Westinghouse to Sponsor International Internship Program

Developing the next generation of nuclear energy workers is important to Westinghouse Electric Company, and vital to securing a clean energy future for all of us.

To that end, Westinghouse is again sponsoring an international internship program for students in countries that are developing new nuclear energy programs, or strengthening the programs they already have with our AP1000® reactor, the most advanced Gen III+ nuclear technology available today.

This year, Westinghouse will welcome 25 students to the program: 15 from Poland (who will be placed with Westinghouse's engineering and supply chain departments), five from the Czech Republic (placed with engineering) and five from Ukraine (also placed in engineering). The internships will take place at our two engineering hub locations in the United States, in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

In each of these countries, Westinghouse is collaborating with top engineering universities to reach their student community.

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The representatives of Westinghouse with the Rector of the Czech Technical University in Prague. (From the left: Jing Zhang, Julie Gorgemans, Vojtech Petracek, Petr Brzezina).

“Westinghouse, as a company that champions innovative technologies, has a long tradition of cooperation with universities. I am proud to build on that legacy in our country where the nuclear industry has had firm root for decades,” said Petr Brzezina, Westinghouse President for the Czech Republic.

Recently, Westinghouse Project Engineering Manager Julie Gorgemans traveled to the Czech Republic and joined Brzezina to speak with internship candidates about the opportunities available this summer.

“I am always amazed by (the students’) level of knowledge on nuclear reactors, and the very good questions they ask,” Gorgemans said. “Particularly, again, as someone who has always been convinced of the extreme importance of nuclear power to allow humanity to respond to the climate change crisis, it’s very encouraging to see so many young engineering students enthusiastic about the solutions our industry can indeed offer.”

How the Program Works

The Westinghouse internship program these students will enter is highly structured and geared toward maximum learning in a real-world environment. They will be assigned tasks similar to those assigned to newly graduated engineers joining Westinghouse; they will be offered opportunities to attend technical presentations on the activities in the various departments of Westinghouse and meet Westinghouse leaders to discuss our values and vision for a sustainable, clean, safe and economical energy system.

Technical visits will also be organized to various nuclear energy related facilities. Last year, the international interns were invited to visit the Vogtle Units 3 & 4 construction site in Georgia, the Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility (South Carolina) and the Penn State Radiation Science and Engineering Center in Pennsylvania.

Finally, the internship program wouldn’t be complete without inviting the interns to experience the cultural and sporting activities in the locations where they will spend their internship.

A Win-Win Opportunity

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Jing Zhang and Julie Gorgemans presenting the AP1000® Plant Approach to Safety at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Based on the excellent performance of the students who participated in 2022, Westinghouse offered positions within our team in Poland to all students who were finished or close to finishing their degrees. For the others, who had two or three years of university left, we are still in touch; we continue collaborating with them through part-time employment at Westinghouse, or summer internships in Poland.

For Westinghouse employees involved in organizing the program, such as Gorgemans, the benefits are many.

“Personally, and as an organization, we learn a lot from the high quality students who are selected to participate to our internship program. We learn about their country, their culture, their motivations to join our industry. We all were in their shoes at one time. It’s a good feeling to give back through this program,” Gorgemans said.

Brzezina says the benefits from programs such as this are long-lasting.

“By supporting these programs, we can show the students that our industry has a great and long-term future for anyone who is interested in joining us. And we welcome them!” Brzezina said.

We’ll have more information to share about the internship program later in the year.