If there were any better time to choose a future in engineering, it would be now. The future that was once dreamed of is slowly coming to life with the birth of self-driving cars and self-lacing shoes which have been postulated by futurologists for decades while greener machines are being created for the good of the environment.
I feel very strongly that I have a future in mechanical engineering. Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design emphasizes design and analysis principles, focusing not only on failure prevention but also the importance of commercial efficiency. These core values are reflected by the team at Harbin Institute of Technology who developed a new spatial-frequency analysis method to evaluate the surface profiles of crystal optics. In its essence, we need to consider the different environments that a product can be subject to and come up with feasible alternatives to make them viable anywhere. Engineers have to cooperate as a team, applying the knowledge of their respective disciplines to make a final product. With the advent of Industry 4.0, where machines need to autonomously function and communicate among themselves, consequently, engineers need to be able to communicate effectively as they work on shaping the future.
My engineering interest was piqued by the show “Phineas and Ferb”, which follows a theme of building all sorts of fun inventions, playing a huge part in developing my aspiration for creating. Some of their ideas would actually be used by several major industries like a bio dome to simulate different climates, which would revolutionize today’s greenhouses. It taught me about the need to be creative and resourceful to use common items to build new things.
One of my hobbies is sneakers, which can surprisingly be related to engineering. Adaptive shoelaces have been created and midsoles are being 3D printed from photosensitive resin. The vision is to be able to scan one’s foot and produce their own unique sneaker. This technology is rather new so it is quite costly. I want to make it affordable for everyone so we can live in comfort and style. I have always been a top student, but I found that A-Levels were a class above what I studied before in secondary school. I learned to apply several disciplines at once as questions start to become more realistic, making me feel like I was learning something useful. These challenges are interesting and tough but nothing that cannot be overcome with practice and experience. After solving a question, I always remember to humble myself because this is just the start of what there is to come. Despite participating in many societies, like prefects and choir, I found myself valuing my time as a Scout the most. I worked my way up to the top and was appointed Senior Commander and Instructor. With these positions, I learned what it meant to raise a new generation of Scouts. I taught them the importance of discipline and teamwork in not only just scouting, but also in real life. By imparting these lessons to them, I had to lead by example and live a life standing by these principles to not only improve myself but also influence the environment around me.
To give back to the community, I have volunteered at Tzu Chi, an NGO focused on environmental and humanitarian work. The leaders talk about how resources like trees are steadily declining whereas discarded plastics are polluting the earth. We help out by sorting materials into piles for recycling. Even different types of paper and plastic have slightly different values. These little differences in cost make a large difference as all profits would go towards aiding less fortunate communities.
Undoubtedly, I have the soft skills and qualifications to be an engineer. The connections I have made throughout my experiences will definitely be valuable in the future. My time and energy will go towards improving myself to not only become a great engineer but also a better person to give humanity a better place to live.
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