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How to write a brief ,concise SOP encompassing all your goals and aspirations

answers: 3
Dec 1, 2009, 08:27pm   #
Hi, My name is Arun . I am applying for an MS program in automotive engineering. I need some help regarding writing a concise Statement of Purpose.

These admissions council's instructions:

This statement should be a concise, well-written essay about your background, your career goals, and how the Automotive Engineering Program will help you attain your career and educational objectives. In submitting your statement of purpose, please identify your area of concentration and describe why you are interested in this area and how it applies to you future goals.

Please find my statement posted below:

I need help to make the intro paragraph and the conclusion.

My main problem is that i have too many things to tell and i am not able to creatively write it up so that it seems short and to-the-point.

I want specifically mention all the points about my aspirations n stuff and i have ended up writing a massive para.

Your honest critique will go a long in helping me. Thanks in advance.

The world of automobiles has always captured my imagination. I still remember getting into the back of a FIAT Premier, the car that the common man drove in the early 90's in India. It was a harrowing experience, as I struggled to come to terms with the harsh, bone jarring ride and the noise levels, all thanks to the archaic suspension designs coupled with the bad roads. Back then, airbags were unheard of and passenger safety norms were non-existent. They often used to make me wonder, as a 7 year old, about why the car was invented at all. My father would tell stories about how a cup of coffee kept on the dashboard of a Mercedes Benz could never spill out and about the superior comfort and ride quality. His descriptions of cars with advanced engineering ignited my interest in automobiles at a very early age. I began to peruse through automotive magazines, engrossed myself in TV shows that showcased the latest cars at the cutting edge of technology and avidly followed the latest developments in the industry like fuel cell concept cars, magneto-rheological fluid controlled suspension modules and advanced feedback controller units aiding passenger safety. This culminated into a deep desire of working in the automotive industry and developing state-of-the-art automobiles. Ever since, I have meticulously planned every endeavor of mine in order to realize this dream and even to this day and I have adhered to it.
As my first step, I decided to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, which encompasses the foundations of "engineering" an automobile, apart from introducing one to wide variety of domains. I was able to secure an admission into B.M.S College of Engineering, widely acknowledged to be one of the best engineering colleges in Bangalore, India.

My undergraduate studies exposed me to the vast array of diverse domains in mechanical engineering. Apart from the core subjects of mechanical engineering, I was also introduced to the basics of electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science, including programming courses in C language during my freshman year. I took affinity towards the Mathematics courses which focused on numerical methods for solving partial differential equations, finite differences method and matrix Eigen value problems. During my sophomore and junior standing, I was introduced to the crux of mechanical engineering that included a broad spectrum of subjects out of which strength of materials, kinematics and dynamics of machines, finite element methods and control engineering fascinated me the most. I also took a keen interest in CAD/CAM packages like SolidEdge and ANSYS during my laboratory coursework.

I undertook my final year dissertation project in the field of Finite element analysis realizing its importance and relevance to the auto industry. The objective of the project was to design a thin walled box beam structure and optimize the energy absorbed upon impact. The project involved extensive literature survey and a coordinated effort from all team members apart from a working knowledge of ANSYS. This project was presented at technical presentation events at Indian institute technology (IIT) Kharagpur and IIT Madras. This experience served as a primer of the practical aspects of structural FEA and simulation apart from appreciating the importance of teamwork. Also I was able to hone by presentation skills. The project was much appreciated by the academia. I was awarded over 95% marks for the project work as well as for my seminar on project. I was able to perform consistently well throughout my undergraduate course and was awarded the "First Class with Distinction" upon graduation.

My efforts were rewarded with a career in the automotive sector. I was given an opportunity to work as a Graduate Engineer Trainee at Mahindra Engineering Services Limited, part of the world renowned, India based Mahindra group. The extensive and challenging training schedule involved classes and seminars on geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, rapid prototyping as well as an introduction to the various departments in the company and team building activities. Based on my final year dissertation and keen interest in FEA, I was appointed in the Computer aided engineering (CAE) department which provides solutions to Navistar Trucks, Inc., a world leader in truck manufacturing. Here, I had the opportunity to work as a part of CAE chassis team. Initially, I was responsible for FE modeling (shell, tetra and hex meshing) of chassis components using HyperMesh. Later, I was given the task of evaluating the structural and modal performance of truck chassis assembly for various suspension loading conditions using MSC-Nastran and SoMat Ease fatigue prediction software.

Pleased by my performance, I was put in charge a of a pilot project which involved conducting reverse engineering using a new simulation methodology for impact loadings for Heavy vehicle chassis components using MotionView. I was introduced to the field of Multi body dynamics (MBD) through this project. The project taught me the nuances and importance suspension modeling and setup, 'flexbody' creation and contact modeling. The literature survey of SAE papers and my interactions with the MBD engineers of our company (who work on MSC-Adams), apart from the Altair technical team, gave me valuable insight into this domain and sparked my interest in Vehicle dynamics. This project was showcased at the Altair HTC'09 Asia-Pacific conference held at Pune, India. Based on these efforts, I was able to earn a new job, as a HyperWorks specialist at Altair engineering, Bangalore. This requires me to learn the software in depth and also to perform basic programming using FORTRAN and C++. I believe that these are necessary skill sets as automotive systems of today are increasing in their complexity and scope.

My experience in the industry so far given me an insight to its interdisciplinary nature and has taught me the need for specialization. I have always been fascinated by the physical aspects of the driving dynamic and drive engineering. The needs of the customers of today are ever increasing along with stringent environmental regulations. This calls for developing new drive concepts and suspension modules along with developing the best in class feedback control systems. This why I believe Vehicle dynamics has tremendous scope for specialization and I want to pursue the same at your prestigious university. I believe my work experience in the field of FEA and MBD and strong academic credentials coupled with knowhow of software tools and programming makes me an able candidate for automotive systems Master (ASM) program with a specialization in Vehicle Dynamics.

I find the xxx University to offer the best course content as compared to any other university and is tailor-made to fulfill my aspirations. The meticulously planned course content along with partnerships with global leaders in the industry is sure to provide the necessary exposure to state of the art facilities that I have been eagerly seeking for. I aim to be a highly qualified Vehicle dynamics expert, knowledgeable about all aspects of the automobile so that I can 'engineer' cars that are safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly; so that history does not repeat itself to another seven year old kid being driven around in an affordable car.

Dec 2, 2009, 04:25am   #
One understands your concern of how your write-up reads .. and to that I'd say, it reads very well and speaks well of your subject knowledge too.

The material is all good and well organized, so do not worry about that. Some polish is lacking in the presentation -- somewhere towards the end of the first paragraph and the last sentence or two at the end of your essay. On the whole, very nice !
Dec 2, 2009, 10:23pm   #
Thank you Rajiv, for your valuable comments. I appreciate it.

I am actually thinking of replacing the first paragraph. And yes I guess I do need to work on the last one. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. Thank you once again.
They often used to make me wonder, as a seven year-old, about why the car was invented at all.

I undertook my final year dissertation project in the field of finite element analysis, because I realized its importance and relevance to the auto industry.

How about a little more detail about your plans for the future -- what you will do at this school and afterwards. The future is a big part of this kind of essay, but your essay only mentions the future briefly.

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