I am Mission Success: Julie Huff

  • Posted: Monday, March 4, 2024, 3:15 pm

Julie Huff, a Y-12 employee for more than 20 years, shares her perspective of working in several production facilities on-site.

Take 5 minutes to learn about Julie Huff, UPF Commissioning director. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.

Employees of Y‑12 may often feel like they’ve taken a ride in the DeLorean time machine as they travel through the site. Older facilities provide a glimpse into the 1940s and the historic deliveries during the Manhattan Project, while construction of projects such as the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) and the Lithium Processing Facility (LPF) thrust the landscape into the future.

Julie Huff, UPF Commissioning director, has had the opportunity to work in a number of production facilities across the site throughout her career at Y‑12. Her experiences in older facilities have proven to be an asset in her current role.

“I’ve worked at Y‑12 for almost 23 years now, and I started my role in UPF Commissioning in June 2022. My primary role is to lead the charge to ensure UPF meets all the requirements to operate as a nuclear facility: preparing the people, the paper, and the processes to successfully pass the Operational Readiness Reviews. Preparing the facility to operate also means planning for transition logistics and preparing current Y‑12 operations and personnel for when UPF is construction complete,” Huff said. “I’ve had the good fortune of being able to see and experience the current facilities and work with a wide number of Y‑12 organizations in my years here, and that has helped me tremendously when thinking through the impacts on our Y‑12 employees now and in the future.”

During her tenure at Y‑12, no matter the facility or organization that she has been a part of, Huff has continued to be impressed and inspired by the dedication and perseverance of fellow Y‑12ers and those at Pantex.
“I believe the environment you’ll find at Y‑12 or Pantex, the level of dedication of the people, cannot be beat compared to other places of work,” Huff said. “You feel and appreciate that every job serves an important purpose to our sites as a whole and makes a difference in delivering the mission. This continues to energize me and motivate me every day.”

How has working for CNS changed or reinforced your thoughts on our mission?

I am a nuclear engineer, and I have always been passionate about the capabilities of nuclear energy, but I don’t think I fully grasped the magnitude until I came to work at Y‑12. My grandfather and his brothers served in WW2, and it was when I began working here and seeing the work that we do and the history of the Manhattan Project that really made me fully appreciate what Y‑12 has done for this country. The work done here to help end WW2 did not just impact the world in the 1940s, but continues to this day. The world and war forever changed with our capabilities and with deterrence.

What work advice would you offer someone who is new to Pantex or Y‑12?

My top piece of advice would be that before looking outside the company to grow in your career, explore opportunities within your site in a different organization. I like to say that Y‑12 is its own little city that requires different roles, skills, and knowledge. You can have an amazing career here and work your way up this way.

What’s your top bucket list item and why?

My top bucket list item is to visit Antarctica, and maybe even run in the Antarctica Marathon that is held every year. Yes, there is a marathon in Antarctica. My goal is to visit all seven continents, and Antarctica is the hardest one on my list. It just looks so beautiful, and I hope to see it someday.

Who in your life has inspired you the most and why?

My daughter. She always amazes me and challenges me to be a better person. I love seeing the world through her eyes, and I want to make the world a better place for her now and into the future.