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Tatiana P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at North Carolina State University


Materials Science and Engineering


Hello!! My name is Tatiana, but I usually go by Tania (honestly, I'll reply to anything that starts with a "T"). I'm a third year Ph.D. stduent in the Materials program at NC State. I work on Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM) and polymers. Specifically, AFMs have the ability to look at polymers at the nano-scale, which is really important because polymers are made of really small complicated chain-like structures that are not still well understood. Outside of lab I play ultimate frisbee and like to run a lot. I find that staying active with friends is the best way for me to de-stress after school. I also like to garden and take photos (my job in college was a photographer!). My mom is French and my dad is from Wisconsin, so I was practically raised eating only cheese. When I have the time I like to read (non-fiction and fiction). I'm also heavily involved with a Science Policy club at NC State and believe that science is political, but not partisan.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Build a DIY AFM

I should start off by saying this porject would cost money, presumably around $1500. It is also fairly ambitious and would require a decent amount of time, which is why I am listing it as a second project idea. If a student is interested in this and has experience with electronics, I would be willing to apply for funding from external sources for this. This project has been done by other high school students before. Materials for the low cost AFM are: 1. OPU disassembled from a DVD ROM 2. Piezo speakers 3. Signal connector 4. Precision screws 5. Circuit boards 6. AFM probes The tools needed are: 1. A soldering iron 2. Solder 3. Quick-dry adhesive 4. Epoxy 5. Magnets 6. Screw driver. For more information I've included the following sources: 1. 2. Grey, F. Creativity unleashed. Nature Nanotech 10, 480 (2015). 3.

Is "scientific research" relevant to what we use in our daily lives?

This would be a research paper looking at how science is used in our communities. How are new scientific findings disseminated to the public? What is the relationship between public use and public funding for science. Should scientific data be made fully transparent? (ie, should scientists be required to disclose all their data in an experiment?)

Coding skills

python, Spyder environment

Languages I know

French, full professional proficiency

Teaching experience

High school: - Hands-on tour guide at the Ty Warner Sea center. Taught visitors of all ages everything from how to hold sand sharks to College: - Tutored undergraduate students (both major and non-major) physics students. - Led backpacking trips for peers, some of whom had never gone camping before. (Through my school's outdoor rec program.) Graduate school: - TA'd a large course (250+ students) - Mentored undergraduate students in my advisor's lab. These students had their own projects, I was simply there to answer questions, provide ideas and feedback, and train them on instruments.


Work experience

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2019 - 2020)


Luther College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2019)
North Carolina State University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Materials Science and Engineering

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