Statement lighthearted. The requisites of hard work, creativity, certain

                                                                Statement of Purpose

Pragnyasmita Mahapatra

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January 01, 2018

A career in experimental science is not for the lighthearted. The requisites of hard work, creativity, certain failure, and long hours can only be successfully sustained by one attribute, that is passion. Passion fuels the desire for experimental excellence, communication of the phenomena, and a certain penchant to always ask the question “why?” or “how?”. Over the course of my undergraduate and graduate studies, my passion for scientific knowledge and the ability to share that knowledge with others has led to my decision to pursue a doctoral degree in Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering with the ultimate career goal of becoming a professor.

 

After completing my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biotechnology Engineering, I feel completely satisfied with my decision to pursue Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. My career aspiration is to become a professor. My research interests include Application of Environmental Biotechnology in Water and Air Pollution, Chemo-Bio and Pharmaceutical Treatment of Waste Water, Algal Technology, Bioremediation, Experimental and Analytical Research Related to Renewable/Alternate Energy.

 

My motivation for pursuing doctoral research stems from learning about the challenges of experimental research while working as a project trainee at Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar (A Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Lab, Government of India) for my master’s thesis. As a research trainee, I received the knowledge of fundamentals of several numerical and experimental methods including bioremediation of heavy metals from water bodies by using algal technology and antimicrobial activity of fresh water micro algae. The experimental problems were attempted using various types of spectrophotometric techniques like UV spectrophotometry, FT-IR techniques, bio-imaging, fluorescence microscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS).

 

 I aspire to create tools that can increase productivity and predictability in the field of Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering. As a first step towards this goal, I worked for nearly 18 months as a graduate research assistant at Siksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, India (Centre of Biotechnology under the guidance of Dr. Alok Prasad Das). During this research I was involved in study of “Evaluating antimicrobial properties of Microalgae against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus” and I was also involved in research on “Biosensing techniques for rapid detection of pathogens based on the application of chromogenic substrates with specific enzyme activities” and “biotechnological applications of Horseshoe crabs”. The research output was published as book chapters in CRC Press & Springer International Publishers. The scope of my study consisted of experimental investigation followed by theoretical study to detect pathogens by using biosensors and use of algal technology for various pollution control and bioremediations methods.

 

 I earned my undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at GIET, Biju Pattnaik University of Technology, Odisha, India with distinction. I earned my Master’s in Technology in Biotechnology at Siksha O Anusandhan University with an outstanding GPA and for that I have received the University Gold Medal for the Best academic performance in Master of Technology in Biotechnology for the Academic year 2014-2015, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, India. The years of both undergraduate and graduate education have been an enriching experience- both academically and otherwise, and I am determined to maintain the high levels of excellence throughout my career. During my masters I also had short term course on “Metagenomics” at microbiology laboratory, SOA University and Industrial Training on “Proteomics” at Imgenex India Private Limited, Bhubaneswar, India. I was involved and have attended few national and international conference to gain knowledge in my field of studies.

 

I made my decision to pursue a doctoral degree in University of Nebraska, when I heard about the University from one my professor from my graduate school. As my parents working as a professor in India, I always have found a balance between personal and professional life. I had been enjoying my job in bioengineering laboratory during my graduation, as a graduate research assistant, as a student and as a researcher.

 

An extremely distinguished faculty, a milieu replete with academic activity, and a graduate program which blends high quality course work and research facilities at the cutting edge of every sub-field are the factors which have motivated me to choose the University of Nebraska for graduate studies. Studying some of the Environmental Engineering & Biomolecular engineering professor’s research publications have given me a sense that UN’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Ph.D. program is a great match for my interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am excited for the challenges that are ahead of me in graduate school during PhD and career. I accept them with alacrity. After graduate school, I want to pursue a career in academic research or as a professor. The doctoral degree will enable me to work at a research institute in addition to being an educator. I want to have a direct impact on the science of environment and the various environmental pollutions control and bioremediation, also a strong research on renewable energy during and after graduate school.

 

An extremely distinguished faculty, a milieu replete with academic activity, and a graduate

program which blends high quality course work and research facilities at the cutting edge of every

sub-field are the factors which have motivated me to choose the University of Nebraska – Lincoln

for graduate studies. Studying some of the Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering professor’s research publications from Civil Engineering department have given me a sense that UNL’s Civil Engineering Ph.D. program is a great match for my interests. I am applying to your university because of the excellent reputation of your school. In addition, your splendid facilities are also a major attraction to me. In my experience as a student I know for certain that good facilities can make a difference in a student’s life and learning experience. I hope you will grant me the privilege of pursuing my PhD in your university.

I look forward to a long and fruitful association with University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 

 

I also had the opportunity to perform experiment for two book chapter, based on Chromogenic biosensors for pathogen detection” and Horseshoe crabs in modern day biotechnological applications.