Mechanical Engineering/Statement of purpose-3


(Applying for MS/PhD in MEMS)   


In the following statement of my objectives, I have highlighted the reasons that have prompted me to pursue graduate studies at Stanford. In doing so, I have briefly summed up my motivation for graduate study, academic background, fields of interest and research experience.

    Undergraduate study emphasizes more on developing a broad engineering knowledge base and firm fundamentals, whereas graduate study provides one an opportunity to acquire individual depth of experience and competence in one's field of interest. Therefore, I believe that graduate study at a reputed university would be invaluable in building upon my undergraduate education and help me realize my ambition of being at the forefront of research in my field of interest. My dream is to grow to be a leader and strive hard to pioneer cutting edge technologies in my field through a career in research in an industry or academia. 

           The desire to make my dreams come true combined with my determination, grit, unquenchable thirst to learn and excel, and the invaluable support and encouragement from my family made me work hard towards getting admission into one of
India’s premier technological institutes, the Indian Institute of Technology- Gauhati. I was placed in the top 0.5% among more than 100,000 students in the Joint Entrance Examination for the IITs. The field of Mechanical Engineering, with its widespread scope and versatility, and a good match for my abilities and interests was the ideal choice. The undergraduate education at IITG, with its highly competitive and stimulating environment motivated me to learn, appreciate and look at all problems with an engineering sense. An array of labs and workshops at IITG gave me valuable hands-on experience. These along with group assignments in various courses inculcated in me the team spirit to work effectively in a group respecting the opinions and ideas of others.

      During my undergraduate study, I have made a sincere effort to achieve a solid foundation in Mechanical Engineering balancing both intellectual and practical experiences. I have had an intensive exposure to the Basic Sciences and Mathematics, which are essential for any branch of engineering. On the engineering front, I have acquired a sound grounding in basic areas of Mechanical Engineering like Strength of Materials, Manufacturing Technology, Machine Design, Fluid Mechanics, Control systems and Heat Transfer. Courses like Vibration concepts and applications, Acoustics and Noise control, Manufacturing Planning and Computer Aided Design (CAD) stoked my interest in application-oriented studies. The course titled ”Computer Aided Design” introduced me to Finite Element Methods and algorithms for static and dynamic analysis. The immense potential of CAD with its all pervasive nature and applicability combined with my interest in it spurred me to take elective courses in design like Applied Finite Element Methods, Computer Aided Machine Design, and Stress and Compliance in Machine Components. Journals like the ASME transactions helped me supplement my knowledge in this field. At the same time, I honed my skills in PASCAL, C, MATLAB and “Structural Analysis” using ANSYS and NISA, by doing a number of assignments and term papers.


       Industrial visits, starting in my sophomore year, to various manufacturing industries brought out the shrouded enthusiasm in me for application-oriented engineering. These visits helped me reinforce my understanding of the subjects taught in the classroom. These also gave me a very good understanding of the volume and kind of engineering that goes behind the production of even small and simple parts. My work, which involved heuristic graphical design approaches, as a summer intern at Bharat Electronics, made me aware of the need for design optimization and gave me a feel of practical engineering.


Currently, I am working on two projects; which are briefly described below…


1) For my Bachelors dissertation, I am presently working on a project “Finite Element analysis of a Gear using cyclic symmetry”. The gear is modeled by means of 6-noded triangular elements and the “Static analysis” results are compared with values given by the “Lewis formula”, so as to come up with a correction factor. I am writing my own algorithm and codes in C to do the same.


2) Out of my own interest, I took up an industrial project on  “noise control” of a generator. I will be using FEM to simulate the effect of “insertion” and other modifications to the muffler, so as to come up with a better muffler design.
These projects have instilled a sense of professional independence in me.


      Now, standing at one of the most important junctions of my career as I try looking miles away into the future, I honestly believe that this is an era of rapidly advancing interdisciplinary technology. An industrial lecture in my sophomore year on MEMS first introduced me to this subject. That lecture was the first rudimentary building block for my interest and enthusiasm in this field. Courses like “Control Systems” and “Mechanical Measurements”, which introduced me to the wonderful world of mechatronics, made me realize the importance of MEMS like devices in intelligent systems. My hobby of perusing through Tech. Magazines like "New Scientist" and  “IEEE Spectrum”, and the Internet in my leisure gave me a much better understanding of the fabrication techniques and applications of these electromechanical systems. All along, MEMS with its versatility and its wide variety of applications to technologies in and out of the realm of mechanical engineering fascinated me. I believe there is lot of scope for research on design, structural analysis, modeling and shape optimization of MEMS devices, and their application for sensors and actuators. As a result, I made sincere efforts to gain some basic knowledge in this rapidly emerging field, mostly by going through books dealing with “silicon sensors”.

The task of deciding where my specific interests lie in the vast pool of specializations Mechanical Engineering offers has been a tough one. I have been enthusiastic and involved in whatever I have done. However, after much deliberation, I feel that my primary interests lie in the area of Mechanical systems, and specifically in Computer aided design and analysis of MEMS and their application to intelligent systems. My love for application oriented studies, intelligent systems and computers, and the tremendous promise these MEMS devices hold for modern control technology have further reinforced my desire to pursue graduate studies in this relatively new field.

I would like to join a graduate school that not only provides an opportunity to hone my creative skills through research and interaction with like minds, but also an ideal milieu for all-round development. I believe Stanford stands apart from other universities in this respect. I have gone through the university website and found that a slew of research projects, like those being undertaken by the TCAD group, match my interests. I firmly believe Stanford, with its multitude of research facilities and eminent faculty, would be an ideal place for me to pursue original research in my field and in the long run help me attain intellectual satisfaction.


       I am aware of the need for a sound academic background, industry, and creativity to excel in graduate studies. With my academic background and enthusiasm for research, I am confident of meeting the high standards of the graduate program. I hope my application for admission with financial aid to Stanford will be considered favorably. I look forward to joining the Stanford family of highly motivated students and faculty.

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