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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

by
Gurjot Singh Dhillon
for
Masters’ of Science in Industrial Engineering

My Career Goals

To be a successful human factors practitioner and start a consultancy of my


own and to work towards the development of Human Factors discipline in
India.

Reasons for applying to Industrial Engineering Program at the


University of Buffalo.

“Our society is now clearly confronted with challenges that no single country,
industrial sector or scientific discipline can tackle.”
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner
for Science and Research

I find the above statement to be a concise sum-up of the future of research


and believe that Industrial Engineering is one of the disciplines that
addresses this issue by finding applications across a vast range of domains.
In developing countries like India, Industrial Engineering is still not as
advanced as in United States and has a huge potential for development.
Thus to gain maximum exposure to Industrial Engineering, I want to pursue a
Masters’ of Science followed by a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with Human
Factors specialization in the United States.

From my online research, my discussions with my college advisor,


professors, and interactions with current graduate students, I have
concluded that the Industrial Engineering program at the University of
Buffalo is an ideal match for my skills, interests, and goals. Your
program truly combines in-depth research with practical curriculum with
emphasis on finding solutions to real life problems. Also, the research work
carried out in your department especially in the field of Cognitive Modeling,
Human Factors, and Biomechanics makes it highly suited to my research
interests. Below is an outline of experiences from my studies and work which
played a key role in my decision to apply to the Industrial Engineering
program at your institute.

After appearing for a highly competitive common entrance test taken by


40,000 candidates, I was accepted at Chitkara Institute of Technology,
ranked amongst the best private Engineering Schools in India. While
pursuing B.Tech, Mechanical Engineering (2005-2009), I found myself
inclined towards courses related to Industrial Engineering, for example,
Operations Research, Industrial Engineering, CAD/CAM, and Total Quality
Management. I scored amongst the Top 5% students in a class of 120 in
Operations Research, Industrial Engineering as well as Total Quality
Management. I have also maintained an excellent record in laboratories and
practical courses throughout four years of Engineering.

My interest in Industrial Engineering was fuelled further during my


interactions with my elder sister, who is a post-graduate Industrial Engineer.
She often shared her experiences in the field of Industrial Engineering and
Human Factors in US and Europe. Thus inspired, I actively started seeking
opportunities to explore this field further and “Design and Fabrication of a
low cost Braille printer” project during seventh semester of engineering
proved to be an excellent opportunity for the same.

During the summer of 2008, I volunteered as a tutor at a blind school. I


discovered that the blind students all over India face a shortage of Braille
books because of the high cost of Braille printers (1800 USD and above). This
prompted me to think, “Could I design a low cost Braille printer to solve this
issue ?” I realized it was a challenging job especially given the time, but I
proposed this idea to my advisor and project teammates. They were excited
as well as encouraging about it. Over the course of this project, I travelled
with my teammates to various Blind Schools in India to conduct background
research, gather requirements, and collect materials. We interacted with
Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineers, and finally
succeeded in designing and fabricating a low cost (200 USD) Braille printer.

Our project titled “Design and Fabrication of a low cost Braille printer”, was
commended as one of the best projects among a batch of 120 students and
is being submitted to International Usability Conference - USID2010 to be
held in India. Over the course of this project, I integrated my knowledge of
the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering with that of Industrial
Engineering, and used principles from Human Factors as well. Thus, this
project catalyzed my decision to pursue graduate studies in Industrial
Engineering with an emphasis on Human Factors.

To gain an in-depth knowledge of Design and Manufacturing, I completed my


six months industrial training at Central Tool Room, Ludhiana, an Indo-
German project setup highly specialized in Tooling development, Rapid
prototyping, and Heat treatment. I received on-the-job training while
working on live industrial projects involving Design, Production, and
Inspection of Press Tools. I thus gained extensive hands-on experience and
added AutoCAD and CNC Programming (Turning) to my toolkit.
I have excelled academically throughout my education and have actively
participated in extra-curricular activities too (please see resume for details).
In order to meet my goals and make a significant contribution to the Human
Factors field, I must experience the Human Factors research and education
at a global level. Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at the
University of Buffalo has worldwide acclaim for its research. I firmly believe
that my educational background as a Mechanical Engineer and my previous
project work makes me an ideal candidate for the Industrial Engineering
program in the Human Factors concentration at your university. I offer your
program my enthusiasm, dedication, and my dream of becoming a
competent human factors practitioner and researcher.