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Sample Statement of Purpose for Chemical Engineering

It is always difficult to foretell what kind of a person a child will grow into in the future. This axiom can apply to me perfectly. In my elementary school, I won the second prize for XX and this cultivated in me the ambition to become a mathematician. However, as I grew up, I found my real interest was in chemistry. This interest led me to be fascinated with all the subjects related to it, Applied Chemistry during my undergraduate program and Chemical Engineering during my Master’s program. What is more, I am determined to take up chemical engineering as my lifelong pursuit.

My formal advanced education in chemistry started with my undergraduate program in Applied Chemistry at the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of XX University. As is often said, the journey of exploring the realm of knowledge and probing into the unknown is infinite and strenuous. However, to me, the desire to fulfill ambitions and the joy from discoveries prevailed over any sense of hardship. My undergraduate program was as rewarding as it was joyful.

I believed that the most important task as a undergraduate was to lay a firm groundwork in terms of the basic knowledge and experimental techniques so that more advanced studies could be pursued. Based on this awareness, I decided that a good job in all the core courses, including experiment courses, was primary. I tried to understand the principle underlying each chemical phenomenon and how each principle was derived. To do so, I had to understand the textbooks thoroughly and supplement my classroom education with information from the Internet, the library, the lectures and other sources. This way of learning allowed me to become familiar not only with the core courses like Physical Chemistry, Principles of Chemical Engineering, Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Analysis, Calculus, etc. but also with quite courses not offered to students of majoring in chemical engineering such as Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Physics, Spectroscopy Analysis, Chromatography Analysis and Fine Chemicals Synthesis. My dedicated academic efforts paid off—I was awarded scholarships for six times, including 2 highly competitive first-class scholarships (only available to top 5%).

Subsequent to my undergraduate program, I undertook a Master’s program at Department of Chemical Engineering, University of XX and with it I delved deeper into the fascinating world of chemical engineering and performed some pioneering research. Considering the fact that China is country rich in biomass and that the conversion of biomass resources into fuels and other useful chemical products would significantly reduce dependence on the exhaustible but unrenewable fossil fuels, I chose to concentrate on the topic XX under the guidance of Prof. XXX, my supervisor. As part of a XX and sponsored by XX , our research would decrease environmental pollution and promote sustainable social and economic development.

The underlying principle behind my research was to liquefy the raw materials of wood into biomass heavy oil, with distilled water as solution. My experiments examined the effect of such factors as reaction temperature, duration, ratio of biomass/water, the chemical composition of the raw material, and catalyst on the liquefaction of wood and the productivity of liquefied products. As the research has not been conducted on an extensive scale in China, I had to formulate research plan, consult technical literature, set up the laboratory, procure necessary equipment, and fix technical problems. For example, when I found that the mechanical pressure meter on the autoclave, the main equipment of the lab, displayed low sensitivity and precision, I added an electronic one to fix the problem.

As a crystallization of my research findings, my research paper XX has been published by XX. In addition, the same journal XX has accepted another paper of mine entitled XX Through those researches, I have mapped out my research interests. In the broad world of chemical engineering, the knowledge I have gained is just a tiny faction and it is necessary for me to venture into the even greater world of the unknown and the unexplored. As far as biomass resources are concerned, we can use them as an important renewable resource. Through thermochemical means like pyrolysis and gasification and through biological means like fermentation, they can be converted into fuels and other industrially meaningful products. So far, even though we have been living in the shadow of global energy crisis, no effective alternatives have been unraveled. If we can discover through chemical engineering feasible substitutes for fossil fuels, immense contributions can be made to human advances as a whole.

I am deeply interested in chemical engineering as a lifelong career and I am determined to develop myself into a well-trained chemical engineer. Yet I am clearly aware the immense efforts I have to make in order to fulfill this aspiration. This constitutes the very motivation behind my present application for a Ph. D. program from the Department of Chemical Engineering of the XX University. There are some important reasons for my choosing your esteemed university. The most important reason is that its research on biobased products is one of the strongest research orientations, which perfectly matches my past research experience. Your strong faculty is also an important factor; the 1:1.9 faculty/student ratio promises to give each student sufficient instruction and attention, allowing for close communication. Finally, your curriculum is scientifically designed, requiring students not only to focus on core subjects within their own discipline but also go beyond their discipline to attend courses in other departments in order to develop a broad ken of knowledge. All those make me believe that I will receive the best education I can expect.

I am convinced that I am a worthy candidate for your program. I received a BS degree for my undergraduate program and a Master’s degree in engineering. This science and engineering background may give me important advantages over other applicants. I also have the experience of working as teaching assistant to my advisor in two courses—Advanced Chemical Thermodynamics and Green Chemistry. This may enable me to contribute to your program through my teaching assistantship. Last but not least, I have evolved a strong ability to perform independent research. Together with my sound academic foundation, my important research potential will make me very successful in your program as in my past programs.

 


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