Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Incorporating teamwork, curiosity and scientific knowledge to solve complex problems and improve the quality of life is my biggest motivation to pursue a degree in engineering. Having lived in a developing country for 12 years before moving to England, I have personally seen the effect teamwork and innovation can have on a community. I have been interested in this field for a long time but the pivotal moment in making this decision was when I attended a workshop by the iGEM team of Oxford. Seeing multiple disciplines come together as part of one project that could potentially save lives inspired me to pursue engineering.
The lifestyle of modern humans, which would have been seemingly utopian to our ancestors, could only exist due to the researchers who dedicate their lives to learning for the benefit of humanity. Doing two different summer schools at Oxford and Durham has helped me develop the scientific skills necessary to form the evidence base necessary for engineering in the hope that I myself could contribute to the advancements in research. During these, I had to write up a scientific report on topics like crystallography and the mechanics to deriving energy from wind to successfully complete the summer schools. Independently researching topics like these that I knew very little about, meant that I had to adopt flexible problem-solving skills. I also plan to undertake an EPQ to develop these skills even further.
The attention to detail necessary for design was made clear to me when I read the book, To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design, where the author details how one of the worst disasters of the 1980’s was caused by a slight difference in the placement in steel rods underneath a walkway. It happened because of miscommunication between the original designer and the manufacturing company. I also witnessed the need for effective communication and attention to detail during a period of volunteering at a care home where most of the patients suffered from debilitating mental illness such as dementia. The frailty of the elderly patients was apparent as soon as I started working. This meant that it was essential for me to develop teamwork and communication skills since a simple cup of coffee to the wrong patient could be the difference between life and death.
To prepare for university, I took part in my college’s realizing aspirations program in Engineering, during which I had to work in a team to create specific products. As time was limited, I had to learn to work under pressure and efficiently with a team to form creative solutions to many problems we encountered. By taking part in extra activities from other strands such as computer science, I became one of the few students in my college to achieve a platinum award in this program.
I have taken the initiative to be part of various extracurricular activities like the building and repairing computers enrichment activity that got involved with last year, where I learned the basics of computing and how it works. I have also attended various lectures led by Isaac physics to satisfy my curiosity and learn additional maths and physics skills even going as far as joining their online mentoring course where I am assigned a mentor who sets me weekly assignments to develop my understanding of physics even further.
My experiences have revealed to me the challenges, but also the rewards that come with this degree. Using my natural curiosity towards science in real-world applications to shape the world strengthens my aspiration to become an engineer. With advancements in science accelerating the development of unique solutions to complicated problems, I would love the chance to be involved in this extensive discipline.