Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement
Mechanical engineering is where all other branches of engineering originate from.
There was an article in New Scientist about a company called Biomechatronics Research Group, which is researching techniques of getting living nerves to grow around and interface directly with prosthetic limbs.
This incredible technology is being developed jointly by biologists and mechanical engineers.
A project can enable you to be at the cutting edge of biology or on the cutting edge of space transportation developing the SABRE engine for the Skylon space plane. I want to have this broad understanding of engineering that allows me to work on such a variety of projects.
At college, the subjects that I enjoy the most are physics and mechanical maths as a lot of the work involves solving complex problems by applying mathematical and scientific principles to them. It is very satisfying when you get to the answer, very much like solving a puzzle.
This is what drew me to engineering; at its core it is solving problems. During an engineering Headstart course at the University of Cambridge that I attended, a particular talk by Tony Purnell the current head of technical development of the British cycling team stuck with me.
He explained that the body weight of the cyclists is kept as low as safely possible, as a single kilogram can make a 20 minute difference in certain uphill races; due to their weight being the largest force that they need to overcome on uphill sections. Not even humans are safe from engineers when they have a problem to solve.
In addition, I also attended a month long Nuffield research placement at Glyndwr University.
The local Toyota engine plant wanted the university to create a VR training simulator to train their employees to use a forklift truck; this was the project that I was involved with.
The project required effective teamwork and time management; there was a great deal of work to be done and a tight timescale to do it.
This greatly developed my ability to work as a team, an essential skill for an engineer. I am currently in the process of getting our research assessed for a gold CREST award.
Looking for more experience with mechanical engineering, I went on work experience at Ricardo, a prototype vehicle design and development company. I was involved with finding engine variables that affected cylinder pressure on an engine, to see if reducing it would prevent a crack forming on the piston skirt.
I also showed them how to create a 3D model of the piston using photogrammetry; one of the methods I researched for capturing real world objects on my Nuffield research placement. They were very interested in this technique are currently doing more research into it.
I have already begun to develop skills that would make a good engineer. Many of these skills have been developed through my time working at Glasfryn Parc, an outdoor adventure centre; I have been working there part time for over 18 months and I am both a go kart marshall and an archery instructor.
A lot of my work involves me teaching customers how to use potentially dangerous equipment; naturally this greatly developed my communication skills and made me a more confident public speaker, I also have basic practical mechanical skills as I often carry out basic repairs to the go karts.
Outside of work, I develop other useful skills through being an active member of my college. I was re-elected as my class’ representative on the college council for a second year and I am a voluntary librarian. Both require me to be responsible over important decisions and actions.
I have both the practical experience and academic ability to have the best possible start in developing myself as a professional engineer. We live in a rapidly developing world on the brink of major change, the possibilities of what I could be involved with in my lifetime excites me.
Mechanical engineering is where all other branches of engineering originate from...