Barbara Pavan
Barbara Pavan

Studying and researching here at CMU has been a challenging and enriching experience so far. I started the Ph.D. program in the Science of Advanced Materials after getting my bachelor's in chemistry and pharmaceutical technologies in Milan, Italy.

When I came here, I was positively surprised with the good relationships possible with the faculty members, especially because the small program allows a large amount of interactions. Moreover, since both many professors and students are not only from the United States, I have been living in an extremely colorful environment where I've made many new friends.

I've participated in a project with Dr. Marco Fornari (Department of Physics) in computational physics. Our goal is to better understand—through theoretical calculations—the properties of amorphous silicon, a material used for making thin film solar cells.

Presently I'm researching in Dr. Mary Tecklenburg's group (Department of Chemistry) where I'm focused on studying the details of bone formation by using Raman and Infrared spectroscopy. A better understanding of this process could clarify the mechanisms of some of the pathological conditions that can affect bones, like osteoporosis.

The opportunity of experiencing different research areas in the first year was very enriching and helpful to me. This, in fact, gave me the possibility to explore different ongoing research projects and learn more in the subjects I was less prepared for, due to my chemistry background.

After roughly a year-and-a-half now at CMU, I can for sure conclude with a positive balance, from both the scientific and human point of view. So if you're interested in studying and researching new and interesting materials, CMU is the right place and SAM is the right program for you to join!