2017 NAYGN Officer Elections

The Candidates

Vice President


 

Christine Johnsen

Biography

Christine Johnsen is a Core Design Engineer in Duke Energy’s Nuclear Fuels Engineering organization.  She began her career with Progress Energy in  2010 and assumed her current position following the Duke Energy/Progress Energy merger.  Johnsen earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2010.

Vision Statement

The future of nuclear hangs in the balance.  On one hand, there is a great demand for clean air energy but public perception and the rising cost of operating nuclear plants threaten the crucial role that nuclear energy plays in our nation’s diversified energy portfolio. If elected to the VP position, Christine will align the organization’s efforts to industry efforts.  She believes that NAYGN provides valuable opportunities for young professionals to develop the skills necessary to move our industry forward.  As the future of nuclear, the young generation provides a unique perspective and she will work to ensure that NAYGN members continue to have opportunities to sit at the table and make a difference.  Christine is passionate about the nuclear industry and will bring that energy to her role as VP to promote NAYGN’s mission.

NAYGN History

Christine Johnsen has extensive experience in NAYGN and currently serves as the US Affairs Chair (May 2016-current).   In her first six months as US Affairs Chair, she enhanced the metrics submittal process by introducing a new electronic platform.  Johnsen was formerly the Carolinas Regional Lead (2014 -2016) where she increased engagement across the Carolinas.  From 2011 through 2015, she served in various NAYGN leadership roles in the Duke Energy Chapter, including Chapter Lead.  During her time as an NAYGN officer, her Chapter won the Chapter Achievement Award (2012), Best in Region (2012, 2013), Public Information Award (2013, 2015), and KT&R Award (2014, 2015).

U.S. Affairs Chair


 

Maria Pfeffer

Biography

Maria is a Quality Lead Auditor at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, responsible for performing NQA-1 audits and assessments. Previously, she was a Transient Analysis Engineer, also at GE Hitachi. Maria earned a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2009 from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2013, from North Carolina State University. Maria currently resides in Wilmington, NC where she enjoys sailing, volleyball, running, and her new addiction to triathlons.

Vision Statement

The mission of the US Affairs Chairs is to serve as liaison between the core, regional leads, and the local chapters. Maria’s top priority is to serve the chapters by acting as their unified voice to the Core. Her goal is to unite the local chapters behind NAYGN’s pillar activities and the organization’s mission. She is passionate about the need for Nuclear Power to be part of our nation’s energy portfolio and will bring her enthusiasm to her role as US Affairs Chair to empower and inspire chapters to advocate for our industry.

NAYGN History

Maria began her NAYGN leadership in 2013 when she joined GE’s Chapter’s Core. She served as GE’s Co-Chair in 2014 and 2015 and Chair in 2016. Maria also served on the national Professional Development committee 2014-2016, assisting with conference planning and the photo contest. Maria’s biggest NAYGN accomplishment is co-chairing the 2016 Nuclear Science Week Big Event, hosted in Wilmington, NC (GE’s 2016 NAYGN Impact Project). The 3-day event was hugely successful in engaging 1,500 members of the public and educating them on the benefits and contributions that the nuclear sciences and technologies bring to our society.

Michael Hayes

Biography

Michael is a native of “The Scenic City” of Chattanooga, TN, where he currently resides with his wife, Arielle.  He is a graduate of the Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville and is in his fourth year as a program engineer for the TVA Sequoyah (SQN) station. Prior to his time at SQN, he was a design/startup engineer at Watts Bar unit 2 and Bellefonte.

Vision Statement

Improve networking and sharing of chapter successes through use of social media and live-streaming technologies to see projects, conferences and network live. It is important to get our HUB up and running as a vital resource to strengthening our NAYGN connections across the regions.

NAYGN History

Michael has been an active NAYGN member for almost 7 years, serving as NAYGN Chapter Vice President at TVA’s Bellefonte and Watts Bar stations and NAYGN Chapter President at the TVA Sequoyah station.  He served as the Chair for the Southeast Regional Conference hosted by TVA in 2013 and currently also serves on the HUB steering committee for NAYGN.  Michael has also led professional development days for TVA’s nuclear fleet through NAYGN and joined the Professional Development committee to support a successful 2017 National Conference in Scottsdale.

