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SOP for UCLA! need help Guys!

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This is my SOP for my application to UCLA. Please help me review it and let me know. Thanks!!

I am a senior civil engineering student at University of South Alabama and am expecting to graduate in May 2013 with Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. As an undergraduate, I was given the chance to explore several different civil engineering sub disciplines such as structural, geotechnical, coastal, environmental and water resources engineering. Having taken courses from each of these fields, I realize that I have a very strong interest in structural engineering.

Structural engineering is the branch of civil engineering that I find most interesting, challenging and practically satisfying because it combines engineering principles, math and physics. To satisfy an urge to explore deeper into structural engineering, I chose to enroll in all of the available undergraduate design courses related to this area, such as reinforced concrete design, steel design and timber design. I had worked diligently these past four years to fully understand the basic concept of these subjects and my achievement of 4.0 GPA on all structural related courses that I have taken proven my strong interest and dedication towards structural engineering. Having to take all of these courses, I found myself left wanting more and wanting to go deeper into some specific area of structural engineering such as advance steel and concrete design, pre-stressed concrete design and bridge engineering.

Over the summer of 2012, I was hired by Penang Second Bridge Sdn Bhd (PSB), a construction management company in Malaysia, as an engineering intern. This company was specially established to manage the project of constructing a 16 miles bridge connecting two states in Malaysia. As an engineering intern, I was assigned to the design department where I was exposed to the detailed design of the cable stayed marine bridge. During my time at PSB, I gained valuable experience the design of the specific part of the bridge including the design of pre-stressed concrete beams, segmental box girders, seismic load isolation systems and the structural design of the deep pile foundations. At the same time, I was given various tasks including the site investigation, resource estimation, and scheduling with Primavera Project Management software.

For my graduate study, I am interested in pursuing research in structural health monitoring system, and infrastructures engineering which includes the design, analysis, behavior under seismic load and cracking mitigation strategies. As United States of America is facing ever growing infrastructure deterioration, I believe those specific areas of research that I chose will be practical and beneficial.

My research indicates that your department and faculty research achievements are closely aligned to my research goal. I personally admire the work of your faculty members, Professor John Wallace, who had done an exceptional job in a seismic structural health monitoring system research project, called “A Novel Framework for The Seismic Structural Health Monitoring of Tall Building”. I found this research project to be very interesting and challenging especially in making the laboratory as the true build environment in order to obtain critical data in improving modeling capabilities of wind event, low to medium level earthquake, and a high level earthquake. It is also a huge achievement that Professor Wallace and other research members were able to come out with special requirements for tall building instrumentations and it was included in a consensus document “An Alternative Procedure for Seismic Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings Located in Los Angeles Region” published by Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (2008). Therefore, with the knowledge and experience of faculty members, I believe I can achieve my educational goals in structural engineering. I would also like to be considered a graduate research position. Learning and working besides the faculty members will be a remarkable experience for me.

After earning my master’s degree, I intend to work for engineering consultancy firms that focus on structural design. I intend on becoming a professional engineer and to apply my knowledge toward more cost efficient and sustainable infrastructure for society. Again, please consider my application for a graduate structural engineering program at University of California, Los Angeles.

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