At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tara Pandya develops and analyzes radiation transport methods and codes for various nuclear engineering applications, such as nuclear reactor simulations and national security. She attended Texas A&M University –- College Station, earning a bachelor of science degree, master of science degree, and Ph.D.
1) What inspired you to work in STEM?
When I was a junior in high school, because I loved physics and math.
2) What excites you about your work at the Department of Energy?
Getting to run simulations and develop codes on the fastest supercomputers in the world!
3) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
More female STEM professionals need to visit schools and engage students directly in the classroom. Strong support from respected leaders would help encourage female professionals to get involved with STEM outreach programs. Growing up, these opportunities were severely lacking, even though I lived in a big university city.
4) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Pursuing a career in STEM requires a lot of hard work and determination, but the benefits far outweigh the struggle. The best part is being able to teach and inspire other young students about your experiences and STEM and seeing their enthusiasm.
5) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
I enjoy playing tennis, hiking, adventures with my dog, and playing the flute.