AIKEN, S.C. – As a former college golfer and current project controls specialist, Patrick Cunning is navigating the course of costs and schedules for tank closure project teams at EM’s Savannah River Site (SRS).
A lifelong Aiken resident, Cunning graduated from the University of South Carolina, where he played college golf alongside classmates who now hold Professional Golfers’ Association tour cards.
Being part of a team and competing in golf through high school and college prepared Cunning for his responsibilities at SRS, where he works for Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the site’s liquid waste contractor.
“Asking questions has enabled me to learn ways to continuously improve and develop new skills,” Cunning said. “I take pride in my game on the golf course and also in what I provide my company, because we are each a part that represents the team.”
Cunning provides project controls support for tank closure, helping prepare waste tanks for salt dissolution. In that process, radioactive salt waste is dissolved inside the tanks before it’s mixed into salt batches containing a chemical makeup suitable for processing at the future Salt Waste Processing Facility.
The analyses performed by Cunning and other project controls specialists track a project’s cost and schedule performance against its baseline to determine the project’s performance.
Cunning also worked with the SRR construction division to keep the Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) project on track. SDUs permanently store decontaminated salt solution — the result of processed salt waste — mixed with a cement-like grout, making saltstone.