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University Public Relations

1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071


How Nuclear Engineer Erin Hennings Goes for Gold

How Nuclear Engineer Erin Hennings Goes for Gold

UW Alumna Erin HenningsName: Erin Hennings

Job: Nuclear engineer (civilian employee for the U.S. Navy), Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Wash.

Degrees: Mechanical engineering and Spanish (B.S.), ’04

Hometown: Laramie, Wyo.

Fun Fact: “I enjoy cooking. I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine, and every month when it arrives, I flag all the recipes I want to try. Making dinner is a great way to wind down after a long day.”

Work and School: “The shipyard and maintenance facility is a large industrial facility that does a wide range of work. I enjoy the variety of professional experiences available to me. I am always learning something new.

“I provide technical direction for installation, operation, maintenance and repair of water-processing facilities that support work on nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. I do a mix of office work, such as job planning, and waterfront work, such as equipment inspections.

“The most challenging part of my job is ensuring regulatory compliance with state and federal laws and Navy specifications.

“For students interested in pursuing a career like this, I would recommend getting as broad an education—in the classroom and in the working world—as possible. Keep an open mind. You never know where you might find yourself working and what knowledge might be useful.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Nuclear Sub at Pugent Sound Naval Shipyard UW Alumna Erin Hennings

“My engineering coursework at the University of Wyoming introduced me to a variety of subjects, many of which are relevant to my current work. Working on various projects in the mechanical engineering machine shop gave me a perspective on how an engineering design is transformed into a working part. My Spanish classes strengthened my writing skills, and writing is a significant part of my job. My involvement in student societies developed interpersonal skills that are useful for interacting with people in different fields.

“Some of my standout experiences at UW included being on the swimming and diving team for four years—I swam distance freestyle and butterfly; I did a study abroad in Quito, Ecuador, one summer; I was active with Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), Sigma Delta Pi (Hispanic honor society), the Society of Women Engineers, and Mortar Board (senior honor society); I participated in the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Project, and my interdisciplinary team of science and engineering students was selected to perform our experiment on NASA’s microgravity jet; and I did a National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) research project on the formation of composite materials with Professor Mark Garnich for two semesters.

“My parents are both UW alumni, and so is my brother. My grandpa earned his master’s degree at UW. I’m a third-generation UW grad.”

One of the 10 Cowboy Ethics adopted by UW is “Ride for the brand.” Erin Hennings demonstrates this principle as a third-generation UW graduate who gave her all as a student and is now pursuing a challenging career.

*Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of PSNS & IMF Visual Information Services

Cap & Gown Mortar Board

The University of Wyoming's Cap & Gown Chapter of Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service.

Swimming and Diving

UW Swimming and Diving Team
UW swimmers and divers are accomplished in the pool and academically.

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University Public Relations

1000 E University Ave

Dept. 3226, Bureau of Mines

Laramie, WY 82071


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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