Civil Engineering Background, Sample Personal Statement for Iranian Applicant to Master’s Degree Program in Disaster Management Response

I look forward to contributing to the diversity of the University of XXXX as an Iranian woman. Eleven years ago, my mother and I relocated from Tehran, Iran to Seattle, Oregon and made a new home for ourselves in every way in the United States. Reflecting on our own immigration experience has helped me to understand the experiences not only of other Iranian immigrants, but also recent immigrants to Seattle from other parts of the world. The University of Washington’s Infrastructure Planning and Management Program is my first choice for graduate study, for a variety of reasons in addition to being based in my home city. Most of all, I am drawn to the uniqueness of your program and feel strongly that I am a good fit with your curriculum, which dovetails very nicely with my professional and academic interests. With experience helping out with recovery from Hurricane Irma, coupled to my academic background in Civil Engineering, I have a solid foundation and fresh experience that is highly relevant for Emergency and Disaster Management Response and Infrastructure Planning.


I very much appreciate the University of XXXX’s mission, including respect for diversity and the incorporation of principles of equality – with the promotion of socially responsible administration of private as well as public sectors; and special consideration for the more vulnerable members of our society (such as undocumented residents living in irregular and/or precarious conditions). I hope to be remembered, in particular, for being very dedicated to the protection of vulnerable, marginalized populations or communities. In your program, I will acquire a thoroughgoing immersion in the study of population growth and climate change that will prepare me for what I will face in the future as an Emergency Manager and Infrastructure Planner. I cannot imagine a more noble and fulfilling life than to spend it creating solutions to save the planet and our species, and to rescue the vulnerable and care for their basic needs in times of disaster.


I hope to become a leading thinker and a theoretical problem solver in the field of Infrastructure Planning. After completing your program, I look forward to decades to come serving professionally as a risk manager and/or transportation planner doing everything that I can to preserve our natural home and its inhabitants in the most sustainable ways possible. Your program will prepare me well to become the most highly skilled infrastructure planner that I can become, at the service of my community and its natural environment. For many years now, I have day-dreamed of designing and building a sustainable and livable community for common people of very modest resources. Thus, I hope to engage in research and complete my capstone project in the area of urban planning and emergency readiness.


I adore Seattle for so many reasons, not the least of which is the way that it is built above the original level of the street. As I was inspecting the city’s underground, I traced the urban transformations of the 19th century – including a great fire that destroyed most of the city.  Originally, buildings were made out of wood and whenever the rain came, the streets would fill with mud chocking most forms of transportation. I appreciate how today all new construction must be made of stone or brick masonry and the underground is generally built with retraining walls on either side of what had formerly been street level. Civil engineering and urban planning have helped Seattle to become a sustainable place to live in only gradually, over the course of centuries.


Now home to Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, and Starbucks, I could not be more excited by the transformations occurring in my city. I have watched with keen intrigue how our transportation system has evolved in accordance with demand and the way that new technologies make improvements possible in our transportation, and our lives generally speaking. Earning my Master’s Degree in the area of Infrastructure Planning and Management will give me the opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience in the area of Transportation Planning - helping me to master the identification of strategies and prioritization of transportation projects to improve safety and mobility for the people of Seattle.


As well travelled as I am read, I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to explore a variety of cultures in Western Europe, as well as Turkey, and Dubai, in addition to Iran; each time leaving me astonished at how much I learned about that society in only a short time. I will bring creativity and enthusiasm to everything that I do at the University of XXXX, giving my all 24/7 to the study of disaster and emergency management, transportation, urban planning, cybersecurity, and water supply – all with an eye on my city: Seattle.


I thank you for considering my application.

Inspiring the next generation of female engineers | Debbie Sterling. Close your eyes and picture and engineer. You probably weren't envisioning Debbie Sterling.

Statements of Excellence in Engineering

Sample 1st 2 Paragraphs for the Masters Degree in Petroleum Engineering

I am a young man from Nigeria and I have completed my undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering last year. I am very passionate about helping my country to prosper. I have chosen to build a career in the area of oil and gas exploration because this is Nigeria’s greatest economic resource and the principal hope that we have to develop as a nation. I am also concerned, however, with the preservation of our environment. This is what I see as the strongest aspect of my application to your competitive scholarship program, my dedication to the goal of proceeding to develop Nigeria’s vast energy resources in sustainable ways that will allow our children and grandchildren to prosper at the same time that we protect our environment, our soil, and, most importantly, the health of our people.

I look forward to struggling throughout my entire professional life to meet the urgent challenges that Nigeria faces in the development of its oil and gas industry. I join with others in insisting that we establish an oil and gas industry council to discuss pertinent issues affecting the entire petroleum industry in Nigeria. Of special importance from my perspective is the development of indigenous Nigerian entrepreneurs that will spur economic diversification.

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.


