I am mission success: Susan Kozemko

  • Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 8:12 am
Susan Kozemko, Y-12 Criticality Safety Management and Integration

Take five minutes and learn about CNS's Susan Kozemko of Y-12 Criticality Safety Management and Integration. All views and opinions are the employee’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CNS.

For Susan Kozemko, an integrator for Y-12 Operations, setting high standards is woven into her work.

“I do not settle for a lesser standard to just get something done. I’ll hold the line when necessary to ensure the best product is delivered,” she said.

As recent focus directed toward the effects of COVID-19, Kozemko has been serving as a key player for the development of the Y-12 Pandemic Recovery plan. Along with Jeff Yarbrough, Y-12 deputy site manager, both Kozemko and the recovery team helped lead Y-12 from reduced mission critical phase to prevention phase, efficiently and safely.

“While most folks were working from home, I was planning when and how we could return employees to the site once conditions warranted a return,” she said.

When she isn’t working to direct recovery operations, Kozemko ensures that nuclear criticality safety principles are successfully implemented in their corresponding work processes. By supporting a variety of frontline production roles and organizations in uranium, lithium, explosives, and special nuclear materials areas, her internal scope has resulted in a much larger impact of the overall safety and security CNS provides for the nation.

“The more you know about each job and how each fits into the bigger picture, the more you will understand how you can contribute to the overall mission,” she said.

What work advice would you offer to someone who is new to Pantex or Y-12?
Get involved. Find something you are passionate about and try new things. Do not be satisfied with staying in one position for many years; reach out and expand your knowledge base. Accept each day as a learning experience, grasp the opportunity, and be humble.

What is one thing your coworkers would be surprised to know about you?
I’ve climbed Ayer’s Rock in the outback of Australia. On that same trip, I fought off kangaroos looking for a snack, held a koala bear, and experienced the awe of penguins parading from the ocean to shore at sunset.

I am also a large advocate of professional licensure for engineers. I obtained my license in South Carolina in 1996 and worked my way through all the local chapter offices and state offices with the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers.

What does mission success mean to you?
Everyone working together to meet common goals and delivering the best products that CNS is tasked with delivering. Being able to contribute to the safety and security of the United States is something that I am very proud to be a part of, and doing it time again with high fidelity is truly mission success.

As an employee, what do you want to be remembered for during this time in your career?
Helping out with the challenges that face CNS. I want to be remembered as one who is willing to accept change, adapt to new environments and work practices, and make things better for all involved.

What CNS principle drives you to be successful?
Make the right decision for the right reasons. Those who know me, understand that I may not be 100% correct in every decision that I make, but I am willing to make a decision based on my past experiences and the information from others.