Pursuing engineering will give me the opportunity to gain skills to overcome the biggest challenges that today’s engineers are facing in a rapidly evolving world. I am particularly keen in studying mechanical engineering for its rigorous application of mathematics and physics to study the behavior of moving objects and relish the ability of using creative problem solving in real life situations by putting familiar scientific concepts into context.
Learning about the many applications of differential equations in A-level mathematics has led me to develop an interest in fluids. This prompted me to read “How things work” (Louis A. Bloomfield) and sections of the book “Flight without Formulae” (A.C. Kermode) which also gave me a qualitative understanding of the principles of flight and propulsion. Reading these books has helped me interpret vital physics concepts through everyday objects. For example, how a golf ball behaves when airborne by determining the type of airflow using the Reynolds numbers to give an indication of whether the airflow is governed by viscosity or inertia.
Programming and computer aided design is an area I sought to develop after an introduction to MATLAB and Solid Works at a shadowing scheme at the University of Cambridge and UNIQ summer school respectively. The latter of which I used to model and render a rotor assembly enabling me to learn both theory and application simultaneously. In addition, I have used C to program a robot that used an infrared proximity sensor to follow a designated path. I thoroughly enjoyed these activities and have motivated me to further my knowledge of python and SQL by watching a series of Harvard’s University CS50 lectures.
This summer I arranged an internship at Mott MacDonald, an engineering firm where I worked alongside engineers on the High Speed 2 project. Teamwork and verbal communication were essential during my time there as I had to get my ideas across when completing a geotechnical desk study. Another instance where I enjoyed working as a team was at a physics project at Imperial College where I worked with other students to build, test and evaluate air-propelled rockets by considering many aspects of the design such as form drag to minimize the aerodynamic resistance allowing the rocket to reach the highest altitude. I attended a conference where I presented our findings to an audience of academics and my peers. These experiences developed my public speaking skills while improving my scientific literacy.
Studying A-level mathematics and further mathematics has improved my ability to break down complex problems into its constituent parts and solve them with confidence. Since I moved from Italy in 2014, I have taken part in challenges such as the UKMT and this year have been invited to take part in the British Physics Olympiad where I hope to refine my problem-solving skills. I also achieved a merit in AEA mathematics which has greatly improved my performance under pressure. Additionally, I have been attending mathematics masterclasses since 2015 at The Royal Institution where I learned complex mathematical concepts outside our school’s curriculum which has helped me appreciate the use of mathematics on a broader spectrum from logic to topology.
In my spare time, I enjoy overclocking and building custom desktop computers, as I have developed an interest in hardware design and optimization. Building computers has taught me about the many elements to consider such as compatibility and the financial considerations required to carry out a project to conclusion, skills which I hope to utilize to an engineering project of a larger scale.
I believe a degree in mechanical engineering is my next step towards being part of the next generation of problem solvers. I am ready to embark on this journey and take on new challenges that I will encounter throughout and look forward to an exciting career in engineering.