Nuclear engineer (along with rocket scientist) is one of those jobs people jokingly boast of to seem smarter. But Kaitlyn Corbett is the real deal. She began working at Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County, New York, right after college graduation in 2010 and spent two years as the chairman of Young Generation in Nuclear. Now an engineer at the Indian Point facility, she was just named lead program owner in the area of monitoring and inspecting high-energy piping systems for Entergy’s fleet of 11 nuclear power plants. On a typical day, Corbett is tasked with monitoring plant conditions and doing prep work for the plant’s annual refueling and maintenance outages. Being young and female in a male-dominated field doesn’t faze Corbett, who is currently the chairman of the local Women in Nuclear organization. “I bring a different voice to the table and hopefully a good perspective that benefits my company and colleagues,” she notes.
• While attending Alfred State College (where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering), Corbett was awarded a National Academy for Nuclear Training Scholarship, served as a student representative on the school’s athletic board, and received an honorable mention award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
• Corbett’s career highlight to date was completing her first refuel and maintenance outage. “For about 30 days, the reactor is shut down and we perform inspections and maintenance,” she explains. “We spend two years preparing for an outage and have a strict schedule to follow to accomplish our work. At the end… there is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.”
• Why nuclear? Corbett has always been interested in energy production and says she has a “passion for safely generating electricity via nuclear power.”