February 06, 2018
An Industry Newcomer Builds a Promising Career
After getting his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Ravi Singaraju found his way into the nuclear industry mostly by chance. “I kind of stumbled into the nuclear industry,” he says. Posting his resume into the Lockheed Martin system, Ravi eventually received a call from a manager at the company’s Naval Nuclear Laboratory. And as he puts it, “the rest is history.”
There was no slowing down from there. He earned his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, while also building on his professional experience as a nuclear engineer with Bechtel.
Finding His Way to TerraPower
It was from there that Ravi joined TerraPower’s team. A former colleague and mentor was at TerraPower and made Ravi aware of the company. The company’s goals piqued his interest. Reflecting on his beginning with the company, Ravi says that, “once I started looking into what they were doing, it sounded like a really amazing company with a great mission.”
Ravi works as a Fuel Design Project Engineer for TerraPower. He is responsible for supplier technical oversight of manufacturing development efforts and design work in support of ongoing reactor core design. His team focuses on the design, manufacturing, and qualification of nuclear fuel and other core components. Some days are spent coordinating efforts with manufacturing suppliers and some are spent working on some facet of design. That is where the team’s bulk effort and attention are spent.
Venturing into the Next Generation
Ravi’s prior experience was working in the US naval nuclear program, which is regulated and commercialized technologies with decades of operational and design history. Wading into the waters of advanced nuclear technologies presented an exciting and challenging opportunity. The prospect of being on the ground floor of development of a new reactor type is rare in the nuclear industry. Speaking on the differences between the existing nuclear industry and the advanced reactor industry, Ravi points out that “the advanced nuclear industry is more fluid in defining its role in the future of energy and in terms of work that either hasn’t been done before, or hasn’t been done for decades.”
Employees at TerraPower are highly motivated and passionate individuals. Teams are driven by the mission of the company and excited about the technology. As Ravi has noticed during his time at TerraPower, the enthusiasm of TerraPower employees is reflected in the work they do. “I’ve never had the opportunity to work somewhere with such a dedicated group of people. It’s one of the reasons I love what I do,” Ravi says of the workplace culture.
A Diverse Team to Accomplish a Daunting Task
Ravi knows that to accomplish TerraPower’s goal of commercializing advanced nuclear technology, the company needs to continue to build on its strong team of employees. And strength comes from a diverse background of skill sets. Giving advice to those interested in the company, Ravi says, “apply! You never know how your past experiences can be utilized.
Look at what your background provides in terms of skills, whether that is design, analysis, or operations. This isn’t easy work, there are a lot of challenges ahead, but if you can bring a unique skill or experience to the table, we can all benefit from that in the end.”