Reclamation Engineering Intern Rachel Godard wins NACE Sandia Mountain Section Scholarship

Written by: Stephen Major

Rachel Godard
Rachel Godard
Every year the Bureau of Reclamation welcomes some of the best and brightest college students for internship opportunities at a Reclamation facility or office. This year we are especially proud that one of our interns, Rachel Godard, has received a scholarship from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) to assist in furthering her academic career.

Rachel is a sophomore and honor roll recipient at Colorado School of Mines, studying mechanical engineering. Rachel has interned with the Bureau of Reclamation for the past two summers and throughout the 2018-2019 school year, where she has been mentored by Dr. Jessica Torrey and Dr. Bobbi Jo Merten.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. William Kepler on strengthening and planning events for the growing internship program he created.” said Godard, “I recently co-authored a paper for the NACE Foundation on the ‘Impact of Specimen Geometry on Cathodic Disbondment Testing for Protective Coatings’ which I will present alongside Grace Weber at the NACE CORROSION 2019 conference.”

When asked to explain the project she will present at the NACE conference, Godard described it thusly:

“Reclamation implements cathodic protection systems to add a secondary method of corrosion prevention to metallic structures. Our research was to use the NACE TM0115 testing standard to reproduce previous results of a specimen geometry relation to the coating disbondment on the structures. We used two different coating systems and several different specimen geometries (2’’,3’’ and 4’’ pipes and flat panels) during two separate testing rounds. Our paper covers the testing method and results of our research, which did confirm a specimen geometry relation.”

During the NACE CORROSION 2019 conference, Godard will be recognized and presented with the Sandia Mountain Section Scholarship, worth $2,500.

“I am extremely honored to win this award.” said Godard, “As I pay for my own education, student loans pile up and add to the stress of school and work. This award helps to alleviate some of the stress and reminds me of the greater picture that my education provides. This award pushes me to work harder in my studies and in the office. I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish with the resources and opportunities Reclamation has provided me.”

Outside of her scholastic and internship responsibilities, Godard participates in intramural sports; is involved in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE); and is a member of Alpha Phi Fraternity, with whom she performs volunteer work throughout her community.

“Reclamation has provided me with rewarding experiences and opportunities.” said Godard, “My mentors, coworkers and I have worked hard on this project for two years. My mentors gave me a greater leadership role in this experiment. The publication is a physical representation of all the hard work we put into the project. I want to give a special recognition to Dr. William Kepler, Dr. Bobbi Jo Merten, Dr. Jessica Torrey and Grace Weber.”

If you or someone you know would be interested in interning with the Bureau of Reclamation, you can learn more about youth volunteering and employment opportunities here:

Published on March 14, 2019