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Statement of Purpose Essay

I have a very clear objective- to be good at what I do and enjoy in the process. I want to be resilient in seeking this objective and for this to happen, I need a purpose. I found this purpose in studying Civil Engineering, more specifically in Structural Engineering. Science and mathematics have been my strong suit since my schooldays, as is evident from the grades I received. I have strived to be an engineer since my high school. I have been waiting for an opportunity to apply my concepts of mathematics and physics in the real world. My father, who is a mechanical engineer from the same college I am graduating from, played a huge role in inspiring me to pursue engineering. Amongst all branches of engineering, the range and application of Civil Engineering is the broadest and the most visible. I feel privileged to be pursuing Civil Engineering from B.M.S College of Engineering, Bangalore whose Department of Civil Engineering has been accredited with the highest rating by the National Bureau of Accreditation, India. Being a part of this institute has helped me develop a positive outlook towards persistent learning.

Taking up civil engineering led me through a complete new journey of self- discoveries and explorations. Majorly because I was going to be the first civil engineer in the family, breaking all norms. I’ve laid emphasis on acquiring knowledge at every stage of this journey. I have developed a strong interest towards Structural Engineering during my undergraduate study. I have done consistently well in understanding the nuances and the basics of this subject. The various courses such as Engineering Mathematics, Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Geology, Strength of Materials, Building Materials and Testing, Analysis of Structures, Concrete technology, Design of Steel Structures and Structural Dynamics which have been part of my curriculum have helped me acquire the necessary skills to pursue my studies further in Structural Engineering. Among the various subjects, ‘Structural Dynamics’ has captured my interest. I have been fascinated by the impact this subject has in understanding the resilience of a structure. The amount of Physics involved in this field is intellectually stimulating. My goal at your university is to focus on Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.

I was fortunate to be accepted for a summer research internship at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC) at Chennai, where I worked at the Advanced Seismic Testing and research Lab. I did a project on “Studies on Seismic Behaviour of Multi-storeyed Buildings and Buckling Restrained Braces” under the guidance of Mr. G V Rama Rao, Scientist, Advanced Seismic Testing and Research Lab, CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre, Chennai for the period of July- August 2013. This is where I was introduced to and learnt the SAP 2000 software . It was a wonderful experience working in a lab and witnessing the functioning of shake table and other equipments, for the first time. During the literature survey at CSIR-Structural engineering research centre, I came across a paper on “Ductility Capacity Models for Buckling Restrained Braces” authored by Blake M. Andrews(graduate research assistant), Larry A. Fahnestock(Associate Prof.), and Junho Song(Associate Prof.); all from UIUC; which simplified my understanding of the topic. It is here where I first got the hint of UIUC as a committed research hub.

I indulged to participate in a workshop on Seismic vulnerability and loss assessment headed by Dr. Dominik H. Lang, Senior Research Engineer, Project Manager, NORSAR, Norway at the CSIR- Fourth Paradigm Institute from October 21-25, 2013. Interactions with Dr. Dominik H. Lang on Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering surely reaffirmed my intention of pursuing it as a career. It is here that I learnt that as for earthquakes, though they are still formidable, they are so interesting that men of science can hardly regret them. At present, as part of the curriculum, I am working on my bachelor thesis project on Shock table characterization for optimum seismic response under the guidance of Dr. S Raghunath, Professor, B.M.S College Of Engineering, Bangalore. The objective of this project is to maximise the desired response of the model mounted on the shock table and relate the shock table to earthquake input.

I have created and taken up responsibility at every opportunity available. I was elected the Chief Coordinator for Nirmaan, an International Civil Engineering Students’ Symposium held on September 28th,29th 2013 at B.M.S College of Engineering that saw over 800 student participation. I am the organiser and coordinator, of the annual literary and cultural festival at Jyothi Kendriya Vidyalaya as an alumni from 2010- present. I have been an Event Coordinator from Literary club for UTSAV -a national level techno- cultural fest at B.M.S College Of Engineering, Bangalore. I have also volunteered for various social concerns. In November 2010, I wrote the Common Admission Test (CAT) as a scribe for a person suffering from cerebral palsy who later got an admit to IIM Indore. I have donated blood on many occasions. I was lauded for my outstanding performance in the Project Citizen programme that dealt in recognising citizen’s duties and creating awareness, in the year 2006-07. To keep myself fit, I play basketball and practice mixed martial arts.

I intend to study Structural Engineering with a major focus on Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign primarily because I am more interested in the research work at UIUC as Mid-America Earthquake centre echoes my ideology of seismic vulnerability and risk management. I aspire to expand my knowledge in this field through a master’s degree and a doctoral thesis. The research areas of Associate Professor Bassem Andrawes interests me. I am motivated to learn at Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory and at Multi-Axial Full-Scale Sub-Structured Testing and Simulation facility (MUST-SIM facility) which forms one of the equipment sites of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) at UIUC.

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