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I first became aware of materials science when I read Arthur C.

Clarke's novel "The Fountains of Paradise", which is about the construction of a space elevator. This led me to find out more about how a space elevator might be constructed in reality. I found that the most popular concept was to construct it from a material based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Not knowing what CNTs were, I did some research, and realised that there is a whole field of science devoted to the development of new materials. I am currently taking an eighteen-month A-level course in Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia, where I also took IGCSEs last year. I believe that the subjects I am taking will give me a strong foundation on which to base the continuation of my education in the natural sciences. The study of materials science requires an understanding of chemical properties and processes, so chemistry is an important subject. Physics includes the study of electrical and mechanical properties, as well as quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. In maths, I am taking a module in statistics, which will be useful in an experimental setting. Knowledge of biology is needed for topics related to enzymes and other biological molecules. I am computer literate, with a rudimentary command of the scripting language Python, and I have some experience with the statistical computing language R. I have taken part in a number of charitable events in the past three years. In 2010 I helped to organise a fundraising fair for a handicapped childrens home in JB. Last year I went to Cambodia, to visit an orphanage/school near Siem Reap with my classmates. We helped extend the school building and taught English to the pupils.Travelling in less developed countries has shown me that the skills that we take for granted may be almost unknown in many parts of the world, and can have a significant effect on peoples lives. For instance, my father and I restored the water supply to a village we visited in Papua New Guinea using simple plumbings skills and importantly,we were able to implement a culturally acceptable maintenance protocol that would keep the water flowing long after our departure. I am quite widely travelled. Before arriving in Malaysia, my family travelled by sailing yacht from the Bahamas to Indonesia via the Panama canal, over the course of six years. As a result, I am a keen sailor, snorkeler, and scuba diver. I have also become a blue-belt in karate while in Malaysia. I have been to forty countries, although I was too young to remember visiting some of them. While crewing on a yacht my responsibilities have included standing watch, sail trimming, navigating, helming and assisting with the maintenance (boats need a lot of maintenance!). Working within a team (and at times, with responsibility for the welfare of the team), has helped me develop skills which I am sure will be useful in later life. Now we are stationary in a marina, I have been able to find employment maintaining other yachts and helping boat owners with their IT requirements. The study of advanced and novel materials is of great interest to me, as applications that are derived from this research can achieve ubiquitous adoption and potentially improve the lot of mankind. I currently live on a sailing boat, a vehicle that 100 years ago would have most likely been constructed from wood, with natural fibres used for sails and controls. Materials science has transformed the boatbuilding industry by providing alloys and composites for hull construction and replaced hemp and jute with high modulus polyethylene and aramids. Thanks to advances by material scientists we are also able to produce power through photovoltaic

arrays and fresh water via reverse osmosis. Through studying at university, I intend to gain the knowledge and skills to develop a career within this exciting and important field.