I believed that doctoral study is a very important milestone involved in the journey of higher and quality education. One of the best ways to be exposed is a reliable platform which can prove the knowledge and skills that have personally learned. With a great faculty and facilities, at UND during my master’s program inspired me to further intensified my field in research and academics. My master’s program at the University of North Dakota under Dr. Guodong Du, was determined in investigating the chemistry performed by various metal catalysts in synthesizing degradable polymers using renewable source and to understand reaction mechanism as well as its practical applications.
We synthesized and investigated different polyesters using zinc metal complexes as a catalyst. This research experience was highly influential for me, not only because it was my first exposure to university-level research, but because it introduced me to the chemistry of polymer systems from renewable resources and to the concept of degradability. I successfully synthesized analogs of metal complexes and polymers, honed my organic and inorganic synthesis skills, and analyzed them using some suitable techniques including paramagnetic NMR, Infrared spectroscopy, Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) Electron Spray Ionization -Mass Spectroscopy (ESI-MS), Dynamic Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA).
My research experience in Dr. Du lab has prepared me for graduate school in Chemistry in two major ways. First, I have gained a stronger foundation in Inorganic and Polymer chemistry which has contributed to my specific interest in Polymers. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I have gained confidence in my research abilities. I present my research at weekly sub-group meetings as well as conference meetings alongside graduate students and post-docs. I adapt to the research needs of the lab and learn new techniques quickly. In short, I am confident in my ability to perform graduate level research because I currently conduct research along with fellow graduate students and personally worked on a two project on ring-opening polymerization oxiranes with anhydrides and lactones to synthesize polyesters.
In addition, successfully mentored one graduate students and two REU undergraduate students in the understanding and troubleshooting the polymer characterization with help of different instruments. Though I enjoy my research at UND, my research interests and career aspirations both point towards a doctoral degree in Chemistry. I hope to make a career in academic research science, as a researcher. Graduate school will help me realize this goal, and moreover, it will enable me to pursue my research interest in inorganic and polymer chemistry.
I believe my academic preparation and research background have sufficiently prepared me for graduate school. I have extensive research experience, and I am confident that I have the diligence, intelligence, and motivation to succeed. I want to make this crucial step in my career in the Chemistry program at University UND because I am drawn to the large research community on campus, the collaborative research environment, and customizable curriculum. There are numerous investigators studying mechanisms and structural origins of catalysis whom I am interested in working with. But, I am particularly interested in Dr. Du’s work on organometallic chemistry; catalysis and mechanism. I would be thrilled to pursue a PhD in Chemistry in such a rich and inspiring research community.