STATEMENT of PURPOSE
(when applying for Northwestern University)
I had developed a vision to pursue a graduate degree and professional career in the field of Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) at the end of my study in high school. And hence, I decided to pursue my undergraduate education in the field of Metallurgical Engineering offered by the University of Indonesia, Jakarta, a highly top respected public university in Indonesia. A few facts and observations that have caused me to dream of becoming a part of the society of material researchers and engineers who make real differences in human lives can be mentioned as follows: (1) all engineering applications require an understanding of the materials involved, and thus mastering of the knowledge has become an important requirement in the advancement of science and technology; (2) MSE contributes to the developments of many products and items we might take for granted everyday, such as fiber-optic cables for telecommunication, ICs used in computer chips and CDs, cookwares, sport equipment, etc.
For a given opportunity to join a world class institution such as Northwestern where I can be trained to become an excellent scientist, I would like to work in the research areas of polymer, structural or electronic ceramics. I am interested to work on projects where I can be exposed to the experimental and modeling aspects of research work. My interests would include the following topics:
1. Processing and characterization of thin films aimed for device technologies, and electronic ceramics.
2. Ceramic processing, coating systems, and multi-layered systems.
3. Polymer and ceramic composites.
Improved fundamental understanding in the areas mentioned above undoubtedly will have a fairly direct impact on the applications of advanced materials and the development of a broad range of new technologies, such as microelectronics and structural materials.
With a solid background in the knowledge of basic sciences (Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics), metallurgy and materials engineering in general, I am confident that I have a strong foundation to follow and participate in the graduate courses. I am also equipped with laboratory experiences involving many aspects of metallurgy and materials characterizations, and had conducted independent undergraduate research project to satisfy the final year graduation requirement. My thesis work, under the supervision of Dr. XXX, had given me a valuable opportunity to explore the science and art of conducting research. I interacted closely with a company (XXX motorcycle manufacturer in Indonesia) to conduct a study on fracture behavior of a die component made of special alloyed tool steel via EDM process. Out of this training process I had learnt to express and communicate my ideas clearly, and to conduct experiments and to analyze data systematically. During my undergraduate career, I also worked part-time to support my education by taking a position as a teaching assistant supervising activities in several labs and giving tutorials to freshmen/sophomore students. All these experiences have helped me improve my communication skills and ability to work in a team, and build up my self-confidence.
Another dimension that has positively contributed to my life comes from my strong personal characters. I am diligent, hard working, eager to learn and to progress, and persevering young fellow. I dream high and work hard to achieve my goals. These characters and attitudes have led me to many academic and scholarship achievements, including the award of “the best graduate/valedictorian” among my fellow classmates, scholarships from the university and XXX company, and few awards from winning science competitions during my high school years. Personally I am the kind of person who likes to accept challenges, and in the process, try to learn more to be better. The aforementioned achievements do not isolate me solely in the academic world. I am actively involved in social and cultural activities promoted on campus and among other universities. Frequently I am given the trust to lead and coordinate social and religious events and activities reaching out to others in the community. The values of research experience, academic achievements, and personal characters lay a strong foundation for me to establish professional assets to be successful in my graduate studies.
By attending NWU to pursue my graduate degree, I am given the privilege to access the worldclass institution where faculties, staffs and students constantly make breakthroughs at the frontier of the science. The department of MS&E is famously known to have excellent and qualified faculty members who have attracted the best students from around the world. The research programs at the MS&E department have always been the ones that are innovative and challenging. This observation is supported by the fact that MS&E has been able to secure continuous research funding in many areas, and to maintain excellent publications and breakthroughs reported elsewhere. The current research programs at MS&E in ceramics, electronic materials, polymers and composites have strongly attracted me to apply to the department since they match well with my research interests. My dream is to be a part of the team of graduate students and faculty members whom I can learn from and contribute to, so that I can be equipped to face the challenges in the future when running along the path that leads to my goals. I have set my professional objectives to be a faculty member and researcher wherever I will be. Being a professor will give me the chance to share knowledge with the students and to motivate them to face the challenges in science and technology. By conducting research continuously, I can find ways to bring scientific results into applications where the products make differences in human lives. These goals will be only possible when I am given the chance to be trained in conducting research under qualified staffs with the state-of the art facilities, and to gain a solid understanding about materials in the advanced level. It would be a great advantage and privilege for me to have the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Materials Engineering at NWU since it is extremely suitable to support me in accomplishing my goals. It is a critical stage in my life and career, which I am ready to face and prepared to go beyond “my best”.