Member Spotlight – Fatma Yilmaz



B.S. Nuclear Engineering, Hacettepe University, Turkey

M.S. Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University

South Texas Project Management Senior Reactor Operator Certification



Nuclear Fuel and Analysis Manager at South Texas Project Nuclear Generating Station (STP)

Probabilistic Risk Assessment Section Supervisor at STP

Equipment Reliability Engineer at STP

PRA Engineer at STP and Entergy-South


Why did you choose the nuclear field or how did you end up in the nuclear field?

My dad worked in the construction business on a college campus where the only nuclear engineering department in Turkey was located. He showed me around the campus, and I decided that I wanted to study nuclear engineering when I was in middle school. I learned everything I could about the program in high school and was able to go to college there. Not counting the summer jobs I had as a waitress and customer representative, the nuclear field is the only industry in which I have worked


What advice do you have for women in the nuclear field?

Always voice your opinions and insights. Support and be a cheerleader for women around you. You never know who may be needing some encouragement to speak up.


What are some unique challenges you’ve faced?

I don’t always relate to the culture in the United States since I was born and raised in Turkey. For example, I don’t like football or baseball, and I need to look up the meaning of some sayings based on these sports. This culture difference was a challenge for me since I wanted to be a part of the conversation but did not like to ask questions in the past to clarify what people meant.


What do you think is the most important benefit of nuclear science, technology, or energy and why?

Nuclear power is a carbon-free, safe, and reliable way of producing electricity. Light-water technology is mature now, and I can see that the advanced reactor designs that are modular and inherently safe will be part of future carbon-free energy portfolio, as well as the currently operating nuclear power plants in the United States that are becoming more and more efficient while maintaining safety.


Is there something about your job that most people are surprised to hear?

That when I glow, it is not due to radiation. I am exposed to hardly any job-related radiation.