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GEM’s Gems July 2014 – Eddie Billmeyer

July 24, 2014
Eddie Billmeyer

Eddie Billmeyer

Following high school, GEM alumnus Eddie Billmeyer joined the Navy out of a sense of duty and opportunity.

“I wanted to go through the academic rigor of the Navy’s nuclear power program and I didn’t want to be saddled with college debt,” he said.

He trained as a nuclear machinist’s mate, which is comparable to a nuclear power plant operator in the civilian sector. Following training, Billmeyer was stationed in Everett, Washington onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Billmeyer, a member of Cohort IX, chose the GEM Program because it allowed him to strengthen his business and leadership skills without having to sacrifice time on coursework that wasn’t necessarily relevant to his desired profession.

“Above all, GEM has significantly broadened my understanding of the entire energy sector,” he said. “I find myself routinely applying newly learned principles to address new challenges.”

Billmeyer, 29, is now employed with the Bureau of Reclamation as a Control Operator.

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

As a control operator, my duties are to ensure the safe operation of hydroelectric generating facilities within the Northern California Area Office. A typical day involves electrical and mechanical equipment inspections at various facilities, performing equipment isolations to enable system maintenance, and coordinating with internal and external entities to ensure reliability of power and water resources.

What do you enjoy most about working in the energy industry?

The availability of electricity can literally impact life and death. So, being able to efficiently provide that resource in a safe, clean and reliable manner is very rewarding.

What are some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

Cohort weekends integrate high caliber instruction and industry professionals. This mixture provides remarkable networking opportunity that continues beyond graduation.

What are some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?

An appetite. Not for food, though (although the breakfast is quite delicious). If you don’t bring an appetite for learning by the shovel full, then you’ll be missing a great opportunity and will likely regret something later in the quarter.

Is there anything else new in your life that you would like to add?

I gave up the tobacco. Any GEM student would acknowledge that balancing a full-time job with a graduate program is tough … I guess that I just wanted to make it tougher.

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