IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – An intern supporting the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) at the Idaho National Laboratory Site this summer touted his hands-on experience in the field as beneficial to understanding the dynamic nature of his intended profession.

Jack Morrison, a senior electrical engineering major at Brigham Young University–Idaho (BYU-Idaho), supported decontamination and demolition (D&D) crews for EM contractor Idaho Environmental Coalition (IEC).

Since his first day on the job, Morrison said he felt valued and was a resource for others who had questions. The engineers he supported were obviously impressed with him because Morrison was offered — and he accepted — a part-time IEC job during his final two semesters at BYU-Idaho. He will continue to support the D&D program every Tuesday and Thursday.

Jack Morrison, pictured here at Lake Tahoe, leveraged his internship with EM cleanup contractor Idaho Environmental Coalition into a part-time job
Jack Morrison, pictured here at Lake Tahoe, leveraged his internship with EM cleanup contractor Idaho Environmental Coalition into a part-time job.

During his internship, Morrison helped engineers with electrical disconnect work at Accelerated Retrieval Projects (ARPs) IV and V, which will eventually be demolished following the completion of their targeted buried waste exhumation scope.

He also inspected an air supply trailer for the ARP facilities, making sure piping was labeled correctly after piping modifications. An air supply trailer is a mobile unit that provides low and high pressure air for multiple uses within an ARP facility.

Additionally, Morrison accompanied D&D crews and other project teams on facility walk-downs to discuss upcoming scopes of work, hazards, safety needs, maintenance needs and operations program roles. Walk-downs involve inspecting equipment in advance of that equipment undergoing modifications, change in status, or complete removal.

“It was my first time in the engineering field,” Morrison said. “It was different than anything I’ve done before.”

Morrison said his internship opened his eyes to how dynamic the field of electrical engineering can be.

“Most of my schooling has been on hardware and small-scale digital circuits,” he said. “Power distribution is much more involved. It’s dynamic in the sense that you must work around other people and have a sense of everything going on.”

Morrison spoke highly of his mentor, Delan Olsen, and manager, Jeff Klingler, as well as other engineers he worked with because he felt he was part of a cohesive team of professionals.

“There was a time they even let me lead a walk-down,” he said. “It was nice to be involved in everything.”

After graduation, Morrison wants to attend graduate school and may continue working for IEC because the company helps supplement the cost of higher education.

Meanwhile, Morrison will continue participating in the many outdoor recreational pursuits that Idaho offers, such as longboarding, biking, skiing and playing in parks.

“I like Idaho,” he said. “I really like the snow sports.”