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Engineers Beyond Engineering

Great Accomplishments in Engineering

Engineering has been the jumping off point for many an inventor, and they have been responsible for a lot of the technologies we take for granted today. Let’s have a look at some of them.


Scores of times each day, with the merest flick of a finger, each one of us taps into vast sources of energy: deep veins of coal, great reservoirs of oil, sweeping winds and rushing waters, the hidden power of the atom and the radiance of the Sun itself; they are all transformed into electricity, the modern workhorse. Let’s just hope we can come up with more environmental ways of generating it on a large scale very soon!

The Automobile

When Thomas Edison did some future gazing about transportation during a newspaper interview in 1895, he didn't hedge his bets: "The horseless carriage is the coming wonder," said this American inventor. "It is only a question of a short time when the carriages and trucks in every large city will be run with motors," he added. And alas they now are.


Not one human being had ever flown a powered aircraft when the 20th century began, but by century's end, flying had become relatively common for millions of people—some were even flying through space.

The first piloted, powered, controlled flight lasted 12 seconds and carried one man 120 feet into the air. Today, nonstop commercial flights lasting as long as 15 hours carry hundreds of passengers halfway around the world every day, and that’s perfectly normal for us.

Water Supply and Distribution

At the beginning of the 20th century, water was both greatly in demand and greatly feared in the United States and many other countries. During that time, cities across the nation were clamoring for more of it as their populations grew—and much of the West saw it as the crucial missing ingredient for development—but at the same time, the condition of existing water supply systems was abysmal, and a direct threat to public health. We now enjoy plentiful-seeming supplies of potable water across the western world. If only this were so for the entire planet.


Barely-stifled yawns greeted the electronics novelty that was introduced to the public in mid-1948: a device called a transistor, which has several applications in radio where a vacuum tube was ordinarily employed. It was demonstrated for the first time at Bell Telephone Laboratories, noted an obviously unimpressed New York Times reporter on page 46 of the day's issue. Haha!

Radio and TV

In late 1899, a new mode of communication wedged its way into the coverage of a hallowed sports event: outside New York's harbor, two sleek sailboats—Columbia of the New York Yacht Club and Shamrock of the Ulster Yacht Club in Ireland—were about to compete for the America's Cup, a coveted international trophy.

In previous contests, the public had no way of knowing what happened on the water until spectators reached shore after the races.—but this time, reports would "come rushing through the air with the simplicity of light," as one newspaper reporter put it. Ah, the beauty of TV and radio.

Agricultural Mechanization

You often see them from the window of a cross-country jet: huge, perfect circles in varying shades of green, gold, or brown laid out in a vast checkerboard stretching towards the horizon.

Across much of the American Midwest and on farmland throughout the world, these genuine crop circles are the sure sign of an automated irrigation system, just one of the emblems of a revolution in agriculture, the most ancient of human occupations. At the heart of this transformation is a single concept: mechanization.


The machine depicted on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine sounded impressive—"World's First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models"—and at a price of $397 for the parts, it seemed like a bargain.

In truth, though, the Altair 8800 was not a minicomputer, a term normally reserved for machines many times as powerful—nor was it easy to use!

A lot of programming had to be done by adjusting toggle switches: the memory held a meager 256 bytes of data, and output took the form of patterns of flashing lights.


"The telephone," wrote Alexander Graham Bell in a booklet drumming up support for his new invention in 1877, "may be briefly described as an electrical contrivance for reproducing in distant places the tones and articulations of a speaker's voice."

As for connecting one such contrivance to another, he suggested possibilities that sounded rather utopian: "It is conceivable that cables of telephone wires could be laid underground, or suspended overhead, communicating by branch wires with private dwellings, country houses, shops, manufactories, etc." Manufactories, indeed!

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Which appliance would be the hardest to live without? The most frequent answer in a recent survey was, “my fridge!” Over the course of the 20th century, this onetime luxury became in indispensable feature in the home: a mainstay in more than 99.5 percent of American family kitchens by century's end.


The event was so draped in secrecy that, despite its historic nature, no photographs were taken. But no one there—nor, for that matter, anyone else who heard of it—would forget the moment.

With a blinding glare and a shuddering roar, a rocket lifted from its concrete pad and thundered into the early evening sky, soaring up and up and up until it was nothing more than a tiny glowing speck in the heavens.

On the plains of Kazakhstan, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union had just launched the first-ever spacecraft: a 184-pound satellite called Sputnik.


The conference held at the Washington Hilton in October 1972 wasn't meant to jump-start a revolution: its purpose was to showcase a computer-linking scheme called ARPANET, a new kind of network that had been developed under military auspices to help computer scientists share information and enable them to harness the processing power of distant machines for the technological elite. Traffic on the system was still very light. Many potential users thought it was too complex to have much of a future. Isn’t that funny?

And don’t these stories give you hope for the future? Many inventors´ creations were first deemed ridiculous before being accepted by the masses at large. Studying engineering could be your portal into a new and wonderful world.

Degree sought, field, or place of origin!