In 1985, I entered Francis Marion University (then Francis Marion College) where I majored in health physics, a multidisciplinary degree that is aimed at protection of workers and the public from harmful effects of radiation while allowing beneficial uses of the radiation.
Following graduation in 1989, I moved to College Station, TX to attend Texas A&M University. My second year at A&M, I was asked to take on teaching responsibilities, which led to my being reclassified as an instructor teaching senior-level undergraduate classes in radiological engineering and radiation detection and instrumentation.
My research at A&M was of a practical experimental nature. For my PhD research, I experimented with novel ways to develop a thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) material that would have a flat energy response. Through design of a new type of optical filter on a standard TLD reader, I was able to achieve this purpose, thus achieving what had never been done before. Unfortunately, the sensitivity of this device could not rival the existing technology; so a commercial system based on this technology was never developed.
After graduating with my PhD, I entered the workforce; I’ve had some interesting jobs over the years, such as the following;
- Consultant: Halliburton NUS
- Lead Technical Specialist: Carolina Power & Light
- Consultant: Tetra Tech
- Consultant: Dade Moeller & Associates
At Carolina Power and Light Company, I was the technical lead responsible for the TLD program at CP&L’s three nuclear plants. It was enjoyable and involved quite a bit of technical work and administrative work to maintain reliable records for annual dose reports as well as internal planning documents.
During my time as a consultant, I worked as project manager or deputy project manager on several high-profile projects for the Department of Energy. Most of them pertained to environmental impact statements at various locations. That required me to become fluent in several discipline areas so that I could oversee the preparation of technical sections of the document and review the work of the various subject matter experts.
In addition, I am a certified health physicist (CHP); this is a national professional certification for the multidisciplinary field of health physics. I served for 4 years on the Part II Exam Panel of the American Board of Health Physics, which involved both writing and grading part of the certification exam for other health physicists who were interested in becoming CHPs.