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TU Delft - Draft of Essay in English for Master Degree in Applied Earth Sciences

Witjak 1 / 1  
Sep 19, 2014   #1

I am writing an essay for MSc in Applied Earth Sciences of TU Delft. The criteria is as described below:

A clear and relevant essay in English (1,000 - 1,500 words) addressing the following:
- Your motivation for taking the MSc programme of your choice.
- Why you are interested in TU Delft and what you expect to find here
- If there are optional specialisations in the MSc programme of your choice: which specialisation(s) interest you most, and why?
- Describe your hypothetical thesis project; what kind of a project would you prefer if you were free to make a choice? Also briefly explain what you would want to explore in your thesis project. Provide a maximum of three hypothetical thesis topics and elaborate on your particular interests in them.

- A brief summary (maximum 250 words) of the thesis work or the final assignment (to be) done for your Bachelor's programme, including information on the credits earned, grade, and full workload.

And below is my draft of essay. I need advice or correction for improvement of my draft. Thank you very much.

My name is Muhammad Witjaksono. I got my bachelor degree in Geological Engineering from Universitas Pembangunan Nasional "Veteran" Yogyakarta. I am currently working at Bengawan Solo River Basin Organization, General Directorate of Water Resources, Indonesia Ministry of Public Works. Having looked through the TU Delft website, I was very delighted to find the opportunity to take master degree in Applied Earth Sciences at the TU Delft. I have decided to apply this programme because I am sure it would strongly enrich my experience and help me in my prospective career. Working as public servant in construction sector, and related to my educational background, I feel need to focus to what I have got at bachelor degree. Practical approach is something more important than theoretical ones recently. I often find that solutions available are not applicable to some condition, and it takes effect to quality of work. Moreover, we, Government of Indonesia through Ministry of Public Works, are going to build 5 large dams as an effort for food security and flood control policy. It is another reason for me to choose this programme, where engineering geologists is needed to maintain a good quality of construction work. Last but not least, I consider this programme will be a great opportunity to get in touch with Dutch culture and its educational system.

I have chosen to apply for TU Delft because it is a well-known university related to technological development. It is in Top 100 of QS Rankings year 2014, and ranked 16 for engineering and technology. Located in Delft, which is a safe and interesting city, in a picturesque city full of student activities, and within close range within major cities in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. It is also known as "a modern university with a rich tradition". The university encourage creative and independent thinking with a focus on problem solving, and also emphasising in good balance of theory and practice, just like what I need. It has eight faculties and over 30 English-language Master programmes in science, engineering, and design, where all of them are at the forefront of technological development. Supported by outstanding facilities and research institutes, TU Delft meets excellent research and education standards. It also maintains close links with various industry, a strategic alliance contributing to the relevance of its academic programmes and career prospects for its graduates. TU Delft has partnerships with more than thirty leading universities all over the world, enabling students and researchers to increase their international experience through cooperation and exchange. TU Delft is also a member of the prestigious IDEA league of four leading universities of technology and science in Europe: ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen University, Chalmers, and TU Delft itself. With all of explanations above, I have no doubt in my mind that TU Delft is the best choice to achieve my master degree.

If I am accepted to Applied Earth Sciences programme of TU Delft, I plan to take Engineering Geology as my specialisation. As a geologist, I could say engineering geology is branch with less enthusiast, or at least in my country where most geologists work at oil or mining company. On the contrary, engineering geology holds an important key for quality of infrastructure. Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state in the world, situated on the southern extension of the Eurasian Plate and bounded to the south and west by Indian-Ocean Plate and to the east by Philipine Sea and Pacific Plates, crossed by Ring of Fire path, makes this country becomes tectonically active and vulnerable for geohazard. With good comprehension of engineering geology, we can mitigate the negative potency. It is compulsory to understand the properties of sub-surface, their geological origin, and their variability for ground-related projects. Supported with field tests and laboratory measurements, and combine with knowledge of geology, it will become a great combination to start a good construction work. In addition to reducing the risk of negative potency, we can also minimize construction budget with good analysis of engineering geology. It can be concluded that engineering geology is very important as protection of life and property against damage caused by geologic conditions, and I definitely want to take part of such noble intention.

