Note: Dr. Lindsay was honored this month with a Special Recognition Award at the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference. Lindsay holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.Haile K. Lindsay Thermal Engineer
After receiving my award, I was asked to write a bit about what I do at the NRC and how I contribute to the African American community – thus this post.
I will have been with the agency for five years. I came to the NRC right after getting my PhD. My job is to review the thermal and containment sections of the license applications we receive for packages to either store or transport spent fuel or radioactive materials. My job allows me to apply the knowledge I acquired in school about heat transfer, thermodynamics, and other critical subjects. I review the package designs to see if they meet NRC regulations for safety and security of people and the environment. If a design does not meet our requirements, we will not issue a license.
The mantra I live by is: “Hard Work Pays Off.” If you work hard, you can be successful at anything you do. I saw that come true as a student, and now in my career at the NRC. My dissertation focused on treating liposarcoma (a rare tumor that develops in fat cells, typically in extremities) using hyperthermia – that is, heating cancer cells enough to destroy them. I am proud that my research contributed to the body of knowledge on this relatively new mode of cancer treatment.
At work, I was honored to learn that my branch chief at the time, Victor Cusumano, had nominated me for this prestigious award. I credit my hard work toward becoming a qualified thermal reviewer, ensuring that corporate knowledge is transferred to the newer NRC employees, as well as papers I have presented at nuclear and government conferences and the work I have done to organize NRC conferences.
I also work hard to give back to my community. In my role as NRC Chapter President for Blacks in Government, last year I organized a clothing and toiletries drive entitled Winter H.O.P.E. (Helping Others by Providing Them Essentials). The clothing and toiletries, donated by the NRC staff, were given to The Dwelling Place – an organization that provides housing opportunities and support services in Montgomery County, Md., for families experiencing homelessness. I also organized a luncheon last summer for 17 D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program interns who worked at the NRC. We provided pizza and organized a panel to talk with these young people about our respective career paths and provide some helpful tips for success.
I feel truly honored and blessed to have been recognized with such a prestigious award. This award will fuel me to continuously do even greater work for this agency and my community.