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MEng degree and PhD admission


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I was enrolled as a M.S. student doing experimental fluid mechanics research. However, the project was not well funded and after a year and a half of rigorous research I figured out that we would not be able to gather the data we were looking for with the equipment available in the lab. We would require a pulsed laser with a high repetition rate (over 1000 Hz) to continue. My adviser had lost faith in the project and decided to spend the remaining money from the grant on other projects in the lab and basically asked me to leave his lab in April and seize working on the project. My adviser has a huge ego and could not stand the fact that his project was not a success (this was suppose to be a project based on his 'innovative' ideas). To save face he told the other professors in the fluid mechanics group that I had been slacking and that I never showed up for work and that I was just in grad school because I wanted a salary without working (for the record, I worked about 14 hours a day and at least one day every weekend. Also, my adviser would skip my paycheck every other month or so anyway). Unfortunately, we have a very small fluid mechanics group in our department (5 professors) who are very close (like spend thanksgiving together close). Needless to say, after that they all treated me differently, and even though I was usually one of the top students in all the classes I had with them, they treated me like I was a slacker (I even suspect one of the professors might have given me an A- that term because of it - other students with grades a bit lower than me got A). As a result I was not able to find another adviser to finish a M.S. degree and I was forced to change to MEng.

I have a lot of research experience for a master's graduate but nonetheless, it is an MEng degree. How will this effect my chances of getting in to a PhD program?

I will also have trouble getting 3 recommendation letters for each school because I don't trust anyone in the fluid mechanics group to right me an honest recommendation letter. Luckily, I got my B.S. degree from another institution and I have a couple of professors there who are willing to right LORs for me. My other letters will be from professors from other departments at my current institute.

Bearing all of this in mind, how do you think my chances are for getting into a good institute for a PhD degree? Do you think this will affect it much?

Furthermore, how do you think I should explain this in my SOP? Has anyone had similar experience?

Thanks in advance!

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