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Sample Personal Statement for Environmental Engineering

The rate at which the environment in China deteriorates is alarming. It is even feared that the entire Chinese civilization will terminate if this deterioration continues uncurbed. However, equally astounding is the reluctance on the part of the general public to take concrete actions against this dire possibility. What is encouraging in the face of this bleak picture is that a generation of responsible young people, including myself, is making relentless efforts for the rescue of this much abused environment. In my undergraduate program at Hebei Engineering University, Tianjin, and graduate program at Beijing Technology and Business University, I have chosen to major in Environmental Engineering. Between those two programs, I had 2-year work experience (1997 ~1999) at Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co., Ltd where I was responsible for environmental monitoring and pollution control. Nevertheless, it seems that environmental protection is such an immense task that no matter what efforts we make, they never suffice. The backward condition of China in the field of environmental protection makes it necessary for us to learn from the experiences of the advanced countries. On the other hand, with the increasing awareness of the importance of environmental protection, environmental control is developing into a new industry with a promising prospect. To pursue a successful personal career in this field has become my aspiration. Under such circumstances, I file this personal statement to your esteemed university under the hope of seeking more advanced trainings in the field of environmental engineering.

In the course of nearly a decade’s education and research, I have made some tentative achievements in the field of environmental engineering. My thesis, entitled Design for the Disposal Plant of the Sewage Emitted by the Printing and Dyeing Mills of ShengZe Township in Jiangsu Province, focused on the treatment of the waste water emitted by the local printing and dyeing mills by means of anaerobic-aerobic method, which was a quite advanced approach at that time. I collaborated closely with the students in my project team to formulate the design parameters, the processing procedures and other steps. In our design, 70% percent COD in the sewage could be eliminated anaerobically and 95% percent BOD could be eliminated aerobically. So far, the plant has been put into use, playing a major role in the local environmental protection. My thesis, which was based on this project, was rated “Class A”, an achievement which only 3% students in the entire university could attain.

Another similar project in which I participated was the Sewage Disposal Workshop of Xi’an Brewery. In this project, the design of the anaerobic tank was the key. I conducted detailed analysis of the design parameters and the structure of the anaerobic reactor. After the debugging, it could eliminate 98% COD, an achievement up to the advanced domestic level. In the project, the ingenious design of the 3-phase separator in the anaerobic pond received national patent.

After graduation, I found employment with Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co., Ltd where I was in charge of the operation of production facilities and the monitoring and the controlling of detrimental materials in the emitted sewage. The best part of this 2-year work experience was that it made me realize that environmental science, including pollution control, is a comprehensive science subsuming many individual subjects. To be better qualified, I had to acquire a more systematic education. Therefore, I embarked on a Mater’s program in which I studied the most recent theories in the field of sewage treatment, atmospheric pollution control, environmental monitoring. I focused on comprehensive atmospheric evaluation, environmental chemistry, and environmental system analysis. In order to strengthen myself, I paid special attention to the study in biology, computer skills, and the relevant mathematical methods.

During my Master’s program, I have been most interested in the monitoring of water pollutants by using biosensor. My thesis -- The Study of Amperometric Tyrosinase-Membrane Electrode Modified with Maltodextrin for Detection of Phenols – is such an instance of applying the biosensor to environmental monitoring. It was designed to maximize response electric current and to reduce the lower limit of testing by selecting appropriate activators to enhance the activity of the enzyme. I developed the method of using the membrane as a vehicle to fix tyrosinase. The amperometric tyrosinase-membrane electrode I developed could detect phenols with greater precision and speed (20 times quicker than the conventional 4-azyl antipyrine colorimetric method). In order to turn this research finding into a useful product and to reduce the cost of making electrode, I researched on biological fixation and improved our design of instruments. Currently we are cooperating with a major domestic manufacturer in analytical instruments to turn out products of this kind. The Fluid Injection System (FIS) we designed can realize online monitoring and the sample machine is expected to be produced within the end of this year. The entire project has been rated by the State Environmental Protection Commission as “demonstrating leading technology by both international and domestic standards.” My thesis, based on the research findings of this project, was again rated “Class A”.

In connection with this research project, I wrote a research paper entitled Research of Tyrosinase Biosensor for Detection of Phenols, which has been published in the Journal of Beijing Technology and Business University in January 2002. The two other papers to be published are The Study of a Tyrosinase Membrane Electrode Modified with Maltodextrin for Detection of Phenols and Using a New-Style UASB Reaction to Treat Beer Wastewater. Those important research achievements can fully testify to my research potential.

By accumulating abundant experimental skills and experience, I have served as an important research assistant to my supervisor. I have assisted my supervisor to have done the appraisal for the project “Study of Non-polluting and Low-Cost Tyrosinase Electrode for Detection of Phenols”. In addition, by carrying out a considerable amount of independent research work, I have helped him to have succeeded in applying for the project The Detection of Coli.e in Water by Means of Biosensor. Finally, I have attended “Engineering Science and Technology Forum – Problems and Strategies for Urban Environment” and a number of other academic conferences. Those activities have enabled me to keep informed of the latest developments in the field of environmental engineering.

In conclusion, I have made more achievements than the majority of my peers. I attribute this fact to my serious commitment to environmental science and to my diligence. My scholastic ranking on entering the university was below average. But with persistent efforts, I managed to attain a top ranking in my class, achieving highest scores in the exams of seven core courses including Environmental Micro-Biology. In my undergraduate program, I was awarded the China Petrochemical Co., Scholarship. My scores for the entrance examination of the Master’s program were also the highest and I succeeded in maintaining this top-level performance throughout the program. For this, I received Scholarship for the Student of Excellence. I believe that in my future degree program, I will continue to achieve academic excellence.

“The earth does not belong to the human beings but the human beings belong to the earth.” As part of global environmental protection enterprise, China’s environmental efforts call for highly qualified researchers and administrators in environmental protection. I have decided to apply for a Ph. D program in either of the following fields: Monitoring and Control of Industrial Wastewater by Through Technical Measures/or Environmental System Analysis and Management. I will make full use of the education by strong faculty at your esteemed university, advanced research facilities and an inspiring academic climate. While continuing to deepen my theoretical knowledge, I will endeavor to acquire latest information on environmental science and technology. In addition, I will continue to improve my experimental skills, including the skills of operating new instruments. All those efforts are designed for just one purpose – to develop myself into a leading environmental specialist who can make important contributions to the country’s fledgling cause of environmental engineering.


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