April 5, 2011 Her job: Project Engineer, EnergySolutions
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I design liquid radwaste processing systems and ancillary equipment that is used for packaging, processing and remote handling of spent media used in processing of liquids.
Why did you choose engineering?
A couple engineers came and talked to my class in the 4th grade about specialty ceramics used to encapsulate nuclear waste. From then on, I was set in what I'd do.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
University of South Carolina, class of 2006, Bachelors of Science (cum laude) Chemical Engineering
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
Design, fabrication, testing, installation, commissioning, operation and decommissioning.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
Each project presents unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. I also get to travel the world.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
Designing a system that will be installed and used in the UK.
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
You have to work for each contract that you win, proving that your design and your equipment are not only worth the price but also superior to the other options.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I have two dogs, Viva, a little chihuahua, and Grizzly, a hound dog that goes running with me. My parents and an older sister live in Augusta, where I grew up.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
Short-term I'd like to continue to provide capable, quality systems to the nuclear power industry. Eventually, I would like to take a 3-5 yr post with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) with a focus on commercial power and low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Keep working. It isn't easy for anyone and don't expect that it should be easy for you. If something is worth doing, do it well and excel.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I have run three full marathons, six half marathons and a handful of sprint triathlons. I enjoy being outside and enjoying the weather.