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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE HARSHRAJ D.

THAKOR

From as long back as I can remember, I have been inspired by the


constant zeal of mankind to make its existence on earth easier and
comfortable. Life on Earth has been in constant quest to establish a
harmony with nature to ensure its survival and sustenance, whether
that is through the processes of evolution and adaptation or through
the man made civil engineering endeavors of massive scale. During
my undergraduate study, all the laws of engineering intrigued and
impressed me but what amused me the most was this philosophy of
our struggle to achieve balance between development and
environment.

Most technical advancements seem to disturb this balance and the


solution provided by the environmentalists is to oppose all the types
of developments that create any ecological issues. But for me
opposing the development of mankind is not a solution. I envision a
harmony that is achieved along side development and that is where
environmental engineering comes into picture. The society today
needs professionals who are capable of providing solutions to make
advancement and development sustainable. I believe Environmental
Engineers are the key to this need; they are the architects of
harmony that the modern world seeks. I wish to become one such
professional, qualified to understand the problems and
complications of industrial development, demand of urban
population, and capable of seeking solutions for these intricacies.

This motivation provided a definite direction to my actions and


interests. I strived to mould myself not just as a capable and
efficient civil engineering student but also as a prospective
researcher and master’s candidate for environmental engineering. I
was involved in tech fests, industrial trainings and engineering
tours. After studying the basic environmental engineering subject, I
applied for a month long industrial training in my summer break to
learn more about the concepts. I was eager to know how the textual
theories and principles were applied to the actual field problems.
Atul Ltd., a dying and pharmaceuticals industry, where I completed
my training, is one of India’s leading chemical companies having its
branches in US, Germany and UK. I was fortunate enough to qualify
as a trainee and assist the personnel at the industrial effluent
treatment facility, solid waste incinerator and local power plant
sites. I remember that period as one of the most exciting phases of

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE HARSHRAJ D. THAKOR

my academic career which made me even more determined to


pursue my goal and interest.

In my final three semesters I participated in several seminars, paper


presentation competitions, and engineering model fairs. One of my
papers that I presented at Sustainable Environment Competition
organized by joint venture of VJ Technical Institute, Central Labor
Institute Mumbai and the Institute of Engineers Mumbai was
selected amongst top three prize winners. At this stage my
enthusiasm did not go unnoticed and one of our environmental
engineering faculty, Dr. S. T. Mali selected me as a research
assistant for his ongoing project of Determination of ground water
contamination due to land fill leachate for the City of Pune. For this
project we utilized Argus Sutra, which is a graphical user interface.
This experience exposed me to the soft computing techniques and
other software methodologies for analysis of different field
conditions. I am more than interested in acquiring further
knowledge about this field and in being able to provide solutions to
the metro cites to help reduce their environmental impact and
achieve balance of resources and demand.

(DELETE I BELIEVE)I
am a fighter, who would actually be more motivated
when the conditions are not favorable. One other reason behind this
attitude of mine to strive for balance and fight against all the odds is
my own experience of continuous battle against injuries and
haunted memories of an accident as a kid. Because of a crash of a
bus with my bicycle, I was in and out of hospital for almost a decade
and was bedridden for several periods with multiple surgeries being
performed on my foot and pelvis. One such surgery of muscle
grafting was performed on my foot in the first semester of my
undergraduate studies, because of which I was bedridden for four
months. Owing to my absence from classes, I was not allowed to
keep the terms for my first year. This was a huge blow to my self
esteem and I was disillusioned. But with the support of my faculty,
family and friends, I was able to recuperate. My father encouraged
me to stop thinking of the things that I could not control and start
thinking about the things that were in my hands. I utilized this
rehabilitation time to keep myself busy with other activities like
volunteer work for tree plantation and green city drive in my
hometown. These activities helped me to regain my purpose and
enthusiasm. I came back as a determined man after two difficult

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE HARSHRAJ D. THAKOR

years and completely changed my academic graph in the


penultimate semesters to be able to achieve First class at the end of
my graduate studies.

My experiences taught me to overcome my weaknesses and gave


me confidence to venture in new areas. I applied for Rotary
International Student Exchange Program, and was selected as one
of the two students from amongst 461(NEED EXACT NUMBER TO SOUND
ACCURATE) applicants, for vocational training in US. I resided in
Minneapolis, MN for a month as a trainee for JPods Transit Systems,
US and after completing my training I visited Massachusetts for a
month.

While in US, I tried to make the best use of my time to gain more
understanding about environmental engineering. I was keen on
knowing more about the academic requirements for admission
in(DELETE AND) the colleges around the area where I was located. Dr.
John Tobiason was kind enough to spare time for a meeting with me
and he also introduced me to Dr. David Ahlfeld.(DELETE DURING..
PRESENTATION.) My conversations with both Dr. Tobiason and Dr. Ahlfeld
were very fruitful in providing me with the insight of the research
fields and other academic requirements at UMass. I also had an
opportunity to discuss my undergraduate project and my interests
with them. These meetings were instrumental in further
encouraging me to apply for admission for Masters in Environmental
Engineering at UMass, Amherst and I do hope that my application
would be considered positively.

Thank you.

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