For my hypothetical thesis project, I want to do an investigation of sub-surface properties for dam foundation as my primary topic. As I mentioned above, we are going to build 5 large dams. With 60 meters of average height and 50 millions cubic meters of average reservoir, make these projects need special attention related to dam safety factor. I want to combine geological data such as regional geology, structural geology, stratigraphy, lithology, and core samples with various in-situ and laboratory test such as Standard Penetration Test, Cone Penetration Test, Direct Shear Test, Atterberg limits, and water content. In my experience, engineers tend to override geological aspect in feasibility studies. This condition leads to many changes of design when it comes to construction phase. Thus, the cost of construction increases. And that is the most avoided thing.

For my secondary topic, I am interested to utilization of alternative materials for embankment dam. Limited amounts, both quality or quantity, of material causes problem for embankment dam construction. Geotextiles is nowadays becomes a new alternative for such problem, eventhough its usage still limited in few countries such as France, Germany, and South Africa. I want to deepen this topic from safety factor and economic point of view, which can obtain optimum result.

I achieved my Bachelor degree within 4 years, started in September 2004 finished in October 2008. I earned 146 credits, CGPA 3.17, with Very Excelent predicate. My final assignment title is Geology and Paleocurrent Study of Pulau Balang Formation, Loahui Area, Samarinda Seberang Subdistrict, Samarinda Municipality, East Kalimantan. The output was to know geological condition of research area and to determine sedimentary depositional environment through "ancient current" which recorded in cross-bedding structure of sedimentary rocks. Covering area approximately 60 square kilometers, I did geological mapping with team of 2 people. We walked through mapping area and collected data needed, such as strike and dip measurement of sedimentary beds, fault planes, joints, fold axes, rocks description and identification, outcrop profiling, and measuring geologic sections. For my special study, I took measurements of cross-bedding structure of sedimentary rocks for reconstruction of paleocurrent. After collected field data, next step was processing data. Consists of two steps, laboratory works and studio works. Samples collected being analyzed in various laboratory, such as sedimentology laboratory for limestone analysis and granulometry for grain size analysis, micro-paleontology laboratory for determination of sedimentary depositional environment and rock dating through microfossils, and petrography laboratory for detail mineral compositon and nomenclature of rocks. For studio works, I plotted measuring data onto topographical map, then generate rock formation contact from field data. After that, I made a geological cross-section to determine the subsurface condition of research area. I also made a paleocurrent map for determination of sedimentary depositional environment.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13319 129  
Sep 19, 2014   #2
currently working at Bengawan Solo River Basin Organization, General Directorate of ...Public Works.

I like the formal, respectful tone that you set at the start of this essay. However, I think it is best if you continue the first paragraph by explaining all about your particular interests - the topics that are most fascinating or meaningful to you. I think this part should be saved for the next paragraph:

Having looked through...

I also think it is not good to use "look through" because that sounds so casual, like you chose this program after lunch one day when you are looking through some materials. Instead you should say "studying".

After the sentences in the first paragraph where you introduce yourself and tell where you work, I think you should explain what is most fascinating about the research topic you have chosen. Really share that interesting idea with the reader. That is the only way to catch and secure the reader's interest.

You write very well, and now I think you should focus on making the beginning of the essay like a sharp spear point - focus all of the interest and energy at the beginning of the essay so that the reader becomes interested in your research topic and in you personally. The reader will remember you if you enable her or him to associate your name with something fascinating that they read in your essay. That is why I think it should be adjusted so that more of the focus is on your chosen research topic.

: )
OP Witjak 1 / 1  
Sep 21, 2014   #3
Thank's for the correction, Kevin. I made this essay by expanding on 5 criteria given above, each criteria for one paragraph. I'll rearrange my paragraph and sharpen my beginning part, as sharp as Gillette blade. :))

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