PHD Civil & Environmental Engineering, Africa

February 27, 2012

I am an engineer, originally from Ghana, who now lives and works in Texas. I am writing this Statement in support of my application to enter the Doctoral Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of XXXX at Arlington. I have a great passion for wastewater management and my long term goal is to teach in this area because I am convinced that this would be the most effective way for me to contribute to the preservation of our water bodies. I completed my MSc degree in Environmental Engineering and Project Management at XXXX University in the UK. I have a great passion for research and I look forward to participating in future comparative studies that involve America, Europe, and with an eye towards Africa as well. I addition to my MSc, I hold an honorary B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of XXXX in my native Ghana. I am especially interested in doing graduate work in the area of nutrient removal in wastewater and wastewater treatment plant modeling. I have 14 years of experience in the management of engineering projects and have already spent many years being involved in engineering related research. I have been a team leader for a number of pilot projects and have already done some research concerning water bodies and wastewater management. Having lived in Africa, Europe, and North America has helped me to develop my critical interests in the environment in different parts of the world.

At XXXX University, I investigated the reliability of one of the UK's wastewater treatment plant models (Biowin). I would like to again look closely at this model and other models available in the US so as to closely analyze their efficiency level for the removal of biological nutrients. I have closely followed how regulating authorities have focused their attention on the removal of biodegradable organics and suspended solids from wastewater and have rejoiced in the increasing environmental awareness and concern of the general public in recent times for protecting our water bodies. And I am honored to be able to serve my fellowman, and indeed the planet, by helping authorities to meet increasingly stringent requirements concerning discharge. More recently, this trend has resulted in the removal of some nutrients from wastewater, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, and I have a special interest in this area. I look forward to being involved in pilot plant development and expansion. I am especially excited by the fact that computer simulation software is now available for the modeling of wastewater treatment plants designed to remove biological nutrients.

I see my sojourn to the First World as a learning experience that will hopefully prepare me to one day become deeply involved in wastewater management at home, in Africa. I am concerned with the communication aspect of environmental preservation, working to heighten awareness among African educators of the critical importance of protecting our water supplies. A great barrier to Africa's management of waste is the attitude of the people. Most are ignorant of the consequences of their indiscriminate disposal of waste. Research into wastewater management in Africa is needed in many areas, in public administration, for example, as well as civil engineering. I look forward to contributing to consciousness raising efforts concerning the relationship between water supply and human disease. In America, I am concerned that the chronic level of pollution in many recreational waters also poses health risks.

Finally, I would like to express my keen desire to serve as a research assistant in your department. And I want to thank you for consideration of my application.

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