June 13, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. – Katharine Birkett, a summer intern for Savannah River Remediation (SRR) at the Savannah River Site (SRS), is a competitive shooter, a dressage rider and an engineer. In other words, she likes a challenge.
Birkett is majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in nuclear engineering at the University of South Carolina Aiken. In December, she will transfer to the University of South Carolina to complete her undergraduate degree.
While her other interests keep her busy, working as a summer intern for SRR has given her the opportunity to gain valuable experience in nuclear remediation as she prepares for her career.
"SRR is one of the few engineering companies that hire interns that are in any level in college. That is the primary reason I chose to work here this summer," said Birkett. "It is a great opportunity for me to challenge myself and to stay a step ahead of my classmates."
Ultimately, Birkett said she would like to work as an intermediary between government officials and contractors. During her internship, she has learned that there are a lot of interconnected parts in the mission of SRR.
"Everyone is working toward a common goal," said Birkett. "I find it insightful to see how people from different departments get together to solve issues."
One of her projects this summer is to take inventory of the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and test their connections on Site. SRR is currently transitioning to internally providing the filter testing required by DOE. What Birkett is doing now will make the process much easier because engineers and others will have key data needed when testing begins.
Birkett is one of 43 interns working with SRR this summer at SRS. Interns were chosen based on relevant work experience, their year in school and grade-point averages.
SRS is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by SRR, a team of companies led by URS Corp. with partners Bechtel National, CH2M Hill and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, Energy Solutions and URS Professional Solutions.
Media contact: Melanie Metts Melanie.Metts@srs.gov 803.208.2672