The United States Navy has chosen Joseph Dereberry, a junior in nuclear engineering at Missouri S&T, for its Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC). The application process included several technical interviews with naval reactor engineers, an orientation trip to San Diego and an interview with the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
“Once I made it past the pre-check, I had to have a background check and gain security clearance,” says Dereberry. “Then I had the amazing opportunity to tour a submarine and an amphibious assault carrier in San Diego, and I interviewed with Admiral James F. Caldwell in Washington, D.C.”
Dereberry, from Rolla, Missouri, says he chose nuclear engineering because of his desire to understand how atoms work and how to manipulate them to generate power and radiation. He says he chose Missouri S&T because of the quality of its nuclear engineering program.
“With my interest in nuclear science, it worked out perfectly,” says Dereberry. “Since Rolla is my hometown, I can stay with my parents until I get a good enough salary to sustain an apartment or home.”
After Dereberry graduates from S&T, he will attend Officer Candidates School in Newport, Rhode Island, and begin his trajectory toward becoming a submarine officer by completing Nuclear Power School and hands-on training on a submarine or simulator with the nuclear power training unit. He will then serve a tour on a nuclear submarine.
“One thing I learned from the officers in D.C. is that making the decision to stay in is much easier after serving your first tour,” says Dereberry. “Either I will sign on for another tour and serve as a department head on a submarine, or I could take my experience in the Navy and apply it in the civilian sector in power generation and plant operation.”
About Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.