My life is all about problem solving: managing to live a difficult life in America after turning thirteen, finding “out of the box” to achieve my goals in debate, art, and HOSA, helping other teenagers with problems they struggle with... Designing a seemingly impossible pathway for me and others to succeed is my way of life, and a chemical engineer takes that to the next level.
Everything around us -- from a bar of soup to a bucket of paint -- involves chemical engineering. The profession is not only about my favorite subjects, chemistry and math, but also about creating ideas, innovation, and new technology. This is what chemical engineers do, solving problems not just for one person, but for everyone. And being part of that amazing journey, affecting my life and the lives of others, is where my future lies.
My passion for chemical engineering came about back in China when I was eight. A field trip to the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics introduced me to the very lab that produced the propellants for Shenzhou 5, the first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program. Behind the ecstatic admiration of my classmates, I saw the complicated chemical machinery and laboratory as my future.
I was then introduced to the subject of chemistry in the United States. Constrained by limited finances, I find school to be the place of satisfaction of my interest. I always enjoy lab experiments. Just like how it takes many engineers to launch the product and put it on the shelf, I love working with others. Funny thing is, every time we have a lab, half of the class would clustered at my lab table, “stealing” my tricks and data. After my two years of chemistry, I choose to retain my knowledge by volunteering to help my former AP chemistry teacher design lab experiments and set up equipment for underclassmen.
I enjoy making things in the beaker, but it would be more amazing to make them useful and produce them on a massive scale. Beyond school, I find opportunities to satisfy my interest. I have visited the local medical engineering facility through my involvement with HOSA; I was introduced to the...