By Sherry DiBari

NAME: Ryan Snoddy

DEGREE: Mechanical engineering technology with a minor in biology

CURRENT POSITION: Nuclear Engineer at Newport News Shipbuilding

By the time Ryan Snoddy graduated in the spring of 2023 and started as a full-time nuclear engineer at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), he had already gained practical hands-on experience as a working engineer through the company’s co-op program.

Snoddy was already balancing his time as a full-time mechanical engineering technology student at Old Dominion University. Additionally, he worked part-time and served as the student safety manager at the Batten College of Engineering and Technology’s MLab.

But by working at NNS part-time, Snoddy learned a valuable lesson – how the shipyard worked. “If I had just graduated, I would have had to spend that much more time learning about that in order to be an effective engineer,” he said.

Visiting the shipyard for the first time was an almost overwhelming experience. “Being able to see the amount of work happening was awe-inspiring,” he said. “The sheer scale of the work here is almost impossible to understand unless you have seen it with your own eyes.”

On a daily basis, Snoddy works with cranes and forklifts used during new construction operations. He is also in training to qualify as a shift refueling engineer.

Outside of work, Snoddy spends time hanging out with his cats, playing video games, and rock climbing.

About the co-op: NNS co-op participants must be enrolled in school full time, be able to work 20 hours a week, and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Learn more about NNS here.