It was only until
quite recently that I fully comprehended the wider effects of engineering and
learnt to understand another side to it. As Matleena Kniivilä states in
‘Industrial Development and Economic Growth’, a 20-year gap in the last century
alone has led to a 20% poverty decline due to rapid increases in industry. This
statement taught me to appreciate that engineering is about the utilization of
scarce resources and adapting to our ever-changing society to further enhance
the world we live in, as opposed to simply just building things. It is for this
reason that I find Cornell so fitting; Cornell is an institute that recognizes
the potential it has to positively influence the wider community spanning
beyond the university itself.
Gaining as much hands-on experience as possible is an
integral part of becoming an engineer and has always been one of my goals as I
am a very practical person, driven by the prospect of discovering something
new. A weeklong placement at Heathrow Airport Limited, shadowing maintenance
engineers across three terminals and the Central Heathrow workshop, was an
invaluable opportunity to develop knowledge that cannot be gained in the
classroom. Working with specialist equipment and interacting with experienced
people allowed me to build upon practical skills, as well as transferrable
skills such as organization and cohesive team working, all of which I have continued
to put to use in the classroom.
Adapting to today’s constraints was reiterated in ‘Physics in Action’, a
lecture I attended at University College London. A key topic regarding the
change from Formula 1 to Formula E piqued my curiosity. I was intrigued to
learn how the motorsport community was taking action making this change from
fossil fuels to cleaner energies. It made me question why this change was being
made. I realized that engineering is
about finding ways of accommodating the strains on our environment and economy.
With this, I uncovered a newfound interest in energy systems which became even
more significant when shortly afterwards, I read ‘Grand Challenges for
Engineering’, published by the National Academy of Engineers. This led me to
the conclusion that, now more than ever, there is a demand for sustainable
energy sources and that we must surpass this obstacle in the imminent future.
The extensive energy systems research conducted at Cornell along with
other essential research topics at the Sibley School of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering are why I find Cornell the ideal environment to study engineering.
The innovative research into BioEnergy at the Erickson Lab using optofluidic
reactors as well other energy projects offer the potential to help me pursue my
aspirations of finding sustainable fuels, which will revolutionize the transport
industry. Cornell will challenge me to ask more questions, pursue new ideas and
continue to inspire me to find new ways of advancing society all as part of a
Cornell’s programs dedicated to entrepreneurship will enable me to carry
on building on skills I gained from Young Enterprise, which helped me achieve
winner of ‘Most Innovative Product 2017’. I am interested to explore the
business side of engineering as I believe through creative entrepreneurship,
staff guidance and collaboration we can put the knowledge gained from an
engineering course to use in real world situations.
The attention given to finding ways of improving our world whilst
simultaneously providing a world class education is a rarity not found in many
college systems. I share the same virtues of wanting to cause positive change in
the world as Cornell. Last year my Young Enterprise team raised a large amount
of awareness of mental health within our school community through marketing our
product: the Sensebox. I look forward to
continuing to use these skills but also learn new ones along the way at
college. Ultimately, I believe I will thrive at this world class institute as
it will support my aspiration in becoming a global leader in engineering.