In her predominately male program of study, Christina Santos is leading the pack during her internship with Savannah River Remediation, according to the Savannah River Site’s liquid waste contractor.

Santos is from Wolcott, Connecticut, and attends the University of New Haven, also in Connecticut. As a senior chemical engineering major, Santos is one of only seven other young women in her engineering class. She sits at the top of her class with a 3.56 GPA.

Santos works with Savannah River Remediation’s Tank Farm Facility Engineering group where she has been a part of a project involving waste transfer between two liquid waste tanks. A low-level radioactive waste substance, known as sludge, is being moved between two tanks located in H Tank Farm. The sludge is being moved out to make room to receive waste from the Defense Waste Processing Facility.

Santos has played several roles in the finalization of this project, including writing the results section of the transfer operational plan.

“Everyone I work with at SRR has respected me as an intern, an engineer and as a person in general,” Santos said.

Santos had an interest in nuclear before interning at Savannah River Remediation, but no previous experience in the industry. Savannah River Remediation has proven to be a valuable place to kick start her engineering career, she said.

“My time at SRR has been great, because I’ve seen a bunch of stuff I’ve never seen before,” she added. “I’ve been able to see things I’ve learned about in school – like gamma radiation – but actually in real life.”

After graduation, Santos wants to earn a Master’s degree in chemical engineering, then an MBA so she can eventually move into management, possibly in the manufacturing industry.

SRR is the liquid waste contractor at SRS, which is owned by U.S. Department of Energy.