STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING SOP

In today’s era, vertical growth of metro cities is inevitable because of lack of space amongst other constraints. Structures such as BurjKhalifa, Taipei 101 and the Willis Tower are the epitome of engineering marvels and no doubt required creativity and expertise in structural design. The idea of developing a one-kilometer tall building is mindboggling but it is happening in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The knowledge and technical skills of structural engineers to bring the creativity of architects into reality excites me. I am not only intrigued by this field but also have the acumen and aptitude to excel in it. But in order to do so, I require a more specialized education in structural designing and engineering. I believe that a graduate course in structural engineering from the University Of Maryland at College Park would help me proceed towards my goal.

I was born in an entrepreneurial family and have always been pursuing my dream to be a successful business leader. My parents brought me up with strong values of honor, integrity and respect and taught me that every challenge in life presented with itself an opportunity to learn something new and that through hard work and dedication I could achieve just about anything. I have always believed in their words and have never since looked back.Advanced education from premium international universities has always been of prime importance in the family. My elder brothers give the credit of their successful careers to the Masters degree from US Universities such as Stanford and USC. I have no doubts that a Masters degree from University of Maryland will substantially enhance my career prospects. Like my father, I aim to be a successful entrepreneur and a Masters degree is a stepping-stone towards my goal. After graduation, I plan to work for some years in a top structural consulting firm. This work experience along with the strong international networking with my peers would be of vital help to achieve my ultimate goal to lead a successful structural designing firm.

My first formal exposure to structural engineering was in the first year of my undergraduate course in Civil Engineering. During the course on ‘Engineering Mechanics’, I was introduced to the elementary concepts of structures, including forces acting on various structural elements, and types of supports and joints. The subsequent years of my undergraduate degree provided me a more detailed understanding of structural engineering with courses such as ‘Strength Of Materials’, ‘Concrete Technology’, ‘Structural Analysis I’, ‘Structural Analysis II’, and ‘Advanced Structural Analysis’. These courses enabled me to understand the behavior of various structures under different loadings in elastic as well as in non-linear range.

The design elements in the curriculum were equally comprehensive. Courses such as ‘Design and Drawing of Steel Structures (DDSS)’, ‘Theory of Reinforced Concrete and Pre-stressed Concrete (TRCPC)’ and ‘Limit State Method Of Design For Reinforced Concrete’ gave me an overview of the design techniques used in R.C.C. and steel structures. Lessons were complemented by projects, which helped us understand the challenges we face while working with these concepts. For example, in the DDSS course, we were required to design a three-storied steel structure using the prescribed Indian-Standard design codes. It was a challenging task to design a complete structure keeping in mind the safety and economic aspect. As we designed the most economical structure without compromising on its safety, our model scored the highest marks in the class.

Considering my strong inclination towards structural engineering, I chose‘Effect Of Location Of Shear Wall In R.C.C. Buildings’ as my final year project. Lateral loads such as earthquake forces and wind load can adversely affect the structure and hence must be addressed at the design level using shear walls. This project taught me the precise placement of shear walls in R.C.C. buildings using the ETABS software. We were also able to compare and analyzethe structure with and without shear walls.Through this project, we got some hands-on experience with computer-aided design along with a deeper understanding of the role of shear walls in affecting the behavior of a structure under lateral loads.

Besides the curriculum,I presented a paper on ‘The Importance of Public Private Partnership (PPP) In Infrastructure Development in India’ at the international conference, SPICON-2012-CIVIL,Mumbai. In addition, I receivedan opportunity to present a paper onbehalf of our institute at the ‘International Conference on Safety 2012’ at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar on the topic‘Measuring Effectiveness Of Safety Management System In High Rise Buildings’. In this project, we prepared a questionnaire and a rating scale based on various safety parameters and further used them toconductsurveys on ten existing construction sites in Mumbai.Interacting with the site engineers and project managers of various sites was a very good experience and gave me an exposure to the various safety standards followedand safety management systems used in high-rise structures.

Moreover, I participated in a Technical Paper Presentation organized by the Civil Engineering Association of my collegewherein I presented a paper on the ‘Influence of Mineral Admixtures in Concrete Properties’and I stood first in the competition. The paper was presented with detailed practical studies and observations. It was focused on achieving higher flexural and compressive strength of concrete by adding mineral admixtures such as fly ash and silica fumes in different proportions.

Feeling a strong need to understand the practical uses and applications of concepts studied in class, I spent two of my vacations working as an intern at Shah Technical Consultants Pvt. Ltd: a leading civil consultancy firm in Mumbai.As a part of this hands on training, I got to work on the following two assignments: –

  • Umargam Water Supply Scheme (Gujarat, India)

I was involved with the structural design of a single storied water pump station (Length: 10m, Breadth: 4.8m, Height: 5m).

  • Water Supply Project In Jammu (EWS Sector-1, Roopnagar)

In a team, we designed an Elevated Water Service Reservoir as an Intze type of Structure (Diameter: 10m, Tank Height: 7m, Stage Height: 19m).

My responsibilities in both these projects included review of survey and geotechnical investigations, determining the load conditions and carrying out design of the structural components such as footings, columns, beams and slabs using STADD.pro. The experience was overwhelming and gave me an in-depth overview of structural designing.

I am happy that I could manage time efficiently and actively participate in extra-curricular activities; I believe that these activities have played an important role in shaping my personality. As the head of ‘Public Relations and Advertising’ of the Civil Engineering Association (CEA) of our college, I managed all the publicity of the various events and activities of CEA. I have also been the Marketing Head of the cultural festival ‘SPACE-2012’ of our collegewhereI communicated with top construction company executives to sponsor our college festival.In addition, I have organized a number of events such as “Idea Presentation On Green Buildings” and “Concrete Wars” in the college festivals. I am the captain of my college cricket team and I have led my team to many victories in various inter and intra collegiate competitions. These experiences have helped me improve my soft skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership.

My current undergraduate degree has provided me with an overview of the field of structural engineering andit has instilled in me the requisite skills to excel in graduate studies. Internships and the projects in which I have been involved in have provided me with a gateway to get better acquainted with topics that interested me. Now amaster’s degree from the University Of Maryland at College Parkwill be the next logical step. After having reviewed the course listings, I feel that the curriculum presents many opportunities for me to learn from and contribute to the field of Structural Engineering.The courses offered such as ‘Finite Element Methods’, ‘Earthquake Engineering’ and ‘Steel Structures’ are in complete concurrence with my interests in this field. I would greatly benefit from the guidance provided by eminent professors such as Dr. David Lovell, Dr. Chung Fu and Dr. Bilal Ayyub.

I bring along a strong mathematical background, an urge to learn, energy and enthusiasm not only to accept the challenging path of graduate study but also to surpass the expectations set forth for an incoming student. I believe that with my passion and interest for structural engineering, I will be able to uphold the university’s standards of academic excellence and eagerly look forward to be a part of the Fall 2013 incoming class.