About Graphene 1
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Roshni O'Neill centrifuges a sample

Meet Roshni O'Neill, TMTP Labs Intern and PhD Candidate in Material Science at University of New Orleans

Q: What initially drew you to the field of nanotechnology and material science, and how has your internship at TMTP Labs reinforced or evolved your interest in this area?

A: I have always been partial to inorganic chemistry, and my love for discovery and solid-state synthesis naturally drew me towards material science and nanotechnology. TMTP Labs has reinforced my drive towards learning as much as I can about my craft and continues to challenge me to become a better researcher.

Q: In what ways has your internship at TMTP Labs enhanced your understanding of nanotechnology and material science concepts and applications?

A: TMTP Labs has given me the freedom to explore new methods and applications of knowledge that I have learned in class, which has not only solidified my knowledge base but also has given me the challenge of applying concepts I am not as comfortable within the scope of my own research.

Q: How do you envision incorporating your experience with nanotech and material science from TMTP Labs into your future career or academic pursuits?

A: I think the skills I will take with me to my future career will be the flexibility and knowledge procurement it takes to transition your base skills into a new field. I have a strong background in inorganic chemistry but transitioning that knowledge to a new field of nanotechnology took me weeks of reading and studying to make sure I knew the most recent and relevant research on the material we were making. Though the learning curve seems steep, the ability to overcome that and become confident in my knowledge base was something that TMTP Labs helped me strengthen.

Q: What aspect of nanotechnology or material science research did you find most fascinating during your internship, and why?

A: My favorite part of materials science research is the discovery of the new paths that data guides you towards. Though it is never fun to have to go back to the drawing board, I love the chaos that comes with the cutting edge of science, where nothing is yet understood, and new things come up every day.

Q: Have there been any surprising discoveries or insights you gained while working with nanotechnology or materials science at TMTP Labs?

A: I think the biggest insights I have gained are that I can adapt and learn new things in a way that can meaningfully contribute to a team of colleagues and that materials science is an interconnected field that branches many disciplines; the more you are willing to reach out to learn, the more opportunities open up to you.

Q: Reflecting on your internship experience, what advice would you offer to other students or aspiring professionals interested in pursuing a career in nanotechnology or material science?

A: My biggest advice to anyone is to constantly be curious about the world around you, and not to be afraid to ask questions. A simple question I asked during a research presentation from TMTP labs was one of the reasons I was given the opportunity to join their team, and you never know what new knowledge you will gain, or what door will open from a simple interaction like this.

Q: Finally, what key takeaway or lesson have you learned from your internship at TMTP Labs that you believe will stay with you as you continue your journey in the field of nanotech and material science?

A: Always be willing to try something twice! I think that too often we are discouraged by a first attempt gone wrong, but by re-evaluating the results and trying again, we are sometimes surprised at what we can accomplish.