Site Loader

I have always been astounded by the ability of technology to dramatcally improve our quality of
life. The steady progression of fundamental and applied sciences has revolutoniied human existence
and experience. Driven by the desire to contribute to this trend, I have been fortunate to have had the
opportunity to work in the areas of environmental sustainability and pharmaceutcal development in
both academic and industrial setngs, respectvely. hile existng technology merits contnuous
grattude, the real excitement lies in the possibilites stll to come. By investng in my skills through
graduate research and educaton, I will positon myself as a talented engineer poised to drive the next
breakthrough technologies.
I pursued an undergraduate degree in physics to build a strong foundaton in scientic methods
and concepts which will provide the basis for success in an advanced engineering program. Throughout
my studies, I was partcularly inclined towards computatonal methods and models. Such computatonal
approaches provide insights into physical systems that would be difcult or impossible to glean from
experiments alone.
Eager to explore computatonal sciences, I joined the Materials Simulaton roup at ake
Forest University. Through mentorship from Professor Timo Thonhauser and self-guided exploraton, I
quickly came up to speed in running density functonal theory (DFT) calculatons to predict the
propertes of previously-undiscovered materials relevant to environmental applicatons. The irst project
I undertook entailed screening microporous materials to identfy eeectve ilters for greenhouse gas
emissions. e were able to demonstrate that certain metal-organic frameworks, such as MOF-74-Ir,
selectvely remove carbon dioxide from gaseous mixtures. Thus, we were able to nominate materials
that could be used in constructng O2 scrubbers.  After demonstratng my ability to execute DFT calculatons, I was awarded a FU
Undergraduate Research Fellowship to dedicate a summer to performing electronic-structure
calculatons. I began working on determining the mechanisms which enable some materials to generate
hydrogen gas from water vapor to provide a cheap energy source for hydrogen fuel cells. The
identicaton of the relevant reacton pathways will enable the design of new materials which produce
hydrogen gas with increased efciency. This work was supported by Professor Thonhauser and the postdoctoral
researcher Dr. Pieremanuele anepa.
Following graduaton, I accepted a positon with Euroins ancaster abs where I support Piierrs
process modeling group to aid drug development eeorts using a variety of computatonal tools. One of
my major projects at Piier involved urster fuidiied-bed coaters. These devices apply coatngs to small
drug-infused beads to mask unpleasant tastes or alter the drugrs release rate. Achieving the desired
coatng uniformity is a challenge for project scientsts. I developed a reduced-order, Monte- arlo model
to predict the inter-partcle coatng uniformity. My model utliied as inputs the fow results from
computatonal fuid dynamics ( FD) and discrete element method (DEM) simulatons of the urster
coater to compute the coatng uniformity for various spray rates and operatng duratons. The tool will
reduce the number of experimental iteratons required to develop commercial processes, thereby
decreasing development costs and tme. This work was performed in collaboraton with Piier scientst Dr. Avik Sarkar. This work is being prepared as a journal manuscript and will also be included in an
upcoming editon of a chemical engineering textbook.
I also have considerable experience with DEM modeling —a method for simulatng granular
fows in pharmaceutcal unit operatons, among other applicatons. A major challenge with DEM is the
determinaton of material-speciic input parameters. uided by Dr. illiam eeterhagen at Piier, I
helped identfy and perform small-scale characteriiaton experiments, while simultaneously executng
corresponding DEM simulatons to calibrate the necessary material propertes. Subsequently, I ran
numerous DEM simulatons using calibrated input values to validate the approach. Although our eeorts
yielded limited success, it is a startng point to develop a more robust DEM-calibraton framework in the
future. e have an abstract submited on this topic to the 8th orld ongress on Partcle Technology as
a conference presentaton.
Another major project at Piier involves modeling gastrointestnal drug absorpton. I derived a
set of coupled partal dieerental equatons that represent the process and authored my own dieerental
equaton solver. The purpose of this work was to challenge certain assumptons that are ubiquitous in
the existng literature, primarily concerning the impact of food consumpton on drug absorpton. I also
assisted in developing the experimental workfow needed to provide the required model inputs. The
inal intent is to integrate this model into an existng commercial simulaton platorm for oral drug
absorpton. This work was performed in collaboraton with Piier scientsts, and we are preparing a
journal manuscript for publicaton. Furthermore, I have aided Piierrs research eeorts with extensive programming support to
provide automaton, data management, and visualiiaton services. Replacing tme-intensive manual
calculatons and facilitatng user interacton with large data sets has helped make research and
development workfows within Piier more efcient. I also support Piierrs eeorts to establish a
portable, contnuous, miniature and modular (P MM) drug manufacturing line—new technologies to
transiton from batch manufacturing to contnuous tablet producton. These abovementoned eeorts
have enabled me to broaden my impact and assist groups with a diverse range of functons, which have
added variety to my technical abilites. I consider myself proicient in programming, familiar with
numerical methods, and capable of solving scientic research problems. It has also improved my
communicaton skills and has made me an eeectve team member.
ith a strong academic background and signiicant experience spanning several domains of
computatonal research, I am well-positoned to succeed in a graduate program. Based on my previous
work, I have seen the potental for modelling techniques to solve critcal, real-world problems, and I am
eager to be at the forefront of future developments. As a young scientst with the potental for
considerable growth, your engineering PhD program will provide the ideal environment for developing
technical skills with a focus on meaningful applicatons. In partcular, I am excited to beneit from the
guidance and mentorship of accomplished faculty members.

Post Author: admin


I'm Erica!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out