Public Information Chair


 

Chris Wolfe

Biography

Chris works in the Corporate Planning department evaluating generation resources for SCANA.  Chris has worked on both the vendor and utility side of the nuclear industry in design engineering, construction support and operations for the VC Summer 2 & 3 nuclear project.  Her responsibilities included design and project engineering, licensing programs, subcontract mgmt, and SRO training.  Chris has a double major in Civil Engineering & Economics from Vanderbilt University where she was captain of the Women’s golf team and a NCAA All-American.

Vision Statement

Chris believes in the power of the millennial generation and wants to help local chapters embrace their significance in the industry.  If elected, she would expand on NAYGN’s portfolio of Public Information initiatives and empower the local chapters with more resources.  This would include NAYGN being more involved in nuclear policy grassroots action efforts, continuing a K-12 research project with ANS to identify curriculum gaps in nuclear education, as well as getting our first NAYGN children’s book published for local chapters to start using for student outreach.

NAYGN History

Chris served as VC Summer’s Chapter President and was responsible for authoring their chapter bylaws and creating the High School Blitz, an initiative that is still going strong and a key contributor to V.C. Summer winning the 2016 Best Overall Chapter. Chris has served on the NAYGN Public Information Committee since 2014 when she became the U.S. Government Outreach Lead.  In this role, she started Post Card Push Day, which has sent over 5,000 postcards to elected officials promoting nuclear technology.  In 2016, Chris was appointed as the interim PI Chair for NAYGN and currently oversees a team of leads that promote student and government outreach.  During her time as PI Chair, she has delivered on new initiatives such as the essay contest and a college video contest.

Umar Faraz

Biography

Umar has worked as a mechanical engineer for AREVA since 2013.  He started his career as a stress analyst for reactor components. During his career he has served NSSS, Reactors & Services, Business Strategy, and Fuel Fabrication.  He is currently working as a sales and projects engineer with the fuels organization.  Umar is a graduate of UNC Charlotte with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing his M.S in Mechanical Engineering from N.C. State University.

Vision Statement

As the Public Information chair, Umar plans to focus his efforts on advocating policy makers for a coherent energy policy and the survival of nuclear plants, especially the ones with premature closing dates.  He seeks to improve the public’s perception of nuclear energy and clean air.  He will focus on the message of providing clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy to the public through nuclear education in STEM programs and public outreach. He will advocate that NUCLEAR IS NEED.

NAYGN History

Umar currently serves as the Chair of AREVA’s NAYGN Lynchburg chapter where the team is focused on STEM education, public, and government outreach.  In 2016, Umar became the Vice-Chair for the AREVA NAYGN Richland Chapter, where the team led efforts for a fuels knowledge transfer program with sessions to teach different aspects of fuel design and fabrication process.  Umar has also lead advocacy and STEM outreach efforts by writing blogs and providing students with tours of AREVA’s fuel fabrication facility.  Umar is currently serving on the NAYGN Professional Development committee for the next annual conference.

Communications Chair


 

Lee Causey

Biography

Lee has worked in the nuclear industry for eight years, with time split between Duke Energy’s Shearon Harris and McGuire plants.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a degreed mechanical engineer from NCSU.  He works as a procurement engineer for Duke Energy, but his favorite titles are husband (Carrie) and father (Julie and Claire).

Vision Statement

It’s hard to overstate the importance of proper communication.  Lee plans to use this position to better tailor NAYGN communications to what the membership would like to read, and to keep this as brief as possible.  He also would like to provide some transparency on what inputs and challenges are addressed by NAYGN’s Board of Directors and Committees.  He wants to help support both input and feedback from active NAYGN members to the Core to promote engagement and Core health.

NAYGN History

Lee has been an NAYGN member since 2010, serving as  Duke Energy’s site programs chair (2012), fleet programs chair (2012-2014), and chapter lead (2014-2016). He has served as a key player in Duke’s SMEs of the Future program, chapter conferences, and KT&R efforts that contributed to Duke’s Best Chapter in Region (2013), Best Chapter in KT&R (2014, 2015), and PI Award (2013, 2015).  Lee is currently the lead for the NAYGN Benchmarking Committee.

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