Ben Caleca

Who you are and what your job title is – name, title, and any specialty area/s.
My name is Ben Caleca, I’m a Civil Engineer specializing in Structural Engineering.

Why you were interested in the agency – how did you choose the DNFSB?
I chose to work at the DNFSB because of the agency’s mission, and the unique technical challenges that are addressed to ensure safety of the public and workers from radiological hazards.  The Board also has a flat organization that encourages collaboration between a variety of different engineering and science disciplines.

Overview of work/education before joining the agency – where are you originally from in the country, where you went to school (if young in career), and what, if any job experience did you have before coming to the DNFSB.
I was born and raised in New York City, and received my bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan.  Through the Board’s Professional Development Program, I was able to study and receive a Masters of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

What is the best work aspect of your job – what is a unique experience the agency offers you?
The best aspect of my work is the commitment to high quality technical work and professional development.  Not only do staff share and educate each other through internal seminars and multidisciplinary reviews, but the training opportunities that I’ve had here are invaluable to my growth as an engineer.

What is the best public service aspect of your job – what is important to you in terms of giving back?
To me, the most important public service aspect of working for the Board is our culture of highlighting safety risks.  The Department of Energy performs valuable work.  Our ability to critically review operations and new projects only strengthens both the Department’s effectiveness, and the trust of the public that safety is valued in defense nuclear facilities.

What is the best people aspect of your job – who do you get to work with?
As a subject-matter expert, I have the opportunity to work with a variety of different engineers, both within the agency, at the Department of Energy, and staff from engineering contractors for the Department.  Our staff particularly has both a breadth and depth of experience to draw from, and are more than happy to take time to help new staff grow within the agency.  We have a very close-knit staff, and we often get together outside of work for social events as well.

Who you think will enjoy working at the agency – what type of personality thrives – curious, flexible, self-starter, committed to excellence, continual learner, working in teams, etc.
I would definitely recommend curious, self-starting engineers and scientists to consider careers at the Board.  Staff here are expected and trusted to both seek out work and develop agency reviews using their own expertise and experience, and be able to articulately create and defend staff positions both internally and externally to Board staff, Department of Energy staff, engineers, and the public.  Our staff’s products are often the result of team efforts, and successful staff here are capable of managing people and resources effectively.