statement of purpose
I would like feedback on my statement of purpose essay for the flood risk management programme. Thank you.
[Maximum 1000 words]
My childlike curiosity about how roads, bridges, and structures are built led me to studying Civil Engineering, but my decision to specialize in Water Resources Engineering came much later. While volunteering with the xxx Red Cross Society, I met internally displaced persons who shared their experiences fleeing farmers-herders conflict aggravated by climate change, and severe flooding. With global climatic and social economic drivers of flood like population growth, rapid urbanisation, and interconnectivity of modern infrastructure, which are even more exacerbated by absence of integrated flood models, poor flood warning systems, and urban poverty in developing countries like mine, and lack of trained local experts with an understanding of local contexts, all these have informed my choices to focus on Flood Risk Management. In 2020 alone, the Red Cross reported that 24,134 people in xxx have been displaced by torrential rainfall, river and flash floods that began in September, with 155 people dead and over 823 injured.
Seeing homes and farmlands destroyed, and seeing people displaced from preventable and manageable disasters inspired me to apply for this course, to become a trained professional and be part of a team that will work to prevent these and build flood and drought resilience and capacity of urban and coastal areas. While preparing my application and researching flooding occurrences in xxx, I read a report that flooding in Cameroon had triggered a mass migration of elephant herds into xxx, and encroachment of farmlands, and this has increased the risk of conflict between them and the local population. This combined with other events happening all over xxx, more than anything, have reinforced my belief and certainty that this programme is the place I belong, making great contributions in Flood Risk Management globally, and in sub-Saharan Africa.
I am prepared for the distinct problem-solving facet of this programme because I have a solid background in the foundations of Statistics, Geology, Fluid Mechanics, Hydrology, Environmental Engineering, Hydraulics, and Engineering Hydraulics, due to my comprehensive undergraduate study where I learnt the fundamentals/principles of rainfall measurements and runoff calculations, pipe and open channel hydraulics, and hydraulic structures like dams and weirs for water management. Additionally, my undergraduate thesis was centred on designing a sustainable water distribution system for a district in xxx. To gain more insight into how I could help people and communities affected by water challenges, I volunteered with an international charity providing water supply structures like boreholes and wells, and advocating about water and sanitation in underprivileged communities in xxx. I saw the aftereffects of flooding, with community members suffering from waterborne diseases, previously tenuous access to water supply disrupted, and so many people either missing or dead.
During my 4th year, I took an internship with a civil engineering consultancy firm, where I gained experience in the practical aspects of water resources engineering and learnt how to design and model water distribution systems using software like EPANET, and practiced culvert designing for storm water control with HEC-RAS and HY-8. To further develop my knowledge, I have taken courses on water resources management, disaster risk reduction, and climate change, and also participated in training and earned a certification in modelling and analyzing geospatial data and creating maps with QGIS, which I believe would be necessary when taking Prof. Dr. xxx's class on Urban Flood Management and Disaster Reduction Mitigation. These trainings and experiences have built competencies in me that are vital for success in the Flood Risk Management programme, and I believe my expertise could complement the cutting-edge research being done at IHE Delft.
During the course of this programme, I am interested in designing end-to-end early warning systems designed to fit the local contexts of developing countries; xxx specifically, and flood risk assessment and planning. I am particularly intrigued by the research that Prof. xxx's Preparing for Extreme and Rare events in CoastaL regions (PEARL) lab has done in developing adaptive risk management strategies for coastal communities by integrating social, environmental, and technical research and innovation, and I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with Coastal & Urban Risk & Resilience's influential faculty and the departments at large. The opportunity to gain practical skills like designing models for performance assessment of systems within the context of different pluvial, fluvial, and coastal flood risks, building safe urban drainage models, applying sophisticated hydroinformatics and modelling tools to develop effective and sustainable flood disaster management plans, and building software applications that integrate data and models would be extremely critical for managing the flood risk crisis in coastal areas in xxx, and globally.
In my home country xxx, there is a dearth of trained professionals with deep understanding of conservation and management measures to overcome challenges imposed on water, and current theory and basin-wide approach relating to flood and flood management, and long-term, I intend to apply the skills I gained from this trans-disciplinary programme in designing holistic integrated policy to manage flood risks and the contributing factor of climate change, working with already established organisations to create flood-hazard-resilient communities, increase public awareness of vulnerability to flood hazards and preparation for floods, and starting an incubator using the multidisciplinary knowledge I have gained to create innovative solutions to these numerous challenges, and also play a role in mentoring a new generation of students passionate about tackling the environmental and social consequences of this problem.
The leading departments and the rigorous training that constitute this prestigious programme will aid me in pursuing an excellent and inspiring career, and I expect this programme to build on this rich background and enhance my present research and practical skills. Up until now, I believe I have shown my commitment to stick to my zone of competence, and exhibited the desired elements vital to success in this field - natural and innate strengths, motivation, interest, and actual nurturing through learning and practice. All of this contributes to my certainty that I would be a perfect fit for this programme, a critical ingredient to a successful career, and I am committed to presenting a positive image and acting as an inspiring ambassador if I am lucky to be among the few considered worthy of being Erasmus+ scholars.
I sincerely hope the admissions committee finds my profile well-suited to this life changing opportunity.
I thank you for the time taken in evaluating my application.