Civil Engineering Personal Statement
Aged 4, my favourite question was "why?". This eventually developed into "Why is the sky blue", "Why does 2 plus 2 equal four", and after the first time I crossed the Severn Bridge, "Why does that stand up?". All my life I have had people around me who are able to answer these questions, especially both my grandfathers who have been engineers all of their professional lives.
Even though I never fully understood their answers, I still craved to know why. My intrigue turned to genuine excitement once I started studying Physics and Mathematics to a high level; I was able to finally piece together my knowledge after years of questioning, not only to understand the concepts but also to apply them to all manner of situations.
This cemented my resolve to become an Engineer, so I can carry on questioning and applying my knowledge to any project I come across.
Studying simple harmonic motion - and within that, resonance - in Physics has demonstrated to me how to apply my theoretical skills in practical situations in order to reduce disasters like the Tacoma Bridge collapse and the less fatal, but equally serious, Millennium Bridge oscillations.
I was able to use this knowledge to assist and lead the earthquake challenge on my school's House Cup days, where students created structures that needed to withstand an earthquake, using only resources equivalent to what their country would be able to afford.
This taught me about the physical aspect of structural engineering as well as the economic constraints of building earthquake safe structures. I believe it is extremely important to not only understand the physical aspects of engineering but also the human - this led me to participate in Model UN and more recently the Global Action conference.
During the conference I was captivated by a talk on the problems with Africa's infrastructure and power supply; both have helped me to develop my global awareness.
Maths and Physics are essential for any engineer and I enjoy the way these subjects complement each other as I am able to apply my knowledge across all areas. For example I particularly enjoy the mechanics aspect of Physics as it utilises my strengths within algebra and trigonometry.
I am looking forward to tackling an online course by FutureLearn entitled 'Cracking Mechanics: Further Maths for Engineers', which will help me to manipulate and mould the world around me. Having chosen Civil Engineering as my career path, I began to look to the future; I undertook work-shadowing at ANSYS, a leading engineering simulations company.
During my placement I was captivated by the systems and software, such as ANSYS CFX and CFD-Post, similar to the technology that I hope use at university and beyond. I thoroughly enjoyed applying my academic skills to real life problems.
Besides my academic achievements, I am currently learning piano to Grade 6 and I have also taught myself both the guitar and the cello, showing that I am a self-led, independent learner. Being section leader in orchestra and a committed member of the netball and volleyball teams has helped me to develop the leadership and teamwork skills that are vital for engineers to possess.
Furthermore, I composed and collated the music for a staging of 'Through the Looking Glass', demonstrating my ability to see projects through to completion, as well as my time management skills as I only had a matter of weeks to create them.
Problem solving is still at the core of my extra curricular activities, having been a member of the Senior Maths Challenge team, in addition to having a part time waitressing job at a local pub where I must think independently and solve queries presented to me by customers.
Logical, practical and innovative thinking are essential for success as an engineer and I strongly believe I possess these qualities. I am excited to start my career as a civil engineer and I look forward to the day that my structures will inspire other children to be as inquisitive as I was.