When Jeffrey Hausaman was 13, he told his grandmother Janilee Clifford he wanted to be a nuclear engineer after seeing an energy poster at John Gray High School.
His grandmother never doubted his abilities and encouraged his dream. Twenty-eight years later, he is now a nuclear reactor engineer at River Bend Nuclear Station near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Mr. Hausaman recently made news in the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper for spearheading a team of nuclear plant engineers who launched an “energy education center” at Entergy, the company where he works.
“I saw we had all of this capability right here and we hadn’t done much with it for a long time. The resources were here and we weren’t utilizing them,” he told the newspaper.
Mr. Hausaman is the son of retired Cayman Airways pilot James Hausaman and Janet Hausaman. His mother said Jeffrey is very enthused about this latest project, which has created an opportunity to help educate the public about nuclear energy.
Describing his work at the nuclear plant by email to the Cayman Compass, Mr. Hausaman said, “My job has me interface with a very large variety of people: scientists and engineers who work on designing the fuel we use, managers and executives who organize all of the resources in the company, and operators and technicians who run the equipment in the plant.
“Making sure that I maintain the technical knowledge of the plant and communicate that in an effective way to all of these different stakeholders keeps me pretty busy, but I love what I do.”
Energy education center
At the new education center, visitors can experience the sensation of traveling underground in a coal mine elevator and “meet” Thomas Edison and hear how he invented the light bulb, among a number of other featured exhibitions that aim to make knowledge about the production of energy more accessible to members of the public.
The center was created following collaboration between members of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear chapter at River Bend and the Louisiana Nuclear Society.
Mr. Hausaman and a group of volunteers spent the last four months working during their time off and on weekends to finish the new education center, updating old exhibits and adding new ones.
The seeds for the center, and his career in the field of nuclear energy, began in his first year at John Gray High School, he said, when a poster describing nuclear physics and reactions in one of the classrooms caught his attention. It was a subject he knew very little about at the time but as he learned more about the topic he knew it was what he wanted to do.
“Maintaining a focus on your goals and working hard definitely cannot be underestimated. The world is becoming increasingly more complex and technical year after year, so putting in the work and study to become a specialist in any technical field will certainly pay off in the future,” he said.
He has worked in this field for the past 10 years, and he said it doesn’t cross his mind about doing any other kind of work.
Working as a nuclear reactor engineer gives him a lot of satisfaction. “It is the greatest feeling I get knowing my work is serving the community,” he said.
The Entergy plant produces almost 10 percent of all the electricity generated in the state of Louisiana, he explained. “It is an awesome responsibility and it is one I am very proud to have,” he said.
His grandmother said she is extremely proud of her grandson. “He was always excited about nuclear engineers. He took me through the whole program at the nuclear plant where he works … I feel so proud of him because he has always been serious about his career.”
She added, “I always felt confident that whatever career he chose, it would be successful.”
Mr. Hausaman attended Cayman Prep primary school and John Gray High School. He graduated from Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, Florida, and attended Texas A&M University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering.