Vision and Mission
Developing leaders to energize the future of nuclear…
NAYGN provides opportunities for a young generation of nuclear enthusiasts to develop leadership and professional skills, create life-long connections, engage and inform the public, and inspire today’s nuclear technology professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) was established in 1999 by seven young professionals. These young professionals wanted to create an organization that provided professional development, public information, knowledge transfer, recruiting and networking opportunities for the next generation of nuclear leaders.
Fueled by volunteers, the organization has grown to include dozens of continental committees and over a hundred local chapters facilitated by a board of directors affectionately known as The Core. This structure allows the organization to be flexible and serve a wide variety of members. The organization has conducted hundreds of thousands of hours of activities to educate the public and provided development opportunities at the local, regional, national and continental level.
Natalie Wood is the Vice President Coordinator at Entergy’s River Bend Station. She began her nuclear career in 2006 as a mechanical design engineer and then later worked as the Reactor Vessel Internals and Appendix J program owner. Natalie has served as a national ambassador for nuclear power over the past six years as a member of the Clean Energy America speaker’s bureau. Natalie resides in Louisiana with her husband and two children.
Abbey Donahue is a design engineer with AREVA TN in Columbia, MD. Abbey started her career in the front end of the fuel cycle performing PWR and BWR core design. In 2011, she joined the back end of the fuel cycle working with transportation and dry fuel storage systems. Abbey graduated from Purdue with a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and minor in Mechanical Engineering. In 2016, she will receive an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Tennessee-Knoxville. She was formerly the Professional Development Chair.
Christine Johnsen is a Core Design Engineer in Duke Energy’s Nuclear Fuels Engineering organization. Johnsen is the reload team leader for the Robinson Nuclear Plant in the Carolinas. She joined Progress Energy in May 2010 and assumed her current position following the Duke Energy/Progress Energy merger in 2012. Johnsen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2010.
Professional Development ChairEmail
Kristin McCoskey is a Nuclear Fuels Safety Analysis engineer at Exelon Generation where she is responsible for accident and transient analyses for LaSalle and Clinton Stations. Previously, Kristin was a mechanical engineer with Sargent & Lundy where she supported the proposed ABWRs at South Texas Project, plant modifications for Progress Energy, Configuration Management, and Business Development. Kristin earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kristin was formerly the NAYGN Treasurer and Exelon West Chapter Professional Development and Chapter Chair.
Public Information ChairEmail
Chris Wolfe works in the Corporate Resource Planning department for SCANA. Chris started her career in nuclear as a Structural Design Engineer with the Shaw Group in Charlotte, NC, designing site specific structures for the VC Summer 2 & 3 nuclear project. Her responsibilities included project engineering scheduling and cost management, 10CFR21 and 10CFR55(e) programs, engineering design changes to support construction, subcontract management, and civil/structural design specifications. Chris continued her career on the VC Summer project in the Nuclear Operations Department for SCE&G.
Chris has a double major in Civil Engineering and Economics from Vanderbilt University. She was an NCAA All American golfer, team captain of the Vanderbilt Women’s golf team and played on the LPGA tour prior to joining the nuclear industry. She has been the NAYGN US Government Outreach lead from 2014-2016 on the PI committee as well as the VC Summer NAYGN Chapter President. Chris resides in Blythewood, SC with her husband and two children.
Lee Causey has been an NAYGN member since 2010, serving as Duke Energy’s site programs chair, fleet programs chair, and chapter lead. Lee served as a key player in Duke’s SMEs of the Future program, chapter conferences, and KT&R efforts that led to numerous awards for the Duke Energy Chapter.
He 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, but his favorite titles are husband (Carrie) and father (Julie and Claire).
US Affairs ChairEmail
Maria Pfeffer began her NAYGN leadership in 2013 when she joined GE’s Chapter’s Core. Later, she assisted conference planning and the photo contest with the Professional Development committee. Maria considers her 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.
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. She 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.
Canadian Affairs ChairEmail
Devi Shantilal is an engagement specialist with over 10 years of diverse professional experience in engineering, stakeholder engagement, and program management. At Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), Devi works as Aboriginal Relations Engagement Officer. A sustainability enthusiast at heart with a keen interest in youth leadership, Devi possesses an honors degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Mexican Affairs ChairEmail
Guillermo Ibarra is currently a graduate student at the Instituto Politecnico Nacional and will receive his Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering by the end of 2016. He has been a research intern at the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares (ININ- Mexico) since 2016 assisting the nuclear physics group. Tasks include cross section generation with Serpent and MCNP, benchmarking deterministic codes, and developing pre and post processing tools. Research interests include lattice physics computation, nuclear fuel analysis, nuclear software development, and parallelism of deterministic codes. Guillermo graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo.
Steve Ward is a Senior Licensing Engineer for DTE Electric Company at the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant. Prior to DTE, Steve worked for Entergy at Grand Gulf in Mississippi and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Steve has a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from University of Utah and a Master’s in Nuclear Engineering from University of Michigan.
Core Committee Leads
Core positions available!
Join the NAYGN Core and take your involvement to the next level!
The founders of NAYGN received the first Founders Award at the
2009 NAYGN Annual Professional Development Workshop.
Sama Bilbao y León
Public Information Chair (1999-2005)
Vice President (1999-2001)
Professional Development Chair (2001-2002)
Professional Development Chair (1999-2001)
Past President (2002-2003)
Alumni Relations (1999-2002)
Canadian Affairs Chair (2000-2005)
Communication Chair (1999-2003)
Vice President (2003-2004)
Past President (2005-2006)