Why do you want to undertake graduate work?
My interest in pursuing a graduate degree began at the university while studying for my Bs. Degree. While taking the materials science course I got interested in composite materials because of their high strength to weight ratio and their ability to be tailored to meet specific requirements.
Once I took the solid mechanics course my interest grew even more, encouraged by Mrs. XXX, who used to work at an aircraft maintenance hub in El Salvador and introduced me to fiber reinforced composites. I ended up fascinated by their ability to be reinforced in the desired direction to meet the specific stress state that they will have to withstand.
Due to my interest on them, I managed to make my thesis research on fiber reinforced composites. It was a great experience from which I learn about the mechanical behavior of laminated plates, theories of failure, higrothermal effects and the design process of structural composite components. It was the first time advanced composites were being studied in El Salvador.
Since those materials are largely unknown in my country I decided to pursue graduate studies abroad to satisfy my curiosity & passion for this kind of materials. I chose the PhD program instead of a Master's because my experience as a Teacher Assistant, Lab Instructor and the one I have during my thesis research made me realize that I enjoyed academic work and that I wanted to work as a researcher.
What do you expect to derive from your program of study?
I expect to be capable of performing research on and/or applying my experience to develop new industrial/commercial products with the understanding of the mechanical behavior of composites under different environments and load scenarios.
I expect to have the good background, experience and tools that a cutting edge research project can give me to innovate and to perform well at a research post.
If you have a concentration in mind, briefly outline your interests in the area
I would like to major in the solid mechanics concentration, focused on composite materials. Research topics that I find interesting are: damping response of composites, composite materials for vehicle parts, structural components, damage response/tolerance of composite materials, mechanical response of composites under different environments and load scenarios, life prediction, manufacturing processes and new materials for demanding applications.
What do you expect to contribute as a student and subsequently as a member of your profession?
As a student I expect to contribute to the diversity in the student community by sharing my passion for composite materials, my curiosity for knowledge, my desire to be an entrepreneur and start a business and my enthusiastic and cheerful Latin American Spirit. I can also contribute with my discipline and organization skills.
It is my vision that I would like to work finding new commercial/industrial applications for composite materials and/or tailoring this materials to fit the needs of new industrial/commercial applications.
As a member of my profession I expect to contribute to the development of my country, by promoting innovative technologies that can provide better life conditions for the people in El Salvador. My experience tells me that an effective way of improving wages is by creating jobs that have a higher value added, for example: outsorced engineering work, computer simulations or the manufacturing of products that have a high value in the market.
In this regard I think composites area a good bet because there is a skilled labor force capable of working with the composites used in the aircraft industry and the amount of people being trained keeps growing. It is my opinion that it is time to entrepreneur in this area and not just relegate to fix aircraft components but to take advantage of our skills to start developing our own products.