I am Mission Success: Chris Howard
Take five minutes and learn about Chris Howard, HESE project manager, at Pantex. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.
Chris Howard is making an impact on the landscape of Pantex as the new project manager of the line item High Explosive Science and Engineering (HESE) Building. The main construction portion of this project will start this summer and supports the High Explosives Center of Excellence for Manufacturing within the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Howard has been at Pantex for 15 years and has worked in the Project Management organization the entire time.
“The advantage of working in this organization is we touch every part of the plant,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on IT, security, maintenance, and environmental projects throughout the plant.”
Previously, Howard was the portfolio manager for the Bay Cell Portfolio, which is upgrading the Flame Detection System, High Pressure Fire Loop, and the Radiation Air Monitoring System in the bays and cells. The upgrade of these systems is reducing risks associated with legacy systems.
Are you doing what you envisioned as a young adult? If so, describe how you got here.
From my second year of college, I planned to work in the construction field, but the locations of the construction projects are not what I thought. I never thought I would work on oil and gas projects in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai or hotel and casino projects in Las Vegas. I also never thought I would be working at Pantex. I grew up in Amarillo and never gave much thought to working here. Our kids were in second grade and kindergarten when we started talking about moving to Amarillo from Las Vegas, and Pantex was one of the few places that met our goals. You never know where your career path will lead.
What is your favorite aspect about your work environment? How does that aspect make you know the mission is being met?
I enjoy the actual construction phase and the team working together to put the plan into action. Every construction project either directly touches a system supporting the mission or a support organization need so they can better support the mission.
What work advice would you offer someone who is new to Pantex or Y-12?
I don’t think this applies to just work, but be on time, work hard, have a good attitude, learn from mistakes (both yours and others), ask questions, and be prepared.
What’s your favorite outside-of-work activity and why?
I enjoy time with the family, hunting, skiing, and occasionally mountain biking. All of these activities provide me an opportunity to unwind, relax, and enjoy a little friendly competition.