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Engineering personal statement

Sample Engineering Personal Statement

My interest in Mechanical Engineering derives partly from my early life experiences, helping to maintain the vehicles on my father’s farm, and also from a long-standing curiosity about how machines work, and an ambition to become a commercial pilot, for whom a good working knowledge of Engineering is an essential requirement. Mechanical Engineering seems to be at the root of most aspects of the modern world, governing such things as diverse as the design of an office stapler to the construction of a jet engine – indeed anything with moving parts. I am keen to explore the physics and mathematics that underlie the processes in Mechanical Engineering, covering areas such as thermodynamics, statics and structures, stress measurement, fluid mechanics and control systems. I am interested in computer-aided design and engineering, the management of environmental performance in engines, and the analysis of why they sometimes fail. My reading in the subject has given me dramatic new insights into the possibilities offered by the science. I read James Adams’ Flying Buttresses, Entropy and O-Rings, which was a wonderfully entertaining history of Engineering, discussing factors such as the trial and error method so often used, and the balance the Engineer always has to maintain between his inventiveness and practical reality, usually apparent in the shortage of funds. I also enjoyed George Petroski’s Invention by Design: How Engineers get from Thought to Thing, describing the various ways problems are addressed by Engineers, and considering the cultural factors which might affect such work. The story of Engineering which emerges from these works has caught my imagination and inspired my own ambition to be a member of this most rewarding profession.

In addition to my involvement with machinery at the farm, I have also seen technology at work on a visit to the Soil Manufacturing Dynamics headquarters in Newcastle, where I was awarded a prize because I was able to grasp the principles of the machines they used so quickly. Other work experience has included a week’s placement in one of the Auchan complexes in France, principally to improve my language skills.

Sport is a major part of my life, and something I would hope to be involved in at competition level at university. The various disciplines have allowed me to develop excellent team-playing skills, to communicate clearly, and to lead when necessary – all important qualities in the world of Engineering, construction and maintenance. I have captained my school 1st XV and also play for Northumberland County and the Newcastle Falcons Academy, and have been selected for the North of England Independent Schools rugby trials, 2012. I play rugby league, I am a keen swimmer (and was HMRC National Freestyle Champion for three consecutive years) and have been skiing since I was three. I went to Ethiopia on the World Challenge Programme, helping to build a school in the process, and I took part in a GapForce extreme expedition to Borneo, living in the jungle for three weeks, learning survival skills as well as the importance of tolerance and good communication with one’s colleagues. These achievements are all reflections of the sort of person I am – confident, competitive, determined and eager to confront a challenge in everything I do.

Recently I have begun training as a glider pilot, learning the fundamentals of aerodynamics. One of my heroes is George Cayley, who outlined the principles of powered flight early in the nineteenth century and showed a remarkable understanding of thrust and drag. His inventiveness of thought is another inspiration for me.

My GCSE results are good evidence of my academic ability, and I am confident that my final A-level scores will be of the same quality. I am hard-working, full of curiosity, energetic and enterprising. My commitment to my goal is total, and I believe I have the necessary qualities to become a very successful undergraduate.

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