Statement of Purpose - PDF

					                                                                 Name:     Ankit Bhargava
                                                                  Term:    Fall 2004
                                                               Program:    Structural Engineering
Statement of Purpose                                                       (M.S Leading to PhD)

         I am a senior undergraduate student in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian
Institute of Technology Bombay, India. I am seeking admission to the M.S leading to Ph.D.
program in Civil Engineering at Purdue University with Structural Engineering as my
specialization. Through this statement of purpose I intend to put forth my personal and
educational background, research interests, goals and the reasons for choosing your esteemed

        I come from a family that highly values education, both my elder brothers being
engineers from Indian Institute of Technology, and my father being an engineer himself. Family
background of mine has been a constant source of inspiration for me. The choice for pursuing a
career in engineering was largely influenced by my consistent good performance in the subjects
of science and mathematics, which interest me right from my school level. My interest and my
family background motivated me to take the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), for
admission to the IITs. Qualifying JEE with a standing among top 1.5% of 150,000 candidates
paved my way for joining IIT Bombay and I was able to choose the Department of Civil
Engineering as my branch for Bachelor of Technology degree. This choice was influenced by my
predisposition for the construction of structures like buildings and bridges. Apart from this,
another leading factor was realization of the fact, that I possess good basic fundamentals of
mechanics which is a requisite for the field of engineering like Civil.

        During my undergraduate studies over the last three years, the excellent course structure
coupled wit h high academic standards further stimulated my interest in the field of Structural
Engineering. A clear manifestation of my genuine interest are my continuously increasing GPA
and my consistent good performance, in the courses related to Mechanics, Structural engineering
and Design of Structures. In my junior year, which has the real essence of Civil Engineering, I
have a CGPA of 9.25 on a scale of 10. After Six semesters of study at IIT I maintain a CGPA of
7.99/10 (as on transcripts, but after the seventh semester my CGPA is 8.15/10).

         In order to further develop my understanding of the field of Structural Engineering I took
my seminar (junior year thesis) on “Smart Structures-The State of Art”, under the guidance of
Prof. Yogesh.M Desai. In this thesis, I did an extensive study on smart materials and their
application in Structural Engineering. Through this home paper, I learned how networks of
actuators and sensors, along with control algorithms, are used in Health Monitoring of Structures.

        At the undergraduate level, I have tried to the best of my ability to get an exposure to
research work. In order to take a lead in this direction, and to get an insight into the field of
Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, I took a research project titled “Applicability
of Smart Dampers as Active Control Devices for S      eismic Control” as a part of my summer
internship, under the guidance of Prof. Pradipta Banerji. In this project, I did a comparative
study of different kinds of dampers made of smart material. The project dealt with analyzing the
response of system with single degree of freedom, by placing the dampers made of smart
materials at appropriate locations, and comparing their efficiency with each other. D     ifferent
dampers namely: Shape Memory Alloy Damper, Piezoelectric Damper and Magnetorhelogical
Fluid Damper were used for the analysis.
        After getting an exposure to the various design courses, I found the field of Design of
Concrete Structures very interesting and felt a compelling desire to work in this field of interest,
and therefore I took my B.Tech project on “Capacity Assessment of Circular Columns”, under the
guidance of Prof. Alok Goyal. It involves assessment of safety margins in load and moment
carrying capacity of column that exist in column design, to safeguard against the risk of failure. In
order to evaluate theses margins, I have generated and compared various Interaction Curves.
Above analysis in the first stage of the project has been done by ignoring the effect of
confinement. The stress–strain characteristics of concrete at high strains are considerably
improved by confinement of concrete because of transverse reinforcement. Therefore, i the      n
second stage of the project, to be done in the next semester, effects of confinement will be
considered in order to evaluate safety margins in capacity of columns. This study will further be
extended to beam-column joints. This project has given me a better understanding of basic design

        Through the various opportunities I have had as an undergraduate student, I have come to
love research work and found in myself a strong aptitude for it. In the next 10 years, I envisage
myself doing active research as a research professional in an organization or as a faculty member
in some prestigious university. However, I strongly believe that a meaningful career in Civil
Engineering requires the insight, refinement and professionalism that one acquires through
graduate education. In keeping with my long term career goals, my short term career goal is to
take up graduate studies as a continuation of my education.

         All along this period I have developed a keen interest in the fields of Design of
Structures, Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. I took various courses and projects
in these areas that helped me appreciate them better. These include my B.Tech Project, Summer
Internship and Courses on Structural Mechanics, Design of Structures and Design Laboratory
Courses. I also took an additional course on Probabilistic and Statistical methods in Civil
Engineering in order to strengthen my concepts of design based on probabilistic analysis. To
further enrich my knowledge base in the field of Design of Concrete Structures and Structural
Dynamics, I shall be taking electives on Prestressed Concrete Design and Elements of Structural
Dynamics in the next semester.

         Research at Purdue covers a gamut of theoretical as well as application topics. The
various areas of concentration and the large number of courses in these areas will certainly
broaden my knowledge base. After browsing through your web page, I found quite a few faculty
research interests at Purdue exciting, and to my liking. I was fascinated by the research activity
and projects going on under Professor Julio A. Ramirez, Professor Robert J. Frosch, and
Professor C. Douglas Sutton. All in all, I am confident that graduate studies at Purdue will go a
long way in shaping my career. Thus, at this crucial juncture in my career, I choose to apply to
Purdue University with the aim of completing my Graduate Studies, and pursuing a career in
research. I am aware of the high standards of academic as well as research excellence at Purdue,
and all I have to say is: I consider myself up to the mark, and what I have to offer on my part is
unstinted hard work, dedication and perseverance.

        I earnestly hope that my application will be viewed favorably in the light of the
information I have provided and I am looking forward to a fruitful association with Purdue

Ankit Bhargava

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Description: Statement of Purpose