Personal Statement: Construction Design and Engineering Studies

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I have held a keen interest in the way that construction affects the way things work since primary school, when I took part in a one-day CITB construction course. As part of the day’s activities we had to construct a roof which would remain rigid, and a bridge that could support a weight, and this sparked my interest and made me think about the partnership between science, maths and design. My studies over the past two years, particularly the Mechanics modules of my Maths course, have re-enforced this passion, and have provided me with answers and evidence for the questions raised all those years back, such as why roofs incorporate a triangulated structure.

The coursework element of my Physics course has allowed me to explore my interest in the design of buildings, and I plan to design, make and test models of earthquake proof buildings in order to identify ideal structures. The material-design topic in the Physics course widened my knowledge of micro and macroscopic properties, and highlighted the importance of appropriate material choice for different applications. I was especially interested in composite materials and fibre-reinforcement, which is found in the design of reinforced concrete.

As often as possible, I read issues of the NCE magazine. I enjoy learning of developments in the Engineering world, and taking a look at new projects. I recently read ‘Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down’ by J.E. Gordon. It helped me to gain a greater appreciation of the link between design in natural structure and the adaption of these ideas for a construction application. The chapter on Walls, arches and dams was particularly interesting to me, as it put formulas that I had come across in my Physics studies into practice, and gave them a real sense of importance and utility: they became not only numbers on a page, but real solutions to important construction issues.

Throughout my school life I have taken on many roles and responsibilities, and would hope...
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