Kelsey is part of Noblis’ energy and environment team working with the Department of Defense (DoD) to identify, analyze, and develop management strategies for risks to human health and the environment from emerging chemicals. Throughout her career, Kelsey has supported state and federal environmental restoration programs with remedial investigation, design and execution; risk assessment; and health and safety compliance. Read more about her role and the impact she and her team are making.
Q: Tell us about the work you do at Noblis and how it helps our defense clients?
A: I currently support the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment). The mission of the program is to protect readiness, people and the environment by identifying and managing risks associated with the chemicals and materials used by DoD. The office promotes proactive chemical management and environmentally protective and sustainable practices. I help to assess chemicals without published health standards or with evolving science or regulatory status. In assessments I am looking at new toxicity and regulatory information, identifying how DoD uses these chemicals and determining potential future impacts.
Q: What do you love the most about working in the area of chemical risk management?
A: I love having the ability to use technical expertise to help develop solutions and policies that can influence the health of warfighters and mitigate risks to the environment across DoD. Although much of my career has been spent addressing environmental and health risks reactively during the environmental site cleanup process, it’s very rewarding to also proactively help in avoiding future cleanup liabilities by anticipating chemical risks upfront.
Q: What most excites you about the future of this field and what Noblis has to offer?
A: This field is always changing, and there are always new chemicals of interest to study and new problems to solve. Noblis offers innovative, technical solutions in order to better identify and mitigate impacts from emerging chemicals. These tools allow for aggregation of scientific and regulatory data sources, visualization of data and tracking of interagency reviews of chemical assessments, guidance documents and policies.
Q: How has working for Noblis impacted who you are professionally and what do you like most about working here?
A: Noblis has offered me numerous opportunities for professional development, client engagement and honing technical skills. Although I joined Noblis less than a year ago, I have already been able to network at conferences, give client presentations and learn a new software program. I like Noblis’ dedication to developing innovative solutions for a constantly changing set of problems from our clients, and their investment in growing their employees’ expertise.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring engineers working in the defense Industry?
A: Say yes to as many opportunities as you can in your early career days because you never know where they may lead. One of my first tasks out of school was taking meeting minutes at large, interagency meetings related to environmental site cleanup. Although I wasn’t initially interested in this more administrative task, absorbing information and networking with the attendees was one of the most beneficial things I did in my early career. The knowledge I gained from those meetings remains useful to this day.