My Professional Career Goals

796 Words 4 Pages
My professional career goal is to explore innovative research that targets energy efficiency and sustainability through advanced materials. While I have no doubt that I want to pursue a research career in this field, I have often viewed the question of why as daunting. However, I have realized that my primary motivators can be distinctly defined: the prospect of doing something entirely novel, an appreciation for the challenging efforts that a research project necessitates, and the potential to have vast impact.

As an undergraduate, I engaged in research on the valorization of highly stable C-H bonds to energy-storing C-heteroatom bonds for sustainable fuel applications. It was not until the last semester that I worked on this project that
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In June 2015, I joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for a yearlong internship. During this time, I have come to understand the frequency with which research does not go how you expect at all. The scientific method is not nearly as simple as 'question, hypothesize, test, analyze, and conclude. ' A more accurate chronology would be: question, hypothesize, test, fail, persevere, try again, troubleshoot, endure, and finally, succeed. This can be an unforeseen and challenging experience for those unaccustomed to it, but it allows for successes to be remarkably meaningful. I experienced this immediately after I began working at NREL. My task was to synthesize supported metal catalysts with a specified metal loading. By way of repeated trial and error, I achieved successful synthesis through a novel method I derived based on the principles of methods reported in literature. This process took almost three months, but I have since applied my method to several different catalyst metals extremely successfully, and that is incredibly …show more content…
The Department of Defense (DoD) would provide me the ideal opportunity for this. With a research focus on advanced materials and catalysis, the applications of the knowledge I will gain are broad and can be of great use for the DoD in their mission to protect the American people. Additionally, because of my background in sustainable energy and renewable chemistry, I can offer the DoD an insight into new prospects for energy security. I have selected the Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), as one of the labs for which I would like to work because of their mission of Environment Quality and Instillation. This mission combines the application of advanced materials and the drive for increased sustainability and energy security in an effort to develop and implement valuable Army installations. With an interest in furthering my education in materials and a background in sustainability, I believe I would be a great fit for the ERDC. I also believe the working for the Natick Soldier Research, Engineering & Development Center would be a remarkable opportunity. As Americans, we rely on soldiers to keep us safe and protect our freedoms. To have the opportunity to apply my materials focused research interest toward the protection of the American solider would be a privilege that would not only benefit me, but would also benefit soldiers on the front lines, which, in turn,

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