Nuclear Test Engineer, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Georgia Institute of Technology, Class of 2017
B.S in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Minor in Mathematics
The Walker School, Class of 2012
On May 6, 2017 I will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics. After graduation, I will start my career as a Nuclear Test Engineer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. I do not know much about the position that I can divulge, but I will likely be working with a team of engineers from both the Department of Defense and the Navy to maintain the submarines in shutdown mode for the duration of their stay at the shipyard, as well as performing/overseeing various tests of the reactor systems onboard. The long-short of it is that I will be supporting the fast attack submarine fleet and spending much of the first two years in qualification training to be a qualified Shift Test Engineer. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the longest continuously active shipyard in the United States (since 1800) and I am proud to represent Walker's Tradition of Excellence while I am there.
An education that sets you apart: Walker gave me a broad background in not only the sciences/STEM subjects but also the arts and humanities. I think that this is what has set me apart from many of my colleagues at Tech and similar institutions. Everyone who is competing for a STEM degree understands science (or at least understands by the end) and math, but NOT everyone has a strong basis in history, arts or humanities. Especially at Georgia Tech, these subjects represent an increasingly small fraction of the courses we take here. When I go to work I will have to communicate with people that do and do not share my same mindset, and a knowledge of a variety of subjects is very important in fostering these relationships. I thank Walker for introducing me to not only various subjects in school but also to diverse cultures and mindsets.
Walker’s STEM curriculum prepared me for Georgia Tech and beyond: The science, math and technology education I received at Walker was top-notch and prepared me excellently for my first-year material at Georgia Tech. I was able to catch a glimpse at “life after calculus” through the Advanced Topics and Linear Algebra classes. The robotics club, which has found enormous success, introduced me to the engineering process and mindset, and helped me apply the physics and math I had learned to real-world problems. Science Olympiad, another successful Walker club, let me flesh out which areas of science, math and engineering I most enjoyed, and allowed me to augment my coursework in subjects that I chose. The entire department was there to support and encourage my learning throughout my career, and never failed to challenge me. AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Calculus, Advanced Topics, Linear Algebra, AP Computer Science – the instruction I got in these courses lead me to Tech, and I can’t thank the Walker teachers enough for that.
But it’s not all about STEM… Beyond knowledge of science and mathematics, I left Walker with a new respect for the arts, literature and languages that I encountered here. I became a better-rounded student and person, a point that became glaringly obvious when I got to Tech and started talking with my classmates. Sitting side-by-side with some of the greatest minds I have ever met, who now work at SpaceX, Tesla, NASA’s JPL, Google, Facebook, Delta, GE, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Disney, I realized that I had received something these people had not. We all had a background in the STEM subjects - it is Tech, after all. However, I was able to write more eloquently, and pull more obscure literary and artistic references than most of my classmates. The breadth of my Walker education really began to shine through.