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Nadia Georgieva casually throws around phrases like quantum optics and semiconductor lasers while she talks. Although it may sound like something from the latest sci-fi flick, she’s actually talking about her summer internship with the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Quantum Optics.
Nadia, an engineering physics major from Sofia, Bulgaria, was one of only 47 undergraduate students from 45 American universities chosen for the program.
“The program was very intensive,” she said. “Having an internship is a great way for every student to experience the reality outside of school. I learned a lot during my internship and had the chance to implement many of the skills I gained at Southeast.”
During her internship, Nadia traveled between Texas and Wyoming. She attended lectures by speakers from various research labs and visited their labs to learn more about their work, research methods and experimental apparatus. She also spent time conducting her own research, which she presented at the annual Conference on Laser Physics and Quantum Optics in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Conference presenters, including participants from prestigious research laboratories and universities, graded the research presented by Nadia and her fellow interns, ranking Nadia’s research third out of the 47 participants.
“The Engineering Physics program at Southeast is very well balanced,” she said. “During my research time, I made an optical filter using photolithography to form a waveguide pattern in LiNbO3 substrate and built Bragg gratings in silicon. The two experimental physics classes and the digital/analog systems design class I took at Southeast gave me the confidence I needed to be successful in the area of scientific research,” Nadia said.