AREVA recognizes Engineers of the Year for their innovation and operational excellence


In February, we celebrated Engineers Week here in the U.S., and today April 5, we join others around the world celebrating the Global Day of the Engineer. Engineering permeates everything we touch. Drive on a road? Engineer. Cross a bridge? Engineer. Use an appliance, fly in a plane, sit at a desk? All products of engineers throughout history. Engineering touches our lives in so many ways. Global Day is THE movement to ensure people everywhere understand how engineers make the world a better place and to inspire future generations of innovators.

Today, we wish to recognize a few good men and women who have contributed to the success of our business. AREVA’s Engineer of the Year awards are given to individuals who exemplify Operational Excellence through their commitment to safety, quality, performance, delivery and innovation. It’s the expertise and desire to innovate by individuals like these that helps make AREVA a global leader in the nuclear industry.

AREVA’s Engineer of the Year award goes to…

Mark Lowry received the AREVA and Business Unit Engineer of the Year recognitions for his contributions as lead design engineer on two major non-destructive examination (NDE) products that will be used at our customer’s site for inspections.

Mark is the lead designer for the new AREVA VIPOR video inspection crawler that goes into the secondary side of a steam generator to allow video inspection and loose parts retrieval. Mark had an innovative idea to use an all-new low profile cart design that could be rapidly prototyped with magnetic drive wheels. The new cart includes four video cameras, direction encoding and an inclinometer – all in a package that will fit through a six-inch handhold opening. Once a loose part is located, a motorized encoded tape tool – also designed by Mark – can be used to retrieve the loose part from between the tubes. This new crawler will be used this spring for an inspection at a customer site.

Mark is also the lead process engineer for the industry-first Combustion Engineering (CE) Material Reliability Program (MRP) inspection process that will be done in April 2017 at a nuclear plant in the Northeast. Mark came up with an innovative process that allows for an Enhanced Visual Exam (EVT-1) of the customer’s core shroud using an existing tooling ring and a motorized cart to perform the visual inspections remotely under water and in a very high-dose area, reducing outage dose and schedule for the utility.

Installed Base Business Unit Engineer of the Year award

Suzanne Palmer

Suzanne’s contribution for growth and innovation focuses on a variety of engineering analysis initiatives she performed in the thermal-hydraulic department for AREVA’s Installed Base Business Unit in the U.S. In particular, Suzanne was the lead analyst for a customer’s steam generator orifice plate adjustment.

Suzanne developed the orifice plate setting tool that enabled as-found measurements from AREVA’s Installed Base team to be converted to orifice plate settings in real-time at the customer’s site, allowing the plant to continue operating at full power and within their technical specifications. Her work exemplifies the integrity and passion our employees have for Operational Excellence – delivering first-time quality, minimizing dose for outage personnel and enabling the plant to avoid a shutdown to re-adjust the setting.

Fuel Business Unit Engineer of the Year awards

Michael Merholz

Mike’s commitment to excellence has enabled AREVA’s Fuel Business Unit to establish a new capability to quantify and communicate AREVA’s strengths (in products, methods and expertise) in terms of value for our customers. Thanks to his efforts, we have the ability to respond to requests for proposal (RFPs) and inquiries within a shorter period of time, allowing us to respond quickly and fully to customer needs. In addition to this agility, Mike has helped establish a ruleset of important fuel and core design characteristics that allow customization of our product and service offerings to specific customer situations.

Mike was able to bring to bear his extensive experience and core design talent, combined with his business acumen, to arm AREVA teams with the information they need to put compelling and motivating responses in front of the customer. Along the way, he advanced our understanding of the value and challenges of our own products – while giving us insight on competing products and services. Mike’s efforts have significantly impacted our prospects for the coming years and improved our capabilities as an engineering organization.

In addition to his technical and commercial contributions, Mike exemplifies a ‘can-do’ attitude, displays great passion, high commitment to quality and a level of customer understanding that sets a positive example for his colleagues and helps create a good working culture around him.

Dan Tinkler

Dan Tinkler is the champion of the Thermal-Hydraulics team in Richland, Wash., for finding and identifying new and innovative solutions associated with thermal-hydraulics.

Dan has frequently proposed ideas that have been submitted and developed in AREVA’s incubator program. Starting in 2013, Dan began developing a new methodology to address instabilities for anticipated transients without scram (ATWSi). In 2016, Dan completed the methodology for use at a customer site where it was key to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acceptance of operation with the extended flow window. He was able to demonstrate to the NRC AREVA’s unique understanding of the phenomena and technology to address ATWSi. Dan’s methodology and analyses answered questions by the NRC and ended in a favorable outcome that resulted in a license for the customer to operate its plant at – and extend – the flow window. His work received accolades from both the customer and industry reviewers, and demonstrated that AREVA was the industry leader in addressing ATWSi phenomena.

Ideas like Dan’s help AREVA offer new and innovative engineering and services solutions to boiling water reactor (BWR) customers throughout the U.S.

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