Chemical Engineering Personal Statement
To me, Chemical Engineering is one of the most fundamental factors in underpinning how the world works.
Understanding the key chemical processes of nature is essential to development of new substances and creating products with financial value and for use of the whole population. Seeing how scientific theory is transferable to industry is something I find not only appealing, but intellectually stimulating.
Chemical Engineering would allow me to study the three areas I am most passionate about - Physics, Chemistry and Maths - as well as the diversity inherent in the sector making it a personally rewarding subject to study.
The problem solving aspect of Engineering particularly attracts me. Taking on a work placement with Centrica helped confirm this. I shadowed many process engineers within the company. This included work in the control room, line tracing with an P&ID, chemical testing, an in depth look at some processes with PFDs, meetings and observing and contributing to a project an engineer was working on.
Following reports from one terminal that their methanol water had increased in concentration, the objective was to find out why so much was being injected at various points along the line.
To help determine where the liquid was going, we asked for a sample to be taken from the lines coming out of the slug catcher (Natural Gas and Condensate). We concluded that if we took samples from these locations, it would be possible to deduce the concentrations and optimise the process.
Whilst completing the 2013 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, where I gained a copper award, I was intrigued by the questions around the subject of "the horsemeat scandal" and decided to engage in further research.
The public was concerned because of the way the media portrayed the subject, implying that a drug in the meat could be harmful to humans.
It then emerged that an average person would have to eat 500 burgers to be seriously affected. This highlighted, for me, the importance of educating yourself before letting your views be swayed on a subject.
Due to this, I like to spend my free time investigating and learning about the aspects of science which are not taught in depth in the school's curriculum. Last year, I attended the annual European Astrofest conference and this year, the British Science Festival.
As well as the many lectures I saw, there was an opportunity afterwards to talk to people who are experts in their fields, which I found fascinating but also a unique experience.
Articles and other variations of media provided by universities and the various subject specific institutes are a device outside of my wider reading which have also helped ground me in areas of science and engineering that I may not have encountered otherwise.
At school, I was part of various sports teams including netball, hockey, tennis and rounders, but also involved with programmes organised by the PE department.
Having the chance to act as vice sports captain and a PE buddy has helped me with my physical skills, team work and organisation. I also completed a Junior Sports Leaders Award.
For this we worked in teams to plan and present lessons. These experiences helped me gain skills necessary to improve my public speaking, which inspired me to take on more roles within school, including student council, prefect, form mentor, foreign language leader, charity committee and Amnesty.
Language and communication are essential to every subject, but especially Chemical Engineering, which revolves around economics and the world markets.
With this in mind, I chose Mandarin Chinese as my enrichment subject.
Additionally, I am currently learning Beginners Dutch through a computer course, to add to the French and German skills I acquired while completing my GCSEs.
I strongly feel that the many experiences I already have, coupled with a keen and inquisitive nature, will help me with the plethora of knowledge I hope to gain during my studies to become a Chemical Engineer.