The aspect I admire most about engineering is its problem-solving approach which combines physics and mathematics to face problems of increasing complexity. Engineering is both used to solve human problems as well as satisfy human curiosity. A great example is NASA’s rover Opportunity, which survived almost 15 years longer than expected against all odds. We can attribute opportunity’s success to the excellent engineering work done which enabled the rover to withstand the harsh conditions on Mars. For instance, its wheels were specially designed to grip to its uneven surface. The rover’s journey has had a long-lasting impact on space exploration and has shown how engineers are consistently able to solve complex problems and open new doors to society.
In high school, I was given the task of creating a battery-operated race car. Our first hurdle was learning how to use the modelling program SolidWorks, as well as a milling machine, a 3D printer and a welding machine. I did so by watching videos online and through trial-and-error. Our main obstacle was keeping in mind the aerodynamics and stress analysis of the car. Our first prototype did not withstand the pressure of the speed at which it was propelled, notably at the main pressure points of the chassis. After researching the assembly of race cars and the way each part is linked, I made the decision to reinforce these vulnerable areas by adding an additional block to the car, which after multiple trials was able to maintain the structure of the car while conserving its flexibility. I gained insight into the world of engineering and all its complexities, in which an initial concept goes through a process of designing, manufacturing, assembling, and testing to finally get an end product.
I also carried out an internship at the sustainable architecture company GreenA Consultants. An aspect that intrigued me was the ability of these architectural engineers to design the structure of a building while simultaneously keeping in mind the aesthetic and sustainable aspects. I looked into one of their biggest projects, Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4. I was fascinated by their ability to design an avant-garde building based fully on sustainable construction methodologies, notably the use of shaded double-glazed glass to reduce artificial lighting by allowing natural light and by limiting thermal transfers resulting in minimized air conditioning. This experience taught me to work with others while autonomously organizing myself in terms of a schedule, and improved my research, organization and presentation skills. I also deepened my knowledge on different aspects of construction and design which will be helpful in my studies.
Intrigued by the link between engineering and the artistic aspect of architecture, I watched Bran Ferren’s Ted Talk which left a lasting impact on me. I was captivated by the idea that the worlds of art and design could be compatible with science and engineering, and that their combination could result in unique, life-changing projects capable of withstanding the test of time. Indeed, engineering today is no longer simply about applying mathematical and scientific principles to face our world’s issues but it is more so about using creativity and art to provide pioneering, innovative and sustainable solutions, and I look forward to deepening this idea in university.
I enjoy using art as a creative outlet, through painting, knitting and crafting. Having taken weekly art classes for ten years, I participated in numerous competitions, such as the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Competition for which I was awarded a notable award. This hobby has taught me to meticulously pay attention to details whilst bearing in mind the final product.
Deepening my scientific knowledge throughout my studies has strongly encouraged me to pursue engineering at university, and I believe that I have the motivation and passion for sciences which are needed to pursue a career in this field.