Nes Robinson
Nes Robinson

Describe your role in NNSA. What is the best part about your job?
As a General Engineer, I am the Studies and Assessments federal program manager leading joint DoD-DOE nuclear weapon life-cycle activities before and during the Concept Assessments phase with U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force members. I love working with other scientists and engineers to design technologies and materials that may be used in future programs.

What did you study in school and how did it impact you personally and professionally? 
My undergraduate studies were in chemical engineering and graduate studies in reliability engineering. I was definitely a nerd in K-12 and teased for “behaving smart” and liking science and math classes, but I did not let that bother me, because I noticed “nerds” were the leaders in various career fields. Professionally, the knowledge that I have gained in STEM allows me to feel more confident when I select the science projects for my team.

What led you to a career in nuclear security? 
Odd story, I was traveling a lot after college, because I wanted to find a career in any other city than where I grew up. However, my family and friends thought I was traveling only for fun, so they held an intervention for me. At that time, a friend offered me her current job, because she was transferring to another office. I trusted her and liked the people she worked with, so I applied and interviewed for that position. That opportunity brought me to DOE's Office of Environmental Management as a federal contractor and eventually I found my way over to NNSA as a federal employee.

What’s one of your favorite things about working at NNSA? 
I am so proud and honored to work among so many intelligent people who are striving for a mission greater than themselves.

What are the characteristics of the best teams you have been part of?
Members of high-performance teams are flexible; strive for their full potential, create plans –to focus meetings, however, recognize plans may change; maintain personal integrity, and be willing and open to share ideas to make the best or strongest product(s).

Share any highlights of your work at NNSA.
After 17+ years working at DOE, last year I received the Secretary of Energy and Defense Programs Achievement Awards for completing the first Concept Assessment phase of the nuclear weapons life cycle after a 30- year hiatus, six months ahead of schedule

Any advice for young women and girls interested in a career like yours? 
If you are interested in a pursuing a STEM career, I recommend finding summer fellowships and internships with companies or agencies. If you know someone in this field, consider shadowing them to get familiar with their work. Maybe they will think of you the next time a job opportunity becomes available.

Who is a woman (or who are some women) that inspire/s you and why?
There are so many women paving the way in their fields to leave the world a better place. That is very inspirational. That could be our moms or grandmas, younger sisters, or best friends --- ask to hear their stories, you never know what they have achieved. Having women who care about you is vital as you progress in life.

Tell us a little about yourself – a fun fact, a personal hobby.
I have a large family and love hanging out with them. When I want alone time, I read all types of books (fiction and non-fiction) in my spare time.