It was only untilquite recently that I fully comprehended the wider effects of engineering andlearnt to understand another side to it. As Matleena Kniivilä states in’Industrial Development and Economic Growth’, a 20-year gap in the last centuryalone has led to a 20% poverty decline due to rapid increases in industry.
Thisstatement taught me to appreciate that engineering is about the utilization ofscarce resources and adapting to our ever-changing society to further enhancethe world we live in, as opposed to simply just building things. It is for thisreason that I find Cornell so fitting; Cornell is an institute that recognizesthe potential it has to positively influence the wider community spanningbeyond the university itself. Gaining as much hands-on experience as possible is anintegral part of becoming an engineer and has always been one of my goals as Iam a very practical person, driven by the prospect of discovering somethingnew. A weeklong placement at Heathrow Airport Limited, shadowing maintenanceengineers across three terminals and the Central Heathrow workshop, was aninvaluable opportunity to develop knowledge that cannot be gained in theclassroom. Working with specialist equipment and interacting with experiencedpeople allowed me to build upon practical skills, as well as transferrableskills such as organization and cohesive team working, all of which I have continuedto put to use in the classroom. Adapting to today’s constraints was reiterated in ‘Physics in Action’, alecture I attended at University College London. A key topic regarding thechange from Formula 1 to Formula E piqued my curiosity. I was intrigued tolearn how the motorsport community was taking action making this change fromfossil fuels to cleaner energies.
It made me question why this change was beingmade. I realized that engineering isabout finding ways of accommodating the strains on our environment and economy.With this, I uncovered a newfound interest in energy systems which became evenmore significant when shortly afterwards, I read ‘Grand Challenges forEngineering’, published by the National Academy of Engineers. This led me tothe conclusion that, now more than ever, there is a demand for sustainableenergy sources and that we must surpass this obstacle in the imminent future. The extensive energy systems research conducted at Cornell along withother essential research topics at the Sibley School of Mechanical andAerospace Engineering are why I find Cornell the ideal environment to study engineering.The innovative research into BioEnergy at the Erickson Lab using optofluidicreactors as well other energy projects offer the potential to help me pursue myaspirations of finding sustainable fuels, which will revolutionize the transportindustry. Cornell will challenge me to ask more questions, pursue new ideas andcontinue to inspire me to find new ways of advancing society all as part of ateam. Cornell’s programs dedicated to entrepreneurship will enable me to carryon building on skills I gained from Young Enterprise, which helped me achievewinner of ‘Most Innovative Product 2017’.
I am interested to explore thebusiness side of engineering as I believe through creative entrepreneurship,staff guidance and collaboration we can put the knowledge gained from anengineering course to use in real world situations. The attention given to finding ways of improving our world whilstsimultaneously providing a world class education is a rarity not found in manycollege systems. I share the same virtues of wanting to cause positive change inthe world as Cornell. Last year my Young Enterprise team raised a large amountof awareness of mental health within our school community through marketing ourproduct: the Sensebox. I look forward tocontinuing to use these skills but also learn new ones along the way atcollege. Ultimately, I believe I will thrive at this world class institute asit will support my aspiration in becoming a global leader in engineering.