Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement
Submitted by Callum
Engineers build societies. More specifically, mechanical engineers apply fundamental maths and physics laws to construct mechanical devices that we use every day, despite sometimes going unnoticed. For this reason, I would like to pursue a career in engineering, as it is such a key component in societies. It combines my fascination of how things work and the mechanics behind devices, with the ability to apply maths and physics concepts to real-life situations.
Studying Maths Mechanics at A-level has given me experience with calculus and more advanced mathematics, including differential equations, creating a firm grounding for the mathematics I should encounter at degree level. Physics has given me an understanding of fundamental notions and reinforced the mechanical aspects of maths, while through Chemistry I have gained hands-on practical experience through regular experiments. Economics at AS level allowed me to develop knowledge on economic practices, as I recognise that many engineers move on to positions involving management responsibilities.
Being invited to partake in the A2 British Physics Olympiad enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of physics principles including Newton’s Laws of Motion and the Laws of Thermodynamics, especially those entwined into everyday tasks. Participation in the Physics Olympiad also provided me with the means to develop my critical thinking skills, as there are usually multiple paths which can be taken to reach the same answer. In addition to this, it required me to think logically about a problem while also being creative. Over the summer holidays, I had the opportunity to undertake masterclasses offered by the University of Liverpool, where I was able to enhance my practical problem-solving experience and apply familiar concepts to strange and unfamiliar problems. One of the masterclasses was engineering movers & shakers, where we engaged in a group structure building task and learnt about the levels of stress structures can withstand. To broaden my engineering knowledge I conducted personal online research, with youtube channels Engineering Explained and Learn Engineering, partnered with regularly assisting my dad in repairing and restoring old Land Rovers providing a wealth of knowledge. Here I have been able to develop awareness of underlying concepts within motorised vehicles, such as the differential which allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds while transferring power to both wheels through the use of the spider gear. Allowing for two different types of rotation and so creating variable power output to the wheels.
Last year, as part of the Welsh baccalaureate I volunteered at my old high school’s maths department, where I tutored a group of year 11 students guiding them through the additional maths course. This was beneficial as it allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills, as I had to alter my teaching approach in order to convey the content as effectively as possible to suit each individual student. Completing the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award has meant I have gained valuable skills including teamwork, leadership and confidence, allowing me to work with a diverse range of people, this is useful as an engineer because you will encounter and have to work alongside various types of people to achieve common goals. In my spare time, I joined a rowing club for several months, demonstrating my commitment and organisation skills as we often trained multiple times per week including early mornings, together with communication skills as team cohesion is an important factor when being part of a crew.
Studying mechanical engineering will allow me to contribute to new life-changing technologies for numerous industries; including construction, transport, and health-care. My motivation and diligence along with my ability to study independently will make me as I believe it an asset to the course.