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Please critique my statement of purpose.

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #1
    Here is my statement of purpose rough draft. Please be brutally honesty in critiquing it please.

    I, __________, am applying for the PhD degree in nuclear engineering with a concentration in nuclear materials. After achieving this long-anticipated goal of receiving my doctorate, I will apply the skills and knowledge I learned in industry or working for a national laboratory.

    I recently received my bachelor’s and master’s in nuclear engineering and engineering physics from the ___________ through the 5 year dual degree program. For my Master’s I worked under Professors _____________ where I completed my thesis entitled, ”DEVELOPMENT OF DIFFUSION BARRIER COATINGS AND DEPOSITION TECHNOLOGIES FOR MITIGATON OF FUEL-CLADDING CHEMICAL INTERACTIONS”. Here I conducted research on the electrophoretic deposition of nano particle coatings composed of titanium, zirconium, vanadium and their respective oxides. While conducting research I perfected methods of coating Titanium coatings to T-91 steel substrates. Furthermore, I was able to solve a two year old problem associated with the difficulty of coating vanadium oxide. Namely, the suspension was unstable which caused the vanadium oxide to sink to the bottom. After many experiments, I found that increasing the concentration of iodine in suspension led to stable solution, which allowed for a uniform deposition.

    While working towards my M.S. and B.S. in nuclear engineering, I also earned additional majors in applied mathematics and physics. Among the courses I took were electromagnetic fields, quantum physics, partial differential equations, complex analysis, plasma physics and solid state physics. My curious nature is another reason why I am well suited for a PhD program; I know that a thorough understanding of nature is what propels new discoveries in industry and academia. Moreover, I enjoy analyzing data from experiments and coming to conclusions based on sound knowledge. If accepted into the PhD program I would like to further explore my curiosity as I am currently working on a mathematical model for the time dependent surface heat flux of a nuclear fuel rod.

    This curious drive is further amplified by my work ethic. I spent four years in the Marine Corps where I earned two meritorious promotions, served time in Iraq, and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. This drive transitioned over into my academic career where I came in on weekends in order to ensure results were completed on time. I also made sure to document all of my work which is contained in seven notebooks spanning over 900 pages.

    During my time at the university I attained many applicable skills while conducting research. Here I developed skills in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), mechanical scratch testing, usage of a magnetic thickness gauge for taking thickness measurements, and micro-hardness testing. I also learned how to program in matlab and fortran.

    This synergy of curiosity, work ethic and drive led to a best student poster award at the June 2012 NFSM conference, and four papers on the electrophoretic deposition of nanoparticle coatings. The first paper, which is already published, I am the sixth author, while I am the second author of the other three which are currently being reviewed. Furthermore, while I was a Master’s student I earned experience writing NEUP quarterly reports on the progress of my research. I also have kept my mind sharp and reinforced my knowledge by tutoring mathematics, physics and chemistry for over 5 years at the local technical college. Here I earned a Level I CRLA tutor certificate.

    At this point, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my statement. If accepted, I will work hard and do my very best while a research assistant at _____.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    Take out superfluous words and statements. You will do your best and work hard? So will everyone else. Getting a phd is a long anticipated goal? Great, they dont care. Take out the abbreviations SEM and EDS, they are not needed. Your drive does not need to be further amplified by your work ethic, just let it be amplified, no need for further. I would also go a bit easier on the technical details of your research. Do you need the title of your thesis in there?

    Your experience is impressive, and youre not the first marine ive seen excel in this line of work.

    Good luck.
  4. Dec 5, 2012 #3
    Thanks so much for the great advice ZombieFeymann.
  5. Dec 5, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Here's some more pointers on writing statment of pupose letters:

    http://faculty.unlv.edu/img/img/workshops/Presentation%20on%20Statement%20of%20Purpose%209%20David%20and%20Jenna%20Nov%205.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Dec 5, 2012 #5
    Thanks for the site Jedishrfu, looks good.
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