Its 5:15am, I wake up, say a word of prayer, complete three sets of push-ups and head for the shower. I pull the lever and bask in the cold cascade, as a certain routine thought courses through my mind. I watch in awe as water gushes out of the shower head, followed by the usual accumulation of both lather and water, then its exit through the shower outlet. That was my first epiphany of Material Balance in Chemical Engineering.
Needless to say, I relate every activity in my life to Chemical Engineering; . From washing plates, sieving cassava granules, the stomach as a reactor, traffic or humans crossing a pedestrian bridge, all I think of is unit operations, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, the list is endless.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, to a middle class but close knit African family, my late father, my mother, uncles, aunts, and preceding siblings all have or had a career in Commerce or the Arts, so I always felt I would naturally be inclined towards social sciences but back in high school, I discovered I had a knack for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer aided courses and Economics and so when the time came to choose an undergraduate major, I chose Chemical Engineering. I made this choice because of the technical knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, economics and management, and information technology along with the prospects of many exciting career choices that Chemical Engineering would offer me.
My long term goal would be to establish my own engineering firm in Nigeria that would provide process design and optimization services using the technical know-hows gained from studied best practices and work experiences I amass overtime. Nigeria is a large country lacking job opportunities with a large percentage of its citizenry uneducated and unemployed and I see this as an untapped market burdened with opportunities to create a legacy.
I completed a rigorous five-year program in Chemical Engineering at Covenant University that focused on mathematical modelling, process design and control theory. My final year project signified a culmination of my undergraduate study and the project involved the 'synthesis of Sodium Aluminate using locally obtained clay and highly economical means', which I led a team of six to achieve.
To help bolster further understanding, I had the opportunity to intern both at 'Studio Press, Nigeria' in 2008, where I functioned as a Quality Assurance personnel and at 'Nigerian Breweries, Lagos', in 2010. My time at the Brew House, Packaging unit and Utilities of Nigerian Breweries made me appreciate the efforts of Process Engineers in designing, optimizing and controlling complex processes. I later worked at Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited, in 2012, as a trainee under the Senior Process Engineer. The time here made me appreciate computer aided designs, concepts and the different software utilized.
Technical University, Dortmund, offering an English-Taught graduate program in Process Systems Engineering made for a great choice for further studies. The PSE curriculum includes courses that arouse my interest such as Reaction Kinetics and Modelling and Simulation. Also, the University is based in Germany, the world leader in Research, Chemistry and Chemical industry, and the country has a reputation for playing a major role in the development of Chemical Engineering. For instance, the Germans invented and industrialized the Haber-Bosch process, which made a great impact on how the entire world weighed the importance of Chemical Engineering.
Likewise, the Federal Republic of Germany has a reputable educational institution, one responsible for the achievements of different great people; who I choose to model after. For example, William Hultz Walker, Warren Lewis and Arthur Little (proud pioneers of Chemical Engineering) and The Brothers Grimm (Jacob & Wilhelm): devoted researchers of German folklore.
Germany's educational expenditure, which is at an impressive 95% of its GDP, depicts how the government rates the importance of good educational standing, not just to its citizenry, but also to international students who choose to study in the country. The educational system has a solid base in both practical and theoretical aspect of learning, which helps to develop the mindset, dexterity and creativity of students.
Furthermore, considering TU's unique location (in Dortmund, a localization noted in Europe for innovative technological development), it becomes clear why it is a logical choice for me, when education has to be paralleled with recreational/extra-curricular activities. Dortmund boasts of spectacular features such as the Signal-Iduna Park and many other interesting attractions. Listing the recreational attributes of Dortmund would be contrastingly incomplete without laying emphasis on its location within the immediate vicinity of major Chemical and Biochemical industries, which offer extensive opportunities for both internships and part-time work as I undergo this choice master's degree program in 'PSE'.
To help ease the language barrier and the acculturation I look forward to experiencing, I have undertaken a German language course from Goethe Institute (on a scholarship and up to B1 level) and I should obtain my 'Zertifikat Deutsch' in April 2013. I am positive this will give me leverage as I proceed for the study.
After acquiring my Masters in Process Systems Engineering, I wish to combine my skills in the design and operation of complex chemical systems with modern computer tools for simulation and apply them to real life situations, thereby putting me in a position to adequately pursue a career in engineering. I also wish to be involved in engineering reforms that will aid unremitting development in my country's engineering industry and ultimately establish my own engineering firm in my home country.
I am convinced studying at TU Dortmund, which is reputable for producing fine graduates, coupled with its proximity to the evolving chemical industry, will broaden my paradigm, expose me to world class education, and give me the opportunity to accomplish my dreams. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to a fruitful association with your university.