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 also 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 attractive 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 allow me to combine my interest in design and in 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. Engineering is greatly based on physics: buildings must be aesthetically pleasing as well as solid, 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, representing the most basic design for powered ‘maple’ aircrafts, and I measured how the maple seed’s aspect ratio affects its terminal velocity. I enjoy studying how chemistry deals with forming new substances, different chemical deterioration mechanisms, which act upon buildings and are likely to damage them, 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 enjoyed making projects in wood and metal, using Computer Aided Design and learning drawing techniques.
I took advantage of vacation to gain work experience in my uncle’s marble sculpture studio, using traditional by-hand techniques and a manual tool, to transfer a plaster model’s measurements to the approximately hewn marble. In order to discover more about engineering and architecture, last summer I spent two weeks visiting local 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, will help me to succeed in this course.