July 15, 2015
AIKEN, S.C. – Computing and the outdoors don't have much in common, but for Savannah River Remediation (SRR) intern Sagarkumar Mistry, when one stops, the other begins.
Known as Sagar by friends, he was born in India and moved to New Jersey with his family when he was 11 years old. Ultimately ending up in Columbia, South Carolina, Sagar now attends the University of South Carolina (USC), where he's a junior computer engineering student.
Sagar is proving himself to be an asset to SRR's Process Controls Engineering group, as he tackles a number of important projects in one summer.
All of his summer assignments support the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), SRR's plant that glassifies the high-activity radioactive sludge waste from the Site's waste tanks. Collaborating with another SRR intern, Sagar said one of the projects involves updating simulation designs for the DWPF process controls.
"This project really allows me to contribute to the team," he said. "Effective teamwork skills are so important in an environment like SRR."
Another project involves accessing legacy systems, a multi-step project that allows Sagar to use skills learned in his academic courses firsthand. After surveying the systems, Sagar, with the help of his teammates, creates a list that prioritizes the programs based on their facility impacts, and then he presents his findings to management for further action.
Juggling these tasks, in addition to some reporting projects, Sagar is getting the most out of his time at SRR.
Although computing may be his day job, Sagar likes to turn off his computer and enjoy the great outdoors when the workday is done.
"I'm definitely a nature-loving person, even though you can't tell by looking at me," Sagar said. "I'd much rather go outdoors, go hiking or camping. I usually try to go hiking twice a month."
He has hiked trails in Tennessee and North Carolina and plans to traverse many more. Also having a passion for volunteering, Sagar has helped start a branch of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) at USC, is a member of Rotaract—a college version of Rotary International—and has participated in Habitat for Humanity initiatives.
Nature has always been a part of Sagar's life. Growing up on a farm, he would spend nearly all day outdoors, he said.
"I liked being a part of the nature; it was nice and calm, yet beautiful at the same time," he said. "It also provides a nice distraction from everyday work."
SRR is the Liquid Waste contractor at SRS, which is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.
Point of Contact: Colleen Welch