AIKEN, S.C. (June 20, 2018) -- Jinny Brown’s internship experience with Savannah River Remediation (SRR) this summer, coupled with her family’s Vietnamese lineage, has had a strong impact on her desire to seek a career in computer engineering and math.
A junior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Brown juggled between three different majors to find her perfect match. She went from music directing, to journalism, and finally, to computer engineering, where she found her passion.
Brown said her family history is a large part of who she is today, and why she was interested in the majors she chose between.
“My mother migrated from Vietnam to America after the Vietnam War with her parents and her six brothers and sisters. Her first language was still Vietnamese,” said Brown.
“I was learning grammar and English for the first time in school, as a child, and my mother was using that to help develop her own English skills. My mother and I would both use study guides to help our English. I learned to love the English language, and I eventually want to write a book about my upbringing and family history.”
Additionally, math and music were the two subjects that held no language barrier, and her mother pushed her to learn math skills and to play instruments. This led to her interest in math and computers, and in music as a hobby.
With a goal to find an internship in her future career field, Brown searched for one that would be hands-on and further her knowledge about computer engineering. Her father, a radiological control inspector at the Savannah River Site (SRS), encouraged her to apply for an internship with SRR, the SRS liquid waste contactor.
Since starting in the SRR Processing Applications group this summer, Brown has realized that computer engineering is more than just coding, and there are many steps that go into creating a computer application.
The Process Applications group receives computer application requests from the tank farms, the Defense Waste Processing Facility, and the Saltstone facility. Computer applications control various operations within the liquid waste system.
“There is so much out there in the world of computer engineering,” said Brown. “New technology is coming out every month now, and I get to learn how to use new computer programs and technology that SRR is evaluating for the liquid waste mission.”
Her knowledge of computers has been tested and stretched every day during this internship. It is a constant learning process in computer engineering, but that is what Brown enjoys most about it, she said.
When Brown goes back to school, she wants to add math as either another major or a minor because of the amount of math that is used in applications. Not only has this internship prepared her for future endeavors, it has helped her decide what she would like to do after college.
“This internship program has helped me expand my horizons, my networking, and my knowledge about computer engineering,” said Brown. “It has even influenced me to expand my education by wanting to add a math major or minor to my degree.”
SRR is the liquid waste contractor at SRS for the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M, and BWX Technologies. Critical subcontractors for the contract are Orano, Atkins, and AECOM N&E Technical Services.