In the News

Tim Baughman, Savannah River Remediation (SRR) Design Authority Engineer and mentor to Christina Santos, explains the slurry pump on Tank 22 in SRR's H Tank Farm. Santos is a chemical engineering student who interned in the Tank Farm through SRR's summer college intern program.

Standing Out: Savannah River Remediation Intern Breaking the Status Quo of Engineering Field

August 13, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. – In her predominately male program of study, Christina Santos is not only standing out, she is leading the pack.

Santos is from Wolcott, Conn., and attends the University of New Haven, also in Connecticut. As a senior chemical engineering major, Santos is one of only seven other young women in her engineering class. She sits at the top of her class with a 3.56 GPA.

Her concentration in environmental studies has proven itself useful during her summer internship at Savannah River Remediation (SRR). Santos works with SRR's Tank Farm Facility Engineering group where she has been a part of a project involving waste transfer between two liquid waste tanks. A low-level radioactive waste substance known as sludge is being moved between two tanks located in H Tank Farm. The sludge is being moved out to make room to receive waste from the Defense Waste Processing Facility. Santos has played several roles in the finalization of this project, including writing the results section of the transfer operational plan.

Santos is proud to be a young woman in the engineering field, and her experience at SRR has been a positive one.

"Everyone I work with at SRR has respected me as an intern, an engineer and as a person in general," Santos said.

In addition to her studies and internship, she is a member of two engineering organizations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

Santos had an interest in nuclear before interning at SRR, but no previous experience in the industry. SRR has proven to be a valuable place to kick start her engineering career.

"My time at SRR has been great because I've seen a bunch of stuff I've never seen before," she said. "I've been able to see things I've learned about in school – like gamma radiation – but actually in real life."

After graduation, Santos wants to earn a master's degree in chemical engineering, then a Master of Business Administration, so she can eventually move into management, possibly in the manufacturing industry.

SRR is the Liquid Waste contractor at SRS, which is owned by U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is a team of companies led by URS Corporation with partners Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.

Point of Contact: Maddie Blair 803-208-2634

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