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Name: Tara Richardson
Hometown: Decatur, Ala.
Year: Doctoral student
Major: Polymer and fiber engineering / integrated textile and apparel science
Previous degrees: Bachelor's in polymer and fiber engineering
Tara Richardson likes a small town atmosphere. When visiting Auburn University, she was welcomed by the friendly faces and decided that it was the place for her.
Tara received her bachelor's degree in fiber engineering from Auburn in 2005 and went to work at GKN Aerospace in Tallassee, Ala. After a year and a half, she decided to return to Auburn for her graduate studies. She was confident in Auburn's ability to provide her with an excellent graduate education.
"I felt that the fiber engineering program did an excellent job providing me with the necessary skills to be successful in the work force," says Tara. "When I made the decision to return to graduate school Auburn was the obvious choice."
After working with fiber composites at GKN Aerospace, Tara wanted to do her graduate study in a related field, so she chose polymer nanocomposites. She currently researches with Maria Auad's group on nanoreinforced shape memory polyurethanes.
Tara was attracted to Auburn Engineering's reputation as one of the top in the state. She believes that employers respect the university and its graduates.
"Many outstanding engineers have graduated from this university and paved the way for following generations by setting a high standard that employers can see," says Tara. "This lets employers know that when they hire an Auburn University engineer, they are gaining a knowledgeable and experienced employee."
Tara's best memories at Auburn have been the friendships she has established in both her undergraduate and graduate studies. Graduate school has helped her form bonds with many international students. She had the opportunity to travel to Mar del Plata, Argentina and has maintained communication with the people there. "There are so many people that I have met at Auburn that have made a major impact on my life," she says.