Engineering Personal Statement

When I was part of a team designing a Paralympic wet suit for the National STEM challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed researching materials, designs and working as a team to overcome the challenge. From this I recognised the important role which engineers play in improving the quality of people's lives, and it was this experience in Year 8 that inspired me to want to pursue engineering.

During a lecture on free-standing arches and cables at an Oxford University taster day, we were introduced to the use of mathematical techniques, such as calculus, to model real situations like the curve of an arch and balancing the forces applied to it. This was a fascinating experience. I saw how the maths and mechanics I learn in class are put to use in industry. I later read an article about this in the Physics Review, which again proved that a strong basis in maths was used to model forces on civil projects.

My love of mathematics and physics confirmed my desire to take engineering to a higher level. My interest in structures led me to an Extended Project on the design and construction of tall buildings focused on the structural significance of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai. This allowed me to develop my extended writing and critical evaluation skills which I had already gained from AS History. My research included several books and papers, particularly 'The Evolution of the Buttressed Core' by W.F. Baker, an associate at the architectural firm which designed the Burj Khalifa. I was interested to discover the ways in which the problems of various forces were reduced, including gravitational load and torque. Wider bases, buttressed cores and 'Y' shaped axes were all used allowing a building to increase its height, yet still be stable. I found this article stimulating as it demonstrated to me how far engineers had come from old techniques such as pre-fabricated steel frames.

In summer 2015 I was an intern for a week at Selex ES, an international leader in engineering, participating in several design tasks. One mechanical project analysed the best solution for a suspended camera at a stadium. This involved resolving forces and discussing tests which are used to select materials. I designed and soldered a printed circuit board with microphone and LED display, and constructed a casing for a discrete sound sensing device to hold it. I learned how these principles were scaled up, by sectioning functions into discrete circuits. This has major applications in aeronautics, such as creating sensors for electronic warfare instruments and 'black boxes' in our cars.

In summer 2014 I work shadowed at Kiln Flame Systems, which designs industrial rotary kilns. From observing a senior designer I grasped the basic functions of SolidWorks 3D CAD System. Unsupervised and with only basic system knowledge, I created a 3D model of one of my favourite feats of engineering, Concorde.

Taking part in the UKMT Maths Challenges and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, achieving highly in all, helped me to hone my problem solving and critical thinking skills.

As Head Boy, as well as presenting many speeches to the school community, I lead the student council, run independently of staff, and effectively delegate tasks to a large cohort of prefects, demonstrating my leadership skills. Outside school, as a long-standing member of a youth theatre group and choir, I gain great satisfaction contributing to a performance and enjoy working in a group towards a final production.

I have a passion for French, recognising the importance of international communication in today's global society, so I am independently pursuing my French post-GCSE and wish to continue this at university.

I believe mankind is driven by innovation and change, and that my proven passion for maths and science can be used to engineer projects which will benefit society in the future. I know that engineering will provide me with a wide-ranging and valuable skill-set for both work and life.

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Received offers from all the universities I applied to, including Oxford.


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