July 12, 2016
Aiken, S.C. - Savannah River Remediation (SRR) summer intern A’Jay Jones uses methods of deduction learned from his role model, Sherlock Holmes, in both his electrical engineering internship and his everyday life.
Growing up in Albany, Georgia, Jones said he was always the inquisitive one of his parents’ three children. He took apart and fixed the family’s cable box at 11 years old and said he was always intrigued by disassembling household items, especially computers. Jones said that fellow church members also recognized his abilities, often asking him to tinker with their electronics.
In middle school, Jones watched detective shows and read books about Sherlock Holmes and even dreamed of becoming a detective himself. However, once he combined his passion for solving mysteries with his interest in technology, engineering became the obvious choice for his future.
Growing up, Jones also enjoyed mentoring fellow students in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), as well as playing intramural basketball.
Jones is currently pursuing an electrical engineering degree at Tuskegee University in Alabama, following in the footsteps of many in his family, including his father and siblings. On campus, he remains active in mentorships at Tuskegee Elementary School, promoting STEM, and the importance of obtaining a college degree. Jones also does mission work through Tuskegee’s Wesley Foundation, and is a senator within a campus engineering group.
“Running into a peer I tutored in Albany on the campus of Tuskegee University was heartwarming,” Jones said. “The ability to break down patterns and simplify problems enough for others to understand is an extremely rewarding aspect of my life.”
Jones is interning with SRR’s Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) and Saltstone facility this summer, where he said he continues to use Holmes’ deductive reasoning methods in order to quickly and efficiently solve problems presented to his group.
He is currently working on a prototype for adjusting temporary plugs in canisters at DWPF, for which he said he is utilizing STEM skills, such as math and physics, along with practicing the teambuilding he learned through basketball.
“Just as Holmes needed Watson, the scope of our projects is not limited to an individual person,” said Jones. “Working as a team with other engineers, crane operators, control systems groups, and many others, is essential to successful implementation and future progress.”
SRR is the liquid waste contactor at Savannah River Site for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.