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Hires, promotions announced at NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Margaret Piranian and James Walsh have joined the NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and three scientists have been promoted.

Piranian is an X-ray specialist. She previously was an analyst at Evans Analytical Group, Peabody, Mass., and a chemist at UOP Honeywell, Des Plaines, Ill. She earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of British Columbia and has extensive scientific lab experience at several universities, most recently at Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

Walsh is a systems engineer. Most recently, he was senior principal software engineer for Datacard, Minnetonka, Minn. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from NDSU and a master’s degree in software engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Xuliang Dai was promoted to research scientist. Dai began as a research associate at CNSE in 2006, and became a post-doctoral researcher in 2008. Prior to joining CNSE, he worked as a post-doctoral associate for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Zhigang Chen was promoted to senior research scientist. Chen joined CNSE as a graduate research assistant in 2003 and became a research associate in 2006. He was named a CNSE research scientist in 2007. Chen earned his bachelor’s degree in polymer science from Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China, and later worked as a coating and adhesive product development chemist for ICI Paints and National Starch and Chemicals. He earned his doctorate from NDSU in 2006.

Konstantin Pokhodnya was promoted to senior research scientist. Pokhodnya joined CNSE as a research scientist in 2007. He earned his doctorate from the Moscow Institute of Science and Technology. Pokhodnya has more than 30 years experience working at the Institute of Semiconductors in Kiev, Ukraine, and at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

CNSE conducts multidisciplinary research with partners in the government, private and university sectors. CNSE’s scientific capabilities include bioactive materials, combinatorial science, corrosion protection, electronics miniaturization, flexible electronics and materials, hard coatings, wireless sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID). The center also develops protective coatings for ships and aircraft. CNSE has been recognized in various publications including Wired magazine and The Financial Times. For more information, visit

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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