This past fall, the City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism hosted the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) annual conference at the Virginian Hotel in Downtown Lynchburg. During the conference, we hosted a session between the President of BWXT, Rex Geveden, and former NASA astronaut, Leland Melvin, moderated by Assistant Director of Economic Development & Tourism, Anna Bentson.
Allow us to introduce you to our speakers
Rex is the president and chief executive officer of BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT), a $2.2B nuclear technology and manufacturing company headquartered right here in Lynchburg, Virginia. BWXT manufactures nuclear reactors, components, and fuel for the U.S. Navy; provides nuclear technical, management, and environmental remediation services at contractor-operated U.S. government laboratories and facilities; manufactures medical radioisotopes; and supplies precision manufactured components, services, and fuel for the commercial nuclear power industry. With about 7,000 employees, BWXT has 14 major operating sites in the U.S., Canada, and the UK comprising over four million square feet of manufacturing space. In addition, BWXT joint ventures operate at a dozen U.S. Department of Energy sites and two NASA facilities.
Mr. Geveden joined BWXT in 2015 as chief operating officer (COO) before advancing to CEO in 2017. Previously, he was executive vice president at Teledyne Technologies for eight years, leading two of the four Teledyne operating segments.
He spent 17 years at NASA, including service as the agency’s COO responsible for a $16 billion portfolio of work in NASA’s mission areas of science, aeronautics, space operations, and exploration along with oversight of NASA’s 10 field centers.
Leland was born, raised and returned to Lynchburg, Virginia after more than 24 years with NASA as an astronaut, research engineer and administrator. He served twice on board the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist to support the International Space Station. In addition, Mr. Melvin served as NASA’s associate administrator for education until he retired in 2014.
As head of NASA’s education program, he served as co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force developing the nation’s five-year science, technology, engineering and math education plan. Mr. Melvin served as the United States’ representative and chair of the International Space Education Board, a global collaboration in space education that fosters interest in space, science and technology among students worldwide.
Prior to joining NASA, Mr. Melvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 college football draft and later played for the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.
The Conversation Q & A
What is a brief history of BWXT and what do you do?
What is Leland’s role with BWXT, and how did he get involved?
Why is BWXT in Lynchburg and how did Lynchburg get its start in the nuclear industry?
What new technologies are you most excited about?
Leland, what about this work excites you the most?
What is the impact of having a company like BWXT here locally and what does that mean for our workforce?
What are the future benefits for BWXT’s success globally?
How do we cultivate opportunities for work in STEM fields in Lynchburg?
What kind of job opportunities are available at BWXT?
How are you reframing the conversation about nuclear systems?
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To see the whole conversation visit the video HERE