Stiphany Ta Tieu

Philomath & Philophile ♡

About Me

Stiphany Ta Tieu

Howdy! Thank you for checking out my page. I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering at (The) Pennsylvania State University. My origin story... levity. Belief. Humor. Self-confidence. Work.

"You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great..."
-Maya Angelou

    Places I'm From:
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Troy, Ohio
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Rochester, New York
  • State College, Pennsylvania

Research Philosophy

Send it, bro

Teaching Philosophy


My Hero Academia

We are all born artists, and food science is my medium. Owing to the integrative nature of food science (incl. chemistry, engineering, nutrition, microbiology, and sensory), I have developed broad-based knowledge focused on solving problems within the food system. My current research is probing the interactions between food constituents and novel metal can coatings that underpin failure mechanisms in canned foods. Herein, I propose to use computational methods, specifically machine learning, to extend the impact of my doctoral research by developing high-throughput screening methods for new coating formulations to generate service lifetime predictions for coatings and to assess the compatibility of coatings with increasingly “functional,” “adventurous,” and “globally inspired” foods. Instead of focusing on any one combination of food and coating, I aim to develop frameworks and tools that are useful for many food products and coating systems. Support from my USDA-NIFA-AFRI Predoctoral Fellowship will equip me as a research scientist with the knowledge and skills necessary to solve the complex challenges of 21st century agriculture using big data with the overarching theme of improving food safety and food security.

My career trajectory to becoming a Professor of Food Science originates in a manufacturing plant, where I interned as a food technologist during my tenure as an undergraduate. This along with my other academic and industrial experiences (e.g., teaching assistant and researcher in food science and chemical engineering) instilled in me a deep curiosity and drive to pursue research in food engineering. The dynamic field of food science motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries of existing domain knowledge in agriculture. In the role of Professor of Food Science, I intend to collaborate with industry, curate interdisciplinary teams, and lead applied research aimed at elucidating food-packaging interactions to ensure the safety and security of our food supply. This fellowship will prepare and train me for an academic research career to respond confidently and swiftly to these challenges. With this fellowship, I will:

  1. Build my suite of materials characterization techniques to generate a mechanistic understanding of complex food systems. Through planning and executing my proposed experiments (see Aims 1 and 2) under the guidance of my mentors, Dr. Ziegler and Dr. Sikora (see 2), I will develop my research expertise in laboratory skills, navigate failure to drive research progress, and establish my professional credibility. This training will further develop my creativity, competency, and confidence to advance food and agricultural sciences and become successful as a Professor of Food Science.
  2. Develop computational skills to solve difficult problems in food systems by applying machine learning algorithms. Using my domain knowledge in food and agricultural sciences and under the mentorship of Dr. Reinhart (see 2), I will leverage the power of artificial intelligence to approach the analysis and interpretation of the ever-expanding scale and complexity of food systems data (see Aim 3) and to effectively pursue my research interests (food-packaging interactions influencing food quality and safety).
  3. Expand my breadth and depth of learning in foundational leadership competencies. I will disseminate my research findings to diverse stakeholders (e.g., academics, can manufacturers, and coatings suppliers) through publications in peer-reviewed journals and research presentations (see 4.2). My project involves interdisciplinary collaborations, where I will interface with both industry and academia to build strong partnerships. For my pedagogical training, I will participate in FDSC 150: Food Science First Year Engagement and serve as the instructor for FDSC 411: Managing Food Quality (Fall 2024). Activities proposed in this project will further develop my organizational skills (e.g., effective time management, task prioritization, and goal setting) and communication skills, which are integral to my development and success in academia.

Ph.D. Dissertation

  1. In situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  2. Interactions
  3. Pigment
  4. Substrate
  5. Vacuum
  6. Convolutional neural networks

M.S. Thesis
Research Philosophy
Teaching Philosophy

The Ziegler Lab

Thanh Nhu Tieu and Dung Quang Ta


Stephanie Ta Tieu

My favorite sister

My love


Harley, my baby GS



Rock climbing

Sending it



Dwight K. Schrute

My wiener dog

Wood Stove

Roasting weenies


Beware of ticks!





Dirt biking


Building a home

So much dust

Swimming with a dolphin


Muhammad Najeeb Akbar


Climb Nittany


"... I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..."

-Henry David Thoreau