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Mechanical Engineering

Applied in: Winter 2011

University Offers: Bath, Bristol, Imperial College, Newcastle, Sheffield

Ever since my first encounter with engineering back in primary school where we had to build and launch a scale model of a rocket with an inbuilt parachute, I have been fascinated by all things mechanical. Later on, when I moved up to secondary school, I discovered I also had a talent for science and especially Maths. This focused my early interest in engineering into a passion that I wish to continue and develop to hopefully become a significant part of my life.

I have been lucky enough to have spent a large part of my life overseas. I was born in France and have always been educated in the French schooling system which has enabled me to specialise at an early age in the different sciences and see things from a different perspective. I am fluent in both English and French and speak Spanish to a good level. I also picked up a couple of words of Japanese during the 4 years that I spent there with my family.

I think that my time in Japan was when I really began to appreciate how engineering can be used to tackle issues both large and small, from the complexities of the super-efficient Japanese Metropolitan railway system to the simple everyday domestic gadgets designed to make life just a little easier. I am in awe of the way Japanese engineers can apply their skills and determination to solve problems in an effective and for the most part environmentally friendly way. This last point has become very important to me and last year I was able, as part of my course work, to do a presentation on wind powered energy for domestic use that included designing and building a working model turbine. Miniature wind turbines are now available to the public to use in much the same way as solar panels are providing electricity for an office building or household.

Sport, especially Triathlon and swimming, forms an important part of my life. I am a member of the Brompton Swimming club and compete regularly in regional events and I have recently begun competing in Triathlons. I am a keen musician playing both the piano and guitar and I also love to sing. When I lived in Tokyo, I was lead vocalist and rhythmic guitarist in a band. We played a number of small concerts to audiences consisting of friends and other musicians. I was also a member of the Tokyo International Players, the oldest theatre company in Japan.

More recently I have become an avid fan of F1. For me this is the perfect combination of 2 of my passions, engineering and sport. I am in awe of the speed at which F1 cars have developed over the last few years and how even mid-seasons the designers and engineers are able to tweak layouts and set ups to gain fractions of second’s improvement. Improvement on what we now have seems impossible but as a keen Triathlete I know first-hand the difference that a new combination cassette can make or the effect that the height of the seat post and saddle angle can have. A time trial bike combines state of the art engineering methods and complex ergonomics to enable you and your bike slice through the wind to reach higher speeds. In both these separate areas of engineering, people are constantly trying to lighten the design and improve on the power produced. It would be a real dream for me to work on projects like these that reflects both my passion and hobbies.

I recently spent 2 weeks with the Asia head of Foreign Exchange research and strategy at HSBC in Tokyo and even though this was a very interesting experience it served to confirm the path that I want to take. It is my belief that the experience I will gain and final qualification that I will be able to achieve at your university will form the foundation of an exciting and stimulating career in mechanical engineering.

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