Our People

Meet Gene...

One of the most challenging, and rewarding, parts of my job is building a high-performing team. The diversity of the team is critical to bringing innovation to the project and delivering success."

Tell us about what you do.  

Thompson GeneI’m the Director of Nuclear Projects. My areas of responsibility include Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

If you were to explain your job to someone with no background in the industry, what would you say?

Commercial nuclear power plants make modifications to their systems and components due to regulatory considerations – upgrades following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – changes in technology, desire to increase their power output or to replace aging components to extend the operational life of the plant. The Engineering, Construction and Maintenance (ECM) Projects & Construction group bids and then executes these modifications in over 60 nuclear plants in the United States. My job is to work within my areas to identify these projects and then successfully bid and oversee the performance and the work. Success is measured in terms of safety, quality and delivering the project on time and on budget. 

How did you get into your current line of work?

After 20 years in the nuclear Navy, I looked for opportunities to stay within the power generation industry. I started as a Project Engineer conducting fossil plant performance improvement projects, moved to Engineering Supervisor and then Engineering Manager. Willing to take on challenging assignments, I transferred from Fossil to Nuclear Power Generation for the opportunity to build a Project Management Organization.  

What would you say is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is winning and executing work. Being able to collaborate with the client and deliver innovative solutions to project execution is very rewarding.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

One of the most challenging, and rewarding, parts of my job is building a high-performing team.  When a project is mobilized, we bring together staff and craft from all over the country. The diversity of the team is critical to bringing innovation to the project and delivering success. Driving alignment through the team quickly so they can progress from forming to performing ensures that the project gets off to a great start.

Any advice for someone who might be considering this career path? 

Don’t be shy about picking up tools. The experience gained in an apprenticeship and the three to five years doing the work will help you visualize your future. Hard work solves just about every problem. If you are a veteran looking for an area to apply your skills and leadership experience, seriously consider moving into the construction industry.