used in my project has considerable practical value in industrial application as it is energy-efficient and cost-effective in addition to facilitating adequate reaction. Under the guidance of my advisor, a leading authority on catalytic reaction, I enhanced my research ability and broadened my academic vision. The panel that evaluated my thesis rated it as "first-class", commenting on it as "clearly reasoned, with detailed and complete experimental data, demonstrating a thorough grasp of professional knowledge."
On account of my strong background in chemical engineering and my research potential, I was recruited, when I graduated in 2000, by XX, China's major research center and manufacturer of olefin catalyst. Over the past three years I have accumulated rich research experience by participating in a number of research projects. Those projects include the research on N-catalysts in high quality BOPP film production¼Œresearch on high-activity high porosity catalyst, research on the effect of dealcoholation process on the catalyst performance and on polymer characteristics¼Œresearch on the effect of more effective donors-Diethers in high performance polypropylene catalyst¼Œand the improvement of the performances of N-catalyst.
My most important research experience happened in the project of producing CD Catalyst using domestic technology to substitute imported Japanese product. Together with my team members and experts from XX Company, the authorized dealer in U.S.A., I performed comprehensive analysis of the mechanical properties of polypropylene products made with NG catalyst and CD catalyst on the Amoco process device. By focusing on catalyst activity and titanium concentration, we applied multiple ester-added compression and decompression method. We worked out a number of experimental plans and made constant modification until ultimately¼Œbased on the plan that I proposed independently as the blueprint, we managed to produce a Chinese CD catalyst up to all technical standards. With its industrial application in XX Petrochemical Co. Ltd and XX Petrochemical Co. Ltd, two largest petrochemical enterprises in China, the quality of BOPP products has been markedly improved and profitability of the enterprises significantly raised. Capturing the general attention of China's petrochemical world, our research findings won the First-class Award for China's Scientific and Technological Advances in Petrochemical Research and for my unique contributions to this achievement as the key figure of the research team, I was selected as Outstanding Researcher of the Institute in the Year 2002.
Based on my formal academic training and my work experience, I would like to apply for a Ph.D. program in chemical engineering. I would like to focus on two specific fields-polypropylene catalyst research and simulation study and my motivation originates from my direct work experience. At present, I am engaged in the research on the new type super-active C5H6 metal and on the catalyst with diether as internally-supplied electron body. Those two new catalysts will be more effective as industrial catalysts but a lot of issues remain unresolved. On the other hand, as our research on the Ziegler-Natta catalytic system has achieved high activity, high isotacticity and controllability in polymer appearance, I am also interested in the structural optimization of the polymer.
My interest in simulation study is based on a series of considerations. Many of my research ideas involve large-scale experimentation but the prohibitive cost of the necessary experiments simply makes it impracticable. Additionally, some chemical experiments involve serious pollution and toxicity. In the cases of failed experiments, immense wastes in human labor and in financial and environmental resources would result. Considering the fact that off-line research and automated simulation are far from being extensive, I wish to master mature simulation technology so that I can abridge a technical gap in China's chemical engineering research.
In filing this application of mine, I believe that I am well-grounded, well-motivated, and clearly-focused. It has been my long-cherished expectation to enter your prestigious university for a Ph.D. program that will make possible my even more fruitful career development in the future. Apart from making academic contributions to your program, I believe I can make equally important athletic contributions to your extracurricular campus life. During my undergraduate program, I won two second prizes and one third prize at three XX Universiades in the javelin event and won two third prizes for cross-country team race at two National Universiades. Perseverance and strategy are two tools that I will inform my proposed degree program.
Engineering Personal Statement
I have always had an interest in the way things work, and since I was young, science has been one of my favourite subjects. My interest in sciences, particularly physics, has developed throughout my time at school, and I enjoy the challenge of using scientific and mathematical ideas when solving everyday problems. Last year I took part in the Engineering Education Scheme, working alongside three other students, with the local water company, to work on a project involving the removal of sludge from a drinking water clarification tank. This helped me to develop time management, problem-solving and teamwork skills, as we encountered several problems along the way (mostly involving the sludge), as well as having to cope with each other for long hours in order to meet deadlines. I found this both challenging and rewarding, and achieved a Gold Crest Award as well as being able to take part in the regional final of the Young Engineers for Britain competition. The scheme gave me a useful insight into the types of problems that engineers have to solve, and convinced me that engineering is the career path I want to follow. I aim to secure sponsorship for my course with a local company, as this will provide me with experience of industrial work during the holidays, as well as helping me financially through my time at university.
I believe that good links between engineers and businesses are essential for an efficient and profitable future for British industry. Studying Economics to AS-level, along with sciences and maths, has helped me to understand some of the scientific principles behind production and management techniques. Physics has taught me about how things behave, and how these properties can be used in solving both practical and theoretical situations. Studying biology has helped me to appreciate the role that engineers can play in helping to balance industry and natural environment. My favourite part of the course is the environment module, as I enjoy learning about how different species can adapt to their surroundings. Mathematics gives me the opportunity to apply familiar concepts to unfamiliar situations, and I enjoy the challenge of solving mathematical problems. I also find further maths enjoyable, as I find it more challenging than my normal maths lessons.
Alongside my school work, I have been studying an Open University science short course entitled "Food and Health: A Chemical Story". I enjoy working on the course, as it helps to broaden my scientific reading, and covers interesting topics in more depth than my school studies. It also helps me with my independent study and time management skills. I am due to complete the course at the end of October.
I like to be involved in other aspects of school life, for example I took part in the junior mock trial competition lower down the school. Last year I was assistant house captain, helping to encourage younger members of my house in competitions. I helped backstage in the sixth form show, which I intend to do again this year. I am a year eight "buddy", which involves helping an able younger student with extra schoolwork. I take drama lessons out of school, and recently passed Guildhall Grade 6 solo acting with honours. I have been involved in five musicals since starting at this school, and am currently rehearsing for my first principal role in the schools' production of "Les Miserables". I have also taken part in several productions with local youth theatre and amateur dramatics societies, ranging from William Shakespeare to Willy Russell. I play the violin in the school orchestra, and enjoy singing in the school choir. I also take part in music activities outside of school, and am involved in groups such as Burton Sinfonia and Staffordshire Youth Choir.
Although at the moment I intend to complete a degree in manufacturing engineering, I do not feel that I am in the best position to make any final decisions about my career yet, and have chosen courses with the first year (and in some cases the second year) common to degree programmes in many disciplines of engineering. My experiences of engineering so far have been both challenging and rewarding, and I hope that my future career will be too.