National Nuclear Security Administration

Graduate Fellow Feature: Sarah Pevey

January 16, 2019

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Sarah Pevey, Safety, Operations, and Infrastructure Fellow
Sarah Pevey a Safety, Operations, and Infrastructure NGFP Fellow

The NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) is a unique opportunity for recent graduates to join the Nuclear Security Enterprise. These full-time, salaried positions offer a year of specialized, on-the-job training and the chance to tackle real-world challenges in one of NNSA’s program offices. Fellows develop technical and leadership skills to launch their careers with a full immersion in one of NNSA’s core mission programs.

What is your academic background or field of study?

After nearly eight years of working at technology companies, I returned to school to get my master’s degree in information and communication technology with a concentration in information system security. Information system security focuses on developing and implementing policies and procedures, designing secure solutions and applications, and ultimately bridging the gap to ensure the highest levels of information security are applied.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

The NGFP program has given me the opportunity to pursue a career in the federal government and lend my cyber and information technology background to a workplace that is modernizing. I wanted to contribute to a great cause and the fellowship opens that door for me. Additionally, I knew it would enable me to get a broad understanding of NNSA and work across multiple projects. I have been able to work with a number of offices internally and externally across the National Laboratories and with other fellows.

What are you currently doing for NNSA?

I am working in the Office of Nuclear Materials Integration focusing on various technology driven projects. I am heading a pilot demonstration performed with the Robotic Surveillance Application to automate the inspection of containers at Los Alamos National Laboratory for signs of degradation to reduce worker exposure to hazardous materials. In nuclear material storage areas, the robots are used to automate the monitoring and inspection process for stored hazardous and radioactive containers. In addition to the Robotic Surveillance Application, I have been involved in the Nuclear Material Management and Safeguard System modernization project and worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency to implement knowledge management system expertise.

What advice would you give prospective fellows?

Be open to learning and be prepared to work on anything. Coming from the private technology sector, I was keenly aware of how my background would contribute to my office’s efforts. However, I have experienced more than I imagined. This fellowship has become an invaluable addition to my career. I have learned, experienced, and grown so much in the realm of national and nuclear security.