Statement of Purpose

Laws of physics and their applications grasped my interest since childhood.  Naturally, I chose Civil Engineering in my undergraduate studies after securing admission to the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), one of the most prestigious universities in Pakistan. This decision spoke for my passion towards the construction and design of water-based structures. Pakistan, my homeland, is a developing agricultural country, bestowed with great hydropower potential. I could easily pinpoint the dire need for intelligent civil engineering solutions for solving the unique issue of water resources mismanagement here. Hence, to equip myself with the specific scientific knowledge and skills will ultimately allow me to improve the water resource management in Pakistan; so, I am ambitious to obtain a master’s degree in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering from a highly ranked university, such as George Mason University.

Throughout my academic career, I was greatly inclined towards fluid mechanics, Water resources studies, irrigation and hydraulics engineering. I gained a thorough understanding about the structural and design aspects of constructions while studying the content of courses, like Structural Analysis, Steel Structures, Design of Concrete Structures and Plain and Reinforced Concrete. Putting a taste of aesthetic sense is extremely important to stand out; hence by studying Computer Aided Design and Civil Engineering Drawing, I was able to polish my designing skills and start to better understand architectural and structural plans. Moreover, doing the comprehensive survey-based project of quantity survey and cost estimation on a two-storied house was a unique experience during my undergraduate studies. Being the project team leader, I came up with a bill of quantities by looking at architectural and structural plans.

Furthermore, during my undergraduate studies, I worked with national firms in Pakistan which helped me revise the basic fluid mechanics concepts. I worked as a scheduling engineer assistant at federal water and power development authority. There, I learned the basic skills to manage the technical issues related to the construction of dam elements as per proposed engineering drawings. I was also able to learn about management skills which were purely related to the construction management problems. Moreover, I successfully understood the water distribution network of residential areas linked to the dam construction with the help of software, like WaterGEMS, AutoCAD and MS Excel. Besides, after completing my undergraduate studies, I worked with the logistics firm for fourth months on culvert and bridge construction at international level project CPEC. The terrain of that area was a sandy and initial phase of my job. Working as a civil engineer, I managed the construction activities at different sites of the project. At the last phase of my job, I was directly involved in the different construction phases of bridge construction from piling to the top of deck slab. While being directly involved in the construction activities of bridges and culverts, I found out that these both two water-related structures are deeply linked to my interests of studying the design parameters of coastal structures.

A master’s degree from George Mason University would give me access to its excellent research facilities and brilliant faculty. If given an opportunity, I would love to do my degree project regarding Applied Hydrology and Climate Studies with Professor Mark Houck of the Volgenau School of Engineering, George Mason University. The ongoing research project to take preventive actions against the disasters within the field of Climate Studies is of particular interest to me. I want to specify my thesis for my master’s program at George Mason University to be related to the study of the hydrology of open channel water structures flow and hydraulics issues related to the open channel flow. By being specific about this branch of water resources engineering, I will be able to learn the basic skills to counter the flood conditions, especially in my home country. Design of weirs and other discharge measuring devices will allow me to set the parameters for formulating the water distribution system which can predict the flood scenario before it actually occurs. Moreover, studying subjects like structural engineering, concrete structures, and sustainable buildings would be by obvious choice due to my strong background in this domain.

One key aspect of a master’s in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University is that it is based upon the courses, like water resources engineering 1 & 2, coastal flood hazards and climate studies. These three programs further open the gate towards a specific research fields of my interest, like understanding the role of storm precipitation in generating surface runoff. Different programming languages, like FORTRAN and Python, etc., are the design languages for water supply systems; and, learning these languages and keeping in focus the water resources issues will enrich my scientific knowledge. This program is a concrete step for me to achieve my career and professional goals.

I believe that a good mix of practical and research experience along with my optimistic approach makes me a good fit for my intended program at George Mason University. However, I certainly acknowledge the fact that continuous effort is required to meet the standards of learning so that I can successfully learn those skills and professional traits which will be helpful in achieving my goals. The fact that challenges have always made me look for solutions rather than pulling me down, is something which makes me determined for my research goals at George Mason University. Last but not the least, water resources engineering in combination with infrastructure engineering will play a significant role in shaping me as a perfect asset to the water resources industry in Pakistan.

I hope to hear from you soon and thank you for your consideration.


Arslan Khalid