Innovations and the opportunity to participate in the challenge

Innovations in engineering and architecture affect modern life and developments in these disciplines improve our lives, contributing positively to the world in which we live. The fast expansion of urbanization requires not only comfortable and solid designs but minimal-environmental impact. I am excited about studying Engineering and Architectural Design and the opportunity to participate in the challenge of satisfying the needs of a growing population, providing solutions to help people to live sustainably and at less cost. Longevity is another engaging aspect of engineers and architects’ work: they build structures, which outlive them and bear witness to the relationship between humans and space. I was born near Florence and I appreciate what Michelangelo gave us: the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library are considered turning points in architectural history and still stand today as monuments to the Italian Renaissance period.

Engineering and architecture will enable me to combine my fascination with design, my enthusiasm for solving practical problems and my desire to work with others. Leaving Italy and studying in England has improved my language skills and enhanced my independence and ability to relate to people from different backgrounds. I particularly enjoy studying the laws of motion of physical objects and the forces that cause the motion. Physics has provided me with the quantitative skills needed for analysing data and solving problems, and a good foundation for potential further study in engineering. Physics is the basis for engineering: buildings must be aesthetically pleasing but also structurally solid, statically stable and able to withstand tensile stress and compressive forces.  Knowing the importance of sustainable projects, I wrote my extended essay on the aerodynamic characteristics of a maple seed, which represents the most basic design for powered ‘maple’ aircrafts, and I measured how the maple seed’s aspect ratio affects its terminal velocity. While many students do not appreciate chemistry, because it involves mathematics and is difficult to absorb, it is exactly these complexities, which stimulate me. I enjoy studying how chemistry deals with forming new substances, different chemical deterioration mechanisms, which act upon buildings and are likely to damage their structure, as well as mechanical stress. Chemistry interests me because contributes to developing sustainable materials, such as high-performance spray foam insulation, which lowers energy costs, keeping heat and cooled air inside a building. I was unable to choose Design Technology or Art in England, but in Italy I have been introduced to the design process, and I made projects in wood and metal, used Computer Aided Design and learned drawing techniques. 

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In order to discover more about engineering and architecture, last summer I spent two weeks with my father, visiting some of his construction sites. There, I understood how pillars increase the stability of buildings and that a concrete roof requires more support than a wooden roof. I met architects and appreciated how they designed the space to meet client needs, as well as the aesthetic appearance of the building. In addition, I followed engineers and learned how they make construction safe, by selecting materials, determining the structural principles of the design, and specification of the electrical, heating and plumbing systems.

 

My ability to be disciplined, well-organised and hard-working is already proven as I am a member of the National Italian Ski Team. Moreover, I can say I understand what team-work means and that dedicating time to one’s passion is fundamental. An important strength I have gained is always striving for the best in every situation. I am aware of how difficult Engineering and Architectural Design is, but the skills I have acquired, combined with my open and inquiring mind, determination, capacity for hard work, lead me to believe that I can do it.