May 16, 2018

An Unintended Career Path

In 2012, Jason Meng was on vacation visiting family in the Seattle area. While there, Jason met an engineer employed with TerraPower. Through that encounter, he learned about the company and the engineer’s role on the engineering team. Jason was fascinated hearing about the work going on at TerraPower’s lab. Luckily, the company was hiring interns for the upcoming summer and Jason applied.

At the time, Jason was getting his BSE in materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan. But the nuclear industry was not a part of Jason’s initial intended path. As he puts it, “having been raised and educated in Michigan, I often thought that I would end up working in the automotive industry.” TerraPower was the spark that changed Jason’s course. After learning about TerraPower’s mission and technologies, he wanted to help contribute.

Cross Country for a Good Cause

Done with his last semester of school, Jason moved out to Seattle and started full-time at TerraPower in January of 2013. He began as an engineer working on fuel design and the core assembly of the TWR technology.

Since then, Jason has worked his way up to his current role of Senior Engineer, Core Mechanical Design & Analysis with TerraPower. As part of the Core Mechanical Design group, he develops methodologies for evaluating the mechanical behavior of the TWR core design. Jason develops and uses modeling tools to analyze assembly distortions and their interactions with the core restraint system. He also works on verification and validation activities to support the mechanical analysis codes, which include benchmarking and mechanical testing at the lab.

Jason’s weekly work load varies, keeping the job exciting. He splits his time between finite element analysis, software development, and analysis documentation.

Passion and Diversity Solving Complex Challenges

Working on areas such as the mechanical behavior of an advanced reactor core design is challenging work. The Core Mechanical Design team tackles complex engineering issues, and the challenges make the work fascinating.

Jason is not only excited about the work, but those working alongside him. “It is exciting to work with a very motivated group of people who are passionate about what they do,” he says. One of the reasons why TerraPower’s engineering teams work so well together is that they possess a diverse knowledge base and have background in a variety of industries. Everyone brings valuable skills and experience to their team. That’s why Jason encourages people to look at opportunities with TerraPower. Jason says, “Apply even if you’re not sure you check off every box in the selection criteria.”

Who better to deliver that message than someone like Jason? After all, he may not have ended up at TerraPower if not for that fateful trip to see family in Seattle.