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Statement of Objectives for PhD in Control Systems

Nov 14, 2010   #1
Dear all,

I am very much impressed by this essay forum, and I really appreciate the good work. I am planning to apply to a few European Universities for Phd in my area of specialization i.e. control systems. I am yet to include one paragraph that will be university specific, except that this is what I could best draft. It will be of great help, if you could help me to improve my statement. Thanks a lot in advance.

"Statement of Objectives for Doctoral Studies
I am XXXX, a Systems & Control graduate student from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and I would like to pursue my doctoral studies under your guidance at XXXX University. With this essay, I am glad to convey my objectives in doing a PhD.

XXXX University
Write about control research at XXXX University.

Why Research Career
After working for an year, I resigned from my design engineer position at XXXX and accepted a research opportunity under Prof. XXXX (PhD, Cornell University) at XXXX. I worked on controller development for Atomic Force Microscopes with Dr. XXXX (PhD, EPFL Lausanne). The work I carried out gave me a foundation and increased my interest in control systems. These experiences suggested that research career is suitable for me. With this interest and foundation in control system, I joined TU Delft, to do Master of Science (MSc) in Systems & Control with the objective of pursuing PhD upon graduation.

At TU Delft, I am impressed with the education methodology and its effectiveness. Most of my MSc courses consists a combination of theory, simulation and practical experiment. The course Integration Project really helped me to get a good understanding of the field Systems & Control as it requires the application of theory learned in Control Theory, Filtering and Identification and Physical Modelling for Systems and Control, which are obligatory courses of my program. During coursework, I enjoyed studying Robust Control and Model Predictive Control. Their applicability to systems with uncertainty or non-linearity is something that is inevitable in real life problems. From August 2010, I have been doing my graduation project on Nonlinear Vehicle Dynamics Control. During the past few months, I see myself getting more involved with the project as it is a real life control problem. Trying to prove stability and improve robustness of nonlinear controller is really keeping me engaged these days. I am confident that I will be able to achieve the project objective in due course of time. Studying at TU Delft has proven again that it is this research field that interests me the most and I should further expand my horizon for a research career in the field of controls. I am convinced that doing PhD from XXXX University would be a major step towards this objective.

During undergraduate studies, with one of my seniors, I used to conduct lectures and workshops for junior students in the area of analog electronics, digital electronics and robotics. Our practical oriented teaching was highly appreciated and with each session, more students enrolled to learn from us. This experience was an eye-opener as I found teaching very enjoyable. As of now, I have a dream of becoming a teacher at XXXX university. I would like to make good use of the teaching assistant opportunity during PhD. I see this as a good chance where I can sharpen my teaching skills such as finding the right pace students need, offering timely assistance, making assignments that can help the students understand concepts, taking feedback from students, etc.

Quality of Education
During undergraduate studies, I found teaching methodology in my University less challenging. My undergraduate grades are not very good for the same reason. It didn't give much importance in educating and assessing concepts. As a student, I yearned for more knowledge and spent my days in devising and implementing projects. This not only enhanced my command over the domain but also won me several first prizes in national level technical competitions and an IEEE Student Design Contest prize. I realize that my undergraduate studies would have been more enjoyable if the education system were more challenging with practical learning. These events helped me to make an important decision that in future I will try to improve quality of education in XXXX [my country]. During my stay at XXXX university, I would like to observe and learn how high quality education is developed and maintained. I am convinced that I will get to learn many relevant aspects from academicians, students, administrative staff, and the infrastructure at XXXX university.

University - Industry Relations
I have been observing that facilitating University - Industry relations is a delicate task which is not successful everywhere. And this has a significant impact on nation's long term development. For sustainable development, such relations are essential for research projects that are vital for development. Also such relations could act as funding source and thereby reduce burden on public funds from government agencies. In future, I look forward to demonstrate and promote successful University - Industry relations in XXXX [my country]. Towards this long term goal, during PhD, I would like to learn how such relations are made and how to approach an industry for funding a project.

To conclude, I would like to do PhD with the following objectives,
To get good exposure from the research community at XXXX university
To become a researcher in the field of controls
To sharpen my teaching skills with the help of teaching assistantship
To observe and learn how quality education is developed and maintained
To learn how University - Industry relations are made

I thank you for your time and am really looking forward to hear from you."

Best Regards & Thanks

EF_KevinThreads: 8
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[Contributor] 129  
Nov 24, 2010   #2
I am XXXX, a Systems & Control graduate student from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and I would like to pursue my doctoral studies under your guidance at XXXX University. With this essay, I am glad to convey my objectives in doing a PhD.

Hi Anil, thanks for all your participation lately. I wanted to tell you I think this statement above could be better. It seems that the above sentence should convey your particular interests... not an interest simply in the program, but your long term interests that the program will enable you to pursue.

So, I think that opening statement should be revised to sum up what your particular interests are all about -- the ones that distinguish you and make your plan unique.

methodology---This means something different... it refers to the study of methods. So, I think it might not be the best word to use here.

This is very professionally written, but it does not give the reader a concept to associate with you. If you would get specific somewhere near the beginning and end of the essay about 1 or 2 specific goals you have... goals that perhaps others in your program do not have... areas in which you want to specialize or make a big contribution... specific research topics... these are the kinds of things that will help make a bigger impression.

Nov 24, 2010   #3
Yeah, thanks a lot for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I will make changes accordingly.

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