Automotive Engineering Personal Statement
I have been interested in engineering from a very young age, whether building robots and structures from 'Lego' and 'Meccano' or repairing friend's radio control cars, it has always been part of my life.
Automotive Engineering is the aspect of engineering which interests me most, not only because I have been an HGV/LGV technician, apprentice trained, for the last 8 years but because the motor trade is constantly developing new ideas.
Amidst current concerns about climate change and the need to reduce our carbon footprint 'green' transportation is a major imperative for motor vehicle companies, which also have to abide by government legislation on emissions that will inevitably become even more stringent.
This is just one area of Automotive Engineering that is of interest to me as I have not only attended training courses through work on 'Euro 4' but because this is a particular area in which I believe I can make a difference.
The emissions control systems I work with are Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR). SCR is a newer system to me as it has only recently been introduced to vehicles over the 7500kg weight.
Nevertheless I was intrigued to find out how it worked on the Mercedes-Benz (MB) system. MB use a system called 'BLUETEC', where a tank filled with 'ADBLUE' (aqueous urea solution 32.5%) and pump are situated on the chassis; the ADBLUE is pumped up to a metering valve and distributed via an injector/nozzle from the metering valve to the exhaust downpipe.
The nozzle injects ADBLUE in to the exhaust at a specified rate dependent on engine speed to control the pollutants, particularly Nitrogen Oxides in the exhaust gases.
The amount of Nitrogen Oxides in the exhaust is measured by a 'NOx' sensor. Quite a simple idea but mounted to the chassis is the SCR control unit which is linked to the MR (engine control) control unit via CAN-bus, so it still needs a 'brain' to conduct the whole process.
Although the new system is quite fault prone, mainly due to contamination with diesel fuel, engine oil and also clogging of the metering valve and nozzle, the engineers at MB seem to be ironing them out. The New MB HGV's built as of October 2009 are all built with 'Euro 5' technology which keeps them within EU regulations until 2016.
I feel Automotive Engineering is the appropriate course for me to study as I am fascinated by the way vehicles are developing, also it is the natural progression from my current profession.
Instead of diagnosing and repairing motor vehicles I would like to explore how vehicle faults arise in the first place; heat exposure, water ingress, and electrical malfunctions - all simple faults but what can be done to prevent them happening? I am particularly tempted by the chance to do a sandwich year as I feel the experience gained during a work placement will be invaluable.
Added to my current experience within the motor industry, a degree and a successful work placement will radically extend my career opportunities.
Away from work I like to play football, currently for a local 5-a-side team. Playing in this team has developed my team-working and communication skills. While we haven't been hugely successful in terms of winning trophies, we have matured as a group and I feel that success is only around the corner.
Snooker is another pastime that I enjoy, not only do I have to apply a lot of concentration, but I have to be one step ahead of my opponent and avoid complacency at all times.
An Automotive Engineering degree will present me with a variety of career choices, although I haven't ruled out postgraduate study.
More specifically in the long term I am keen to work for a major vehicle manufacturer, researching and developing new, clean technologies that will result in economical and efficient utilisation of resources.