The head of the Blue Grass plant began his 30-year career in chemical weapons demilitarization as an intern at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
“My internship definitely advanced my career,” said Jeff Brubaker, site project manager, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “It helped me with fully understanding the basis of a problem and working to a solution.”
Brubaker started as an engineering intern on the Aberdeen binary chemical agent project. From there, he learned of an opportunity with the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization, where he verified the reliability of automated equipment that would take chemical weapons apart. He then supported the start of the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System and continued moving up in the chemical demilitarization field.
“What I liked best about my internship was the challenge of it,” Brubaker said. “I enjoyed accepting the increased levels of opportunity and learning more and more as I went. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow.”
The Blue Grass plant is hosting 14 interns this summer, in areas such as engineering, project controls, quality and environmental. The interns are engaged as members of their teams and assist in producing quality products. This experience may lead to being hired with the project, Brubaker said, and at least provides a good learning experience for their careers.
“My advice to our interns is for them to look at where they are with their knowledge and skills and try to define how that can best be utilized going forward with more and more responsibility,” Brubaker said.