Civil Engineering/Statement of purpose-1


Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Field of specialization: Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology

Degree sought: Master of Science leading to Doctor of Philosophy

            Make sure that you get what you like otherwise you’d be made to like what you get”. This is the quote in which I believe and attribute my success to. My fascination towards mathematics and the desire to understand the basic fundamentals to unravel the mystery behind complex processes motivated me to get admission into IIT - the premier institute of engineering studies in India, which I did after working zealously and with constant perseverance. Upon selection in IIT, I chose to major in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering as I feel that this is one area where we still have to do a lot of research to completely understand the various processes that take place in three-fourths of our world.

            Undergraduate studies in engineering introduced me to a variety of fields in applied sciences and technology besides consolidating fundamental concepts in engineering mathematics and sciences. Fluid Mechanics was the course that introduced me to the fascinating world of fluid flow and the various laws governing it. It also exposed me for the first time to the concepts of dimensional analysis and similitude principle which becomes so essential in predicting the prototype structure. Realizing that a sound theoretical knowledge is useful only if it is backed by a through understanding of the various numerical techniques to apply it to practical purposes I took the course Computational Fluid Dynamics. Then I took the course Ship Hydrodynamics in my forth semester which delved further in the field of fluids by introducing the fundamentals of boundary layer theory and flow between pipes and past flat plates.

            Ocean Wave Hydrodynamics took me from the general concepts of fluids to the particularities of waves. It gave me a sound insight of the various methods of wave propagation and an overview of the various wave theories which were explained in detail later in the course Advanced Wave Dynamics. This course also dealt with important practical aspects of waves such as wave data collection and analysis and long term prediction of design parameters using statistical analysis. The course Coastal Engineering in my sixth semester supplemented my knowledge in this field with the phenomenas of sediment transport and wave-current interaction. By complementing this knowledge with graduate education in my chosen field I seek to develop the capacity to put to use these fundamental concepts into advanced research projects.

            Once during my interaction with my project guide Dr.J.S.Mani  he discussed with me about the innovative approach he took for designing an S-shaped breakwater for the Ennore port in Chennai (India) which not only served and is still serving the purpose of protection of beach erosion perfectly but was very economical in nature too. This and a few more sessions I had with him regarding this project infused in me a strong desire to do research in the field of coastal engineering and come up with innovative and effective solutions to counter the problems of coastal protection which I feel is an area of great concern to present day researchers.         

            My B.Tech project aims at investigating the influence of training jettys at tidal inlets on inland navigation. I specially took up this topic to gain a better understanding of the intricacies involved in arriving at a practical solution based on the theoretical as well as practical aspects. I’m focusing my work on determining the change in the characteristics of the environmental parameters such as waves, tides, fresh water discharge, etc. After numerically modeling the sea bed morphology for different conditions that prevails at the inlet my next step is to arrive at an optimum configuration of the training jetty that would facilitate smooth navigation by maintaining the sea bed at an optimum level. On successful generation of the numerical model I will physically model the arrangement and study its effectiveness and ensure that I haven’t left out any practical considerations. This is a project that I enjoy working on, as it requires the ability to think, extrapolate and generalize the knowledge gained in our wave dynamics and coastal engineering courses.

            To gain a first hand experience at teaching I took up the post of Teaching Assistant during July-Nov 2001 for the course Engineering Design offered to the fresh undergraduate students in their 1st semester. I did this as I believe that “Knowledge imparted is Knowledge gained” so I wish to teach and disseminate the knowledge I gain.  This was a pleasant learning experience and the positive response that I got from the students helped me gain self-confidence. I have efficiently coordinated various cultural and technical festivals at IIT-M which proves my ability to work in a group.

            The graduate program Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology under the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the Cornell University with its renowned facilities and the eminent faculty working in the areas that parallel my interests is an ideal place for realizing my aims and aspirations. What motivates me most to apply to this university is the kind of topics on which research is presently undergoing such as the nearshore wave and circulation modeling, swash zone hydrodynamics, mass transport in water waves, wave-current system  and the emphasis that the department lays on experimental studies including both laboratory and field investigations. The facilities provided at the DeFrees Hydraulics Laboratory such as the wave tank and wide meandering wave-current flume would be an asset to work with. A graduate program that eventually leads to a doctorate in a highly research oriented and challenging environment, afforded by your university, could prove invaluable for my personal and professional growth. I feel that with my credentials, I would be able to measure up to the high standards set by your institute. I sincerely hope that my application with full financial aid will be considered favorably.

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