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Statement of Purpose for a major in Fluid/Thermal Sciences (MS Mechanical)

ShantanuB 1 / 2  
Dec 3, 2011   #1
With the aim of being part of some of the world's finest research concerning Fluid and Thermal Sciences, and armed with sound technical knowledge and a 'take no prisoners' attitude, I wish to apply for a Master's course at the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department of the XXX University.

My decision to pursue graduate studies roots from my personal experiences right through school. I was always drawn towards Science and doing well in relevant subjects motivated me to pursue an undergraduate engineering course. Growing up appreciating Newtonian Mechanics and marveling at engineering masterpieces like the Space Shuttle, Honda's Asimo and Volkswagen's W16 engine, I knew that Mechanical engineering was the right course for me. Apart from securing the 84th rank in the Engineering Common Entrance Test from roughly 300,000 candidates, I was awarded the State Government's Tuition Fee Waiver Scholarship .

However, it wasn't until my junior year, when I was exposed to fields like Fluid Mechanics, Heat and Mass Transfer and Internal Combustion Engines, that I wanted to study these subjects in greater detail. Studying Fluid Mechanics and Computational Fluid Dynamics as part of my undergraduate curriculum made me realize that although the behavior of fluids has been studied for centuries, a thorough understanding of the same still eludes us. The fundamental three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations were developed in the 19th century, but a set of smooth and globally defined velocity vector and pressure field that satisfy the same are yet to be discovered. The chaotic nature of turbulent flows has led scientists to turn to numerical approaches to obtain approximate, yet satisfactorily accurate solutions to the same. Understanding these impediments has roused my curiosity and has served as my primary source of motivation for pursuing graduate studies.

Studying Internal Combustion Engines as part of my curriculum, I learned about the actual thermodynamic functioning of the engines that drive a wide range of our machines. It was interesting to know how the principles of Fluid Mechanics relate to such cases, be it regarding the study of essential turbulence required for smoother combustion, or of the rather secondary convection of residual heat to the atmosphere. While I thoroughly enjoyed studying them, I don't wish to stop here; I want to learn more about the intricacies of the constructs of engines: I wish to learn more about compression swirls in Combustion Ignition (CI) engines and how changing the piston head contour affects the same and also about ignition lag and the underlying pre-ignition reactions and flame propagation in Spark Ignition (SI) Engines.

Through my Master's education, I want to acquire a profound understanding of the stochastic behavior of turbulent flow fields and learn about the various models which help anticipate this behavior in different physical scenarios. I want to know the extent to which the analytical methods can be employed in fluid flow analysis and augment my knowledge of numerical modeling of turbulent flow problems. Furthermore, acquiring a better understanding of turbulence would also be instrumental in the analysis of the propagation of the flame front and its effect on the combustion in SI Engines and in modeling the swirl patterns in CI engines.

In alignment with my interests in Fluid and Thermal Sciences, my senior year project, titled 'Design Optimization and CFD Analysis of Heat Transfer Through Fins' aims at studying the effect of fin geometry on its performance characteristics. The project aims at understanding how and to what extent CFD may be used as a design and analysis tool. For this, fins of up to five different cross-sections will be fabricated using dimensions that prove optimal for each shape from the CFD analysis in ANSYS Fluent. The actual performance characteristics will be compared with those predicted by the numerical analysis and the best fin geometry, subject to factors like size and material requirements will be decided. The apparatus that we prepare for the project will be used as a supplement for the development of our Thermal Engineering Laboratory and will be used in the future by students to understand convective heat transfer through fins shapes that are not part of their formal curriculum.

I want my graduate education to culminate into a doctoral research and, further, I foresee myself as a post-doctoral researcher working with an academic or research-based professional organization. My vision of an ideal job is one where resources are unlimited and new challenges are to be overcome each day. Engaging in scientific research would let me put all my knowledge to the test and learn something new each day. I would also be able to work with bright and like-minded people or guide junior researchers and spread my knowledge, both of which I find extremely enriching and rewarding.

While my performance in college exams, standardized tests and co-curricular activities indicate my competence, the research I am currently doing as part of my senior year project will further enhance my analytical skills to solve complex engineering problems. Studying at your esteemed university will give me an opportunity to interact with some of the world's brightest minds and working in a highly demanding environment will help get the best out of me. I am aware of the standards expected out of students at the XXX University and, knowing that I have been dedicated towards my ventures in the past, I believe I have the aptitude, resilience and resolution to meet the same. All this, together with a first rate faculty that encourages research in my area of interest will augment my research potential and, ultimately, help me realize the goals that I have set for myself.
padma420 1 / 3  
Dec 3, 2011   #2
Its an well written essay showing a strong background study and motivation to pursue master degree....
OP ShantanuB 1 / 2  
Dec 3, 2011   #3
Thanks for your encouraging words, Hasibul. Can anyone else critique the essay?

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