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Masters Material Science, Pollution, Chinese

I like to think of myself as a humanitarian as well as a scientist. Thus, as a Chinese man born and raised in China, my interest in and passion for research in the area of Materials Science has been born from and sustained by the social and environmental issues and challenges facing my country and people, especially those who live in urban areas. I could not be more excited by the fact that developments in the field of Material Science have the potential to greatly improve the quality of life not only of the Chinese, but peoples worldwide.

A hard worker and devoted student soon to be finishing my BS in Chemistry at XXXX University with a 3.8 GPA, I will also finish with a minor in history as a result of my wide ranging intellectual interests that include history and philosophy as well as math and the physical sciences. Most of all, however, it is in the field of Material Science that I seek to make my professional mark in life and my optimal contribution to the advancement of humanity. I enjoy helping people and see material science as the area where I can make the most important improvements to people’s lives on the largest scale. In addition to excelling academically, I have also volunteered my time for charitable activities, serving, for example, as an accountant and helping to organize a benefit for leukemia and lymphoma patients as well as a host of smaller events, in addition to serving as a volunteer teacher at Merit Badge University events at XXXX University. When I see the eyes of others fill with gratefulness, this brings me enormous pleasure.

In the winter of 2013, I went back to Shanghai for a visit, the first time that I had returned for winter break since arriving in the USA. During the flight, I imagined how happy I would be when the plane landed and I kept thinking about what I would say to my parents when I saw them. It was three o’clock in the afternoon, however, and the sky was completely yellow. I could barely see the sun shimmering. It turned out that the first words I said to my parents were: “What’s wrong with Shanghai? The city looks doomed.” Looking at the yellow and brownish grey fog, my Mom sighed, “the pollution is very serious this winter.” I couldn't sleep that night. I had been living in Shanghai for a decade before leaving for America. I knew there had been pollution for a long time but these days it is making many people physically sick and killing some of them. The sky is never clear; no stars twinkle at night.

So, increasingly, as my studies progressed, I have paid more and more attention to environmental issues and the hope that is represented by research in Material Science. As I see it, if Shanghai is to solve its environmental problems, gas-burning cars need to be replaced by electric vehicles. For this reason, Li-ion batteries rapidly took center stage in my world because they can efficiently store energy harvested from wind, tide and other environmental friendly sources. The reason that most cars still burn gas is that Li-ion batteries have limitations such as high cost, unstable quality and limited energy storage volume. Dr. XXXX’s research at XXXX focuses on improving the qualities and reducing the cost of Li-ion batteries; thus, I am especially looking forward to learning as much as I can from Dr. XXXX. I want to make the sky blue again.

XXXX’s Doctoral Program in MSE is my first choice for graduate school because I see it as the best preparation for a lifetime of struggle to solve the enormous environmental problems faced by big cities in China. To achieve my goal, I want to learn more about Li-ion batteries and participate in research in this field. GT’s MSE program has one of the most advanced research groups in this field. I have visited Georgia Tech several times for seminars and poster sessions. The strong academic atmosphere of GT made me feel right at home and a good fit with your program and the research interests of your faculty and graduate students.

I offer great passion, determination, patience and advanced research skills as an applicant to your program. The great diversity of issues and opportunities in the field of Material Science has never and never will cease to fascinate me. I am driven by the fact that I know how desperately my country is waiting for people like me to solve the mammoth environmental protection and clean up problems that we face, along with the rest of the world. I have been cultivating a highly practiced patience for the past three years working long hours in organic chemistry labs, completing hundreds of synthesis and column chromatography experiments. Most of the time, the results were less than satisfying and I had to run the procedure again, which sometimes took days and even weeks. Had I not been patient, I would have abandoned chemistry a long time ago. In addition to my class work, I also have two years experience working in a professor's lab. Alongside organic synthesis and column chromatography, I am also well studied with respect to NMR spectroscophy and a variety of other techniques used in organic chemistry; and I have experience with a variety of software programs such as R, Mathematica and Matlab.

I hope to be remembered at XXXX as the Chinese man who talked incessantly about Li-ion batteries and the great promise that they hold for saving our planetary home. I adapt to new environments very quickly and have experience working in Japanese as well as American laboratories since I earned a scholarship to study in Japan. Just as in the USA, I adapted quickly in Japan to the new culture and language, bocaming good friends with my Japanese colleagues. I believe that this adaptability will also serve me well in the GT MSE Program. Finally, I have interned at General Electric, China with the job title of System Engineer Assistant, where I learned a great deal about what engineers do and the types of challenges that they face.

The greatest contribution that I will be able to make to society is to design new materials that are as sturdy as ABS plastic – the production of which requires petroleum - but much less harmful to the environment. In this way, I hope to contribute to the advancement of cleaner, safer, architecture, toy production, car making, etc. I want to help develop new generations of lithium batteries and organic semiconductors, practical and useful materials with a broad range of applications. I look forward to becoming a senior engineer or project manager, increasingly assuming leadership roles in industry. My ideal job would be serving as the Director of Research for a firm such as the LEGO Company.

I will graduate with my degree in Chemistry from XXXX University this coming May, 2017; and I hope to begin your graduate program that summer following my graduation. My Dad earned a Fulbright scholarship and went to Duke University as an exchange scholar. I went there with him and lived in the US for one full year before starting my classes at the University in 2013. I am always grateful for this head start in English, a full year of immersion before starting college, as it has helped to propel me to a level of fluency in English that is rare among Chinese students in America. I also continue to cultivate my Japanese although I am still at an elementary level. Badminton, basketball, carting racing, finance, swimming, cooking, trying new restaurants, and reading British parliamentary debates, among other thin,s help to round out my day and keep me sharp as a scientist.

 

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