My works. I take pleasure in stretching

My name is Adam Mallette, and I am applying for a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. I believe
that succeeding in this program at Yale University will provide the necessary background for me
to be able to thrive as a professional engineer working in industry with an interdisciplinary
background. I desire to be able to think and function at a high level in my field while also being
able to make connections between the jobs being done in different fields to improve the overall
efficiency of a company’s regular functions.
Throughout my life, I have always made an effort to be involved in a wide range of activities,
including professional development, having active faith and social lives, and participating in
athletic activities and improving physical fitness. I have done research in laboratories in the
fields of chemistry, aerospace engineering, and biophysics, and I have additionally had two
semesters of laboratory work in chemical engineering. I therefore have a skill set for performing
a vast array of laboratory procedures with an understanding of many diversified techniques. I
have a minor in philosophy, and in addition to reading philosophy I enjoy reading theological
texts and assorted literary works in my spare time. In addition to having written formal lab
reports and research papers on the detection of dendrite growth in batteries, for example, I have
also written extensive papers on both the problem of evil and racism as it is portrayed through
the theme of monstrosity in various works. I take pleasure in stretching my brain in diverse ways
to engage my ability to connect different concepts in ways that may not be as straightforward for
others. This past year, I have further stepped out of my comfort zone to improve myself in ways
that I had never explored before, like entering into a dedicated relationship, running Spartan
Races, and practicing asceticism, all as part of an attempt to become adept in every major facet
of my life. A professor once told me that graduate school pushes you to improve in all areas in
which you lack. For me, this could be anything from presenting at a conference to expressing my
ideas more clearly and concisely, to more general life skills such as: prioritizing, being patient,
and learning how to deal with unexpected problems. This intrigues me, as I am passionate about
improving myself in any way that I can. I have a strong desire to continue to be interdisciplinary
in my graduate studies and in my profession.
This past summer provides another example of how I was able improve in different ways. I
was fortunate enough to receive a fellowship to fund a summer of research in Ireland. This
experience was formative for me in many ways. It confirmed that I am passionate about research
while expanding my world-view by exposing me to a strikingly different culture. It improved my
self-confidence by giving me the opportunity to live on my own, forcing me to provide for
myself. Finally, it gave me the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in solitude in a
beautiful country, where I could hike alone across the Irish mountains. While doing so, I was
able to prioritize the different aspects of my life in preparation for the important decisions that I
will have to make in a few short months.
My interdisciplinary mindset also plays a significant role within my major of chemical
engineering. I originally decided to study chemical engineering because I had always enjoyed
both math and chemistry, and I wanted the opportunity to continue to study in both fields. As I
began to take courses in chemical engineering, I realized that I was interested in a wide range of
aspects, including: transport phenomena, reaction kinetics, nanomaterials, and separations.
Although it has been difficult for me to choose a specific field to get involved in, I realized that
my intellectual curiosity is very high, and once I get into a field that I am intrigued by, I find
myself wanting to learn everything that I can about it. While I am excited to be able to do
extensive research on a particular topic, I have many general interests within the field, so I am
open to different directions that life and research could take me. For example, during the past summer, I worked on microfluidic discs, and I was fascinated by both the beauty in the
simplicity of the work I was doing and the wide range of applications in diagnoses of health
problems. I have realized, however, that these different aspects I am interested in all come
together in a fascinating way in catalysis research. Additionally, I believe that catalysis is a great
field to be able to research topics that will have a tangible impact on people’s daily lives. It also
aligns with my desire to work on projects that lead to the rectification or improvement of
environmental issues.
I am confident that I will succeed in graduate school because I have been successful in the
past throughout my different experiences with research. I have analyzed and characterized the
kinetics of multiple organometallic reactions. At GOJO Industries, I formulated and
characterized synthetic dirt used for testing the efficacy of tough soil hand cleanser. In Ireland, I
programmed LabView software to test microfluidic discs in various ways. Finally, I determined
an effective method for evenly coating a solid-state, temperature-sensitive luminophore onto
aluminum surfaces for wind tunnel testing. In addition to working towards the goal assigned to
me by my supervisor, I constantly look for ways the process can be improved upon, whether I
can make it more efficient, more economic, or easier. For example, when I worked in the
research and development laboratory at GOJO, I came up with a method to decrease sample
waste and increase available laboratory storage space both by a factor of two, simply by using a
different method to test soap viscosity. Later, at Dublin City University, I was able to form a
highly efficient system for manufacturing effective microfluidic discs, simply by managing my
time. I believe that time management is one of my greatest strengths, and it has enabled me to
happily succeed in ways spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical.
As mentioned above, I think that it is extremely important to be well rounded, and I believe
that the quality of students, faculty, and people at Yale University will create an environment
that allows individuals like myself to thrive. Although I enjoy working independently, it is
important for me to be surrounded by an atmosphere of positivity, friendliness, and cooperation.
I am additionally interested by the wide range of opportunities in community service that Yale
offers because I have found that wherever I go, my life is more fulfilling when I interact with the
community around me, using my unique talents to improve the lives of others.
Some of the research at Yale that particularly piques my interest is being done in the Holland
Group and the Haller Group. The Holland Group appeals to me because of its work in catalysis
research, and the fact that it works with common, inexpensive materials. I strongly believe that
simplicity is often a path to success in many aspects of life, and therefore I am fascinated by the
idea of designing catalysts based on the model of effective, natural enzymes. I would be most
interested in working on energy research within the field of catalysis. It also seems to me that the
group is highly collaborative, which appeals to me. I am likewise interested in the Haller Group
because of its work on catalysts. I am intrigued by the use of carbon nanotubes as support for
catalysts, and I would be particularly interested in working experimentally on the testing and
characterization of developed materials. Past graduate school, I am open to working both in
industry and in academia, depending on where my path takes me. I would like to be doing
research on novel technologies and understanding the intricate details of certain catalytic
systems.
I do not doubt the facts that, while pursuing my Ph.D. in engineering, I will succeed and I
will be happy. I have learned from my past experiences with research that there are many
roadblocks and sources of frustration along the way, but if these so-called failures are met with
patience and perceived as learning opportunities, then only good will result. The only uncertainties that remain for me are where I will be and what kind of research I will get invested
in and become passionate about. I would love the opportunity to work and study at Yale
University. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you soon!