Friday, September 20, 2019

I Enjoy Chemical Engineering :: Graduate Admissions Essays

I Enjoy Chemical Engineering    You can get very frightened when you are stepping into a field which is unfamiliar, especially if that field has a reputation as the most challenging major. To me, switching my major from mechanical engineering to chemical engineering at Clarkson University was a difficult long-thought-out decision. It was a result of 18 months of reflection and discussion with faculty. Now, I so enjoy my chemical engineering courses that I plan to continue my education in this field.    The controversy that pushed me over the edge of fear of changing my major was the air pollution problem caused by our transportation. I have always been in love with cars and motorcycles, so I want to work on the electrical vehicle (EV) to fight this environmental problem.    As you know, the state of California will implement the regulation that requires all car manufacturers to sell Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) by the year 2003. Although manufacturers have decided the EV is a quick practical solution, I believe there are many problems that need further research. The latest prototype EV uses a Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) battery as a power source. The battery is mechanically simple, yet, it could be a good alternative to an ordinary internal combustion engine. However, the EV requires about a 288-volt battery which weighs about 1170 lbs. This Ni-Cd battery costs well over $30,000! Some EVs even require a 200-volt power source, a specially made battery charger, and may take up to eight hours to recharge. Even in Volvo's breakthrough idea of an EV with a gas turbine which serves as an energy source and recharges simultaneously, the gas turbine is made of Boron, which is extremely expensive. As a graduate student, I hope to work on developing lighter, more effici ent and economical materials that can contribute to solving the problems with electrical vehicles.    I am committed to my major, chemical engineering, because, as a mechanical engineer, I could only get involved with the development of the structure of EV's but not the development of advanced materials that may be used for electrical vehicles.    I seek more specialized education in advanced material development and the advanced chemistry behind a cleaner burning alternative source of energy, such as methanol. With this special knowledge, I will devote all my effort to creating advanced materials that are cheap, light, and can store more energy than the Ni-Cd battery; it would not be a dream to have clean air in the near future.

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