Woodruff School Hosts Brad Adams Colloquium
December 22, 2022
Earlier this semester, the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, in conjunction with the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Georgia Section, hosted Southern Nuclear’s Bradley (Brad) J. Adams, vice president of technical compliance at Plant Vogtle, Units 3 & 4, for a talk titled “Digital Transformation of the Southern Nuclear Operating Fleet.” The event was organized by Assistant Professor Fan Zhang.
Adams’ conversation served as the first of many in his effort to link academia with industry. During the discussion, he spoke to Georgia Tech students across different majors about his experience at Southern Nuclear and the implementations the nuclear engineering field must make to yield future success.
First-year nuclear and radiological engineering student Raine Simon enjoyed discussing the prospects of the future nuclear energy regime with Adams.
“He wanted to hear my own hopes and goals within the realms of nuclear energy and shared with me his own experiences, providing helpful advice. Speaking with him further developed my own enthusiasm to be in this major and to discover all of its amazement and possibilities,” Simon said.
Adams’ shared his experience embracing digitalization at Plante Vogtle, Units 3 & 4, and its importance in the nuclear industry. He explained to those in attendance that outdated systems present great difficulty in finding parts for replacement, but with digitalization, operators can control reactors from their laptops at a desk. He also communicated the benefits of digitalization such as more efficiency, connectivity, and reduced cost, and the potential downfalls, such as cybersecurity.
Adams also toured various labs and met with nuclear and radiological engineering students and campus leadership.
Adams began his nuclear career in 1983 as a design engineer for Commonwealth Edison’s nuclear fuel services group and progressed to design group leader. He transferred to Byron Station in 1995 and held managerial positions in regulatory assurance, system engineering, and work management before being named Byron’s site engineering director. In 2007, Adams transferred to Quad Cities Nuclear Station as site engineering director. He returned to Byron Station in 2008 as plant manager, a position he held until joining Southern Nuclear in 2011 as fleet operations support vice president. In 2013, Adams assumed his previous position as fleet engineering vice president.