Aerospace Engineering Personal Statement
For as long as I can remember, my eyes have been fixed on the sky, admiring heavier-than-air machines that seamlessly take off to the skies, representing more than a century of daring breakthroughs.
Intricate systems that come together perfectly to allow human flight to heights the Wright brothers never thought possible.
Aerospace engineering is the sphere where all these notions come together; careful design, fastidious planning, yet an underlying mindset of innovation and risk-taking.
My interest in aviation arose when I became involved in flight simulation. Initially, I was drawn to it as a way of applying what I had learnt in Physics classes.
Gradually, as I became accustomed to the subtle force balance that makes aircraft fly, I would use designing software to sketch my own rudimental aircraft, to then test them in the simulator.
As I grew older, I shifted my focus to more theoretical parts of flight, and I have taken several online courses and regularly read publications on varied subjects in Aeronautics.
Throughout my academic path, I’ve always been deeply interested in Physics, pursuing every chance I get to expand my knowledge of this subject.
I find remarkable the possibility to predict and understand natural phenomena through precise equations and theorems, just as if the world around us behaved like an orchestra of movements and forces ruled by pre-set laws and equations.
My further interest in Mathematics has led me to engage in extracurricular activities in- and outside the school.
Every year I have participated in the Portuguese Math Olympiads, often ranking high at regional level. I have also taken part in a project led by Oporto University, joining a group of high-achieving High School students in lectures over advanced problems and theorems.
During year 10, I embarked on a demanding but equally rewarding project. Together with a group of students from my own High School, we set off to design, build and launch a helium balloon to the stratosphere.
This was my first hands-on experience in Aerospace Engineering, and not only did it broaden my knowledge over Aerospace and taught me other skills like coding, but it also improved my way of approaching and solving problems.
After an (almost) entirely successful launch, and upon reflecting about our shortcomings, we presented the results at the University, which developed my skills of scientific communication.
In the summer of 2015, as I turned 16, I set off to the Netherlands for a year-long exchange program, which proved to be very challenging. I arrived speaking no Dutch and immediately started classes at a local High School, following the course of Nature and Technology, the Dutch pathway to STEM courses.
Not only were the classes entirely in Dutch, but the coursework in some subjects, like Mathematics, was far more advanced than its Portuguese counterpart, demanding an extra effort. Through extensive self-work, I managed to become proficient in Dutch and end the year with distinction.
Having had such a rewarding experience, I feel highly motivated to further pursue my studies in a foreign environment, looking forward to the challenges, and the academic and personal growth such an environment will most certainly entail.
Back home, I was the Troop Leader of a Scouting group for over ten years. I got deeply involved in numerous projects within my community and beyond, from running a permanent food bank to cleaning the coastline.
Through these experiences, I became a great team-worker and was able to grasp my community’s needs and start to actively act on them, which changed my way to look at the world.
I highly value the community I’m inserted in, and that is why I would be extremely grateful for the opportunity of spending the next years of my life, a defining period for my future, in such a vibrant and diverse environment such as the British academic community, pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering, the subject that has always been my passion.