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I came from Yemen; a war-torn nation, a nation divided unto itself. The north of Yemen lags behind the south in economic development as well as education. The south of Yemen offers relatively better opportunity in employment and in schooling. However, by the western nations’ standards even the south of Yemen, that has had a turbulent history, is way-far behind due to decades of war and impoverishment. Education is the key to development and the only hope left for us (Yemenis) to the country’s stability and prosperity.
When I finally offered an opportunity to study in the United States, though my beloved family was very concerned regarding me beginning my academic work in a far-off land, I knew it was my responsibility to accept, so really the question of accepting the challenge to study abroad was a foregone conclusion for me. Over the last few years at CU Boulder, I navigated cultural and linguistic differences and attained a place amongst the top one-eighth of my class, graduating with B.
S. in chemical engineering. As I always had known that after my undergraduate studies, my journey is far from finished. Pursuing a master of science in chemical engineering at University of Michigan Ann Arbor will allow me further foster my ambitions to much greater depth as well as bolster my knowledge and skills in chemical engineering while working with world-renowned faculty and like-minded individuals.
While my love for science subjects and mathematics was the precursor for me to eventually doing engineering.
Chemical Engineering has unique and myriad set of skills that will allow me work in almost every industry and thus have a larger impact on society. As chemical engineering provides the perfect platform for me to continue my education, I also equipped myself with general knowledge in the area of economics, particularly macroeconomics as it explains the morals and the motives behind the government and the federal reserve policies like tax cuts and spending and so forth. In addition, I had a minor in energy engineering where I learned more about different energy sources and their applications and policies as well as known the types that are directly applicable to chemical engineering industries. Upon earning my M.S. in ChemE, I intend to join the professional world of chemical engineers for few years, after which I plan to start my own company back home in Yemen. As I knew then, as I do now, that I owed my community and wanted to “give back” in whatever way I could.
I designed and modeled five of the downstream units; feed-effluent heat exchanger, air cooler, drum separator and both of the fractionation towers utilizing Aspen HYSYS. On top of that, we were asked to develop a control system for each design, so I taught myself how to use HYSYS dynamics to effectively design and implement a control scheme for the drum separator and the two kittle reboilers beneath the fractionation towers. This shows my ability to adapt accordingly during projects and manage demanding learning curves to make contributions to the team success in short timeframe. At the end, obtaining an A in the project demonstrates our work ethic, adaptability to new challenges, communication skills and ability to work independently and in team work capacity.
As for my research experience, during the summer of 2018 after my junior year, under the supervision of Dr. Heinz and PhD student Krishan Kanhaiya, I investigated NiCr alloy corrosion under vacuum conditions utilizing molecular dynamic simulations where I determined energy barriers to cation migration, computed energy involved in each step, and designed schemes to model the thermodynamic energy cycle of NiO unit formation. In addition, I served as a Learning Assistant for Calculus II course I have taken the semester before working closely with TA and other LAs to coordinate and facilitate workshops of around 30 students twice a week and to develop techniques for constructing new worksheets and new problem sets.
Leadership! In fall 2018, I led a team of four senior ChemE students at CU Boulder in a TFR reactor experiment. I kept everyone keen and focused by assigning each a task during the experiment and during the documentation phase which involves intensive analysis and calculations. By the team embodying the saying “Just like in theatre, there are no small parts. Projects cannot be completed without all the parts” the experiment was a success. As we all did our parts regardless of the scale of the task.
Equipped with this range of experiences, from teaching to industrial and real-life projects to undergraduate research to quite interdisciplinary coursework spanning the border of chemical engineering, energy, and economics, I have had a wonderful time at CU Boulder. But I am ready to take the next step. And I believe that a master of science in chemical engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is the next step for me to achieve my professional and personal goals of becoming accredited chemical engineer and essentially becoming business owner. I also believe that I possess communication and problem-solving skills, industrious team-player, tenacious work ethic that match the demanding level of work UM Ann Arbor offers.
Looking at UMich Chemical engineering department, it includes the outstanding faculty, the interdisciplinary structure of the MS and Ph.D. programs, and interesting research projects. If admitted, I am interested in pursuing either polymers and complex fluids, or sustainable energy. While I am open to explore closely and in depth other research projects, I find both the work of professor Michael Solomon on and professor Anish Tuteja on complex fluids and their properties that addresses sustainable energy challenges matches my research interests. Moreover, I see possible matches with Prof. Andrej Lenert, Prof. Suljo Linic working on ways to improve solar cells, fuel cells and battery technologies.
Thank you for your consideration. I am looking forward to being a part of UM Ann Arbor Community.
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