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My decision to apply to the postgraduate program in the University of XXXX Institute for Aerospace Studies is a culmination of my lifelong passion for aeronautics. I first fell in love with aeroplanes when I was five years old. Living in a house that was very close to an airport, I remember standing on the open roof under the scorching sun and waiting for the airplanes to pass overhead. Before I managed writing the alphabet properly, I had gained a sense about the differences between the sleek swift fighter jets and the monster cargo planes with their wide shoulder wings and how they looked and sounded so different, although I was not very sure why these great things did not fall from the sky. Those ‘angry angels’ captured my soul. At the age of eight, I tried to make my first airplane from aluminum cans and reeds. Despite my enthusiasm, my first crude models could never fly, though that did not stop my imagination or my passion. As I grew older, I started building radio-controlled model aircraft, and that was my first introduction to the primary rules of aerodynamics. My family were amused by my apparently obsessive interest in aircraft but assumed that this was merely a temporary and harmless hobby. However, aeronautics was to remain an area of passionate interest to me and to become central in my leisure activities, academic work and choices and in my professional life.
It was therefore natural for me to choose Aeronautical Engineering as my major when I entered the University of Technology in Baghdad in the mid-1980s and I was awarded my bachelor degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1989. In contrast with present-day Iraq, which is known primarily for constant strife and instability, the Iraq of the 1980s was among the most advanced Arab Gulf states and rapidly developing. At the time, there were many large-scale infrastructure projects, there was great industrial development and expansion in the scientific and technical human resources, and the education system of this period was of a similarly advanced order to qualify the next generation of engineers and scientists who could continue this development. Although the history of this country took an unfortunate turn and this development did not continue long-term, the education that I received was, in hindsight, among the best available in the region, or anywhere in the world for that matter. My university, along with Iraqi educational institutions generally, had a good and growing international reputation. The situation has changed somewhat since my student days but I wish to emphasize that I acquired a sound theoretical and scientific basis for my work and studies undertaken since that time.
After graduation I had the opportunity to work as an assistant aeronautical engineer in a program that specialized in the development and testing of experimental UAV's . Those years allowed me to gain a strong grasp of practical aeronautics and got me involved in the process of design and construction methods and also provided me with a realistic test of the theory. Years later, I worked as a maintenance engineer in a flight training centre where I developed a different technical aspect of aeronautical engineering and enriched my perception of aviation technology. After continuous warfare had destroyed the infrastructure of the aerospace industry in that part of the world, I made a tough choice and decided to work in the installation of gas turbine units in oilfields often in a very remote, harsh and insecure, one of the toughest jobs on earth. Although I had more convenient, rewarding and safer options at the time, I chose this immensely challenging job to maintain a connection with my favourite original discipline through the rather parallel engineering concepts between turbomachinery and aeronautics. Yet that practice provided me with the experience of working for German and other international companies that applies strict and supreme standards of a sophisticated industry.
In the meantime, I maintained my academic knowledge by constantly referring to my textbooks and updated sources of aeronautical engineering knowledge while patiently waiting for the day when I could pursue higher education. With diligence and persistence I have overcome challenging obstacles that could have diverted my path away from aeronautical engineering. Today I finally see the opportunity to "get on the right track" and wish wholeheartedly to do so. My goal is to enhance and formalize my aeronautical engineering knowledge and skills in a prestigious institution and to assist in turning good ideas into useful reality by making significant contributions to aerospace projects.
In addition to studying Aeronautical Engineering, I enriched my comprehension about aviation by learning to fly in my home country as a safety pilot since 1987, and I was happy to be able to use my flying skills in the evacuation efforts during a flooding crisis that occurred in Iraq in 1989. I resumed my activity as a pilot in Canada. I have received my Canadian private pilot license and I am currently working on the Canadian commercial pilot licensing. In flying I have found an invaluable teaching aid where theory can become reality and this is one of the great joys of the subject.
I came to Canada to start a new and productive life for myself and my family, a country that presents me with the opportunity to resume my pursuit of my professional and educational objectives. I believe that the value of someone’s life lies in his or her contribution to the good of all. I have always felt that aeronautics is the field where I can give my best and where I make a positive contribution to this society. I believe that joining UXXX will allow me to realize my potential and to apply my skills and passion to the advancement of aerospace technology.
My particular areas of interest are; Flight Dynamics, Aircraft Design, Flight Simulation and Air-Breathing Propulsion. I have several ideas that I believe are worthy of investigation and development. One idea, for instance, relates to the aerodynamics of the lift coupling. I believe that there is an intriguing potential for the use of multiple interacting airfoils to achieve higher aerodynamic performance than that of the traditional single airfoil. I am also interested in exploring the possibility of developing a variable-airfoil plane where a ‘flex-wing’ is enabled to change its airfoil section in response to the flight conditions. I believe this can be a realistic design in light of the continuous introduction of superior composite materials. Another subject of my interest is to introduce standardized aerodynamic formulae for the tri-plane configuration (foreplane-wing-tail) so they can be readily adopted in general aviation designs. I would also like to mention as a motivating field, the promising potentials in UAVs and drones that can open new horizons for exotic aerodynamics. My application to join UXXX program is an aspiration for acquiring the advanced knowledge that would enable me to contribute to the development of some of these inspiring engineering concepts.
I am well traveled and have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds. I have worked in many and different types of task teams and experienced the power of cooperation and the shared joy of accomplishment. I appreciate the dynamics of a successful team and the skills of coordinated work with others in order to reach a common goal. I look forward to extending this experience in the program. I also believe that my substantial experience of project management has equipped me with the planning, analytical and organizational skills that enable me to undertake an effectual role in the program.
I am aware that there will be many well qualified applicants for this program. However I genuinely believe that I am an exceptional candidate. I hold a good degree in the specialty; I have significant professional experience relevant to the program from varied yet critical aspects including aeronautical design, aviation maintenance, gas turbine installations and a qualified pilot experience, this background will enable me to provide useful insights to my speciality; I have kept in touch with developments in the subject and consider myself to be fully abreast of them; I have the skills, characteristics and management background that will enable me to conduct constructive scientific work. I aspire to update my professional knowledge and earn advanced qualifications in a rigorous academic environment filled with people who are similarly inspired by the marvels of aeronautics. For this reason, I am applying for admission at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies. And I am certain that, if granted admission, I will be among the most passionate and dedicated students that have joined this prestigious program. My main recommendation is a genuine passion for the subject of the program and a degree of motivation that, I am confident, will enable me to excel within it.
Thank you for considering my application.