Bright Futures Await Next Generation of Engineering Leaders at FPL
January 23, 2012
FPL's Angelica Baez-Roman (center) at Jupiter Next Generation in Nuclear Conference in Jupiter, Fla. on Nov. 4, 2011

In November, FPL hosted the North American-Young Generation in Nuclear Conference in Jupiter, Fla. as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to recruit a new generation of highly-skilled leaders into the nuclear workforce.

The conference, titled Future Leaders of Energy: Powering the Next Generation, featured professional development seminars by industry experts representing the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, Nuclear Energy Institute, Luminant, Southern Company, and FPL.

One of the attendees and an active participant in the Young Generation in Nuclear group was FPL engineer Angelica Baez-Roman. Baez-Roman was recruited in 2008, along with 29 other graduates of the University of Puerto Rico, to work at the company’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in southwest Miami-Dade County. Since then, Angelica and her fellow alums have worked hard, settling into the South Florida community and, in many cases, dedicating themselves to inspiring other young engineers to consider jobs in the nuclear industry.

“Moving to another country and starting a new job isn't always easy, but my life’s experiences to date have helped me understand that anything is possible if you work hard enough,” said Baez-Roman.

After studying at the Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas (Residential Center of Educational Opportunities), a public boarding school in Puerto Rico specializing in math and science, Baez-Roman went on to the University of Puerto Rico where she studied mechanical engineering.

“I was only in my junior year of college when my friend convinced me to go to a job fair,” said Baez-Roman. “I walked up to FPL’s booth, handed them my resume and participated in an interview and I was offered a job a few days later. A year later, as an engineering graduate, I walked into Turkey Point. It was the first time I'd ever been at a nuclear power plant, and it was very exciting.”

Baez-Roman says she loves the science of producing energy. A short time after starting work at Turkey Point she joined Next Generation in Nuclear, a group of young engineers who encourage students interested in math and science to consider jobs in the industry.

“Our goal is to communicate that as we focus more as a nation on conservation and renewable energy, nuclear power will continue to play an important role in our energy mix,” said Baez-Roman. “We know that nuclear energy is the lowest-cost, round-the-clock power source that generates power without fossil fuels, which means no emissions and no fuel cost spikes. And, speaking from personal experience, the present and future of energy is dynamic, and the career opportunities are vast.”

“The key is to do what you love, set your goals and look forward because you will have to work hard and make sacrifices like leaving your family or moving to a new place. I think that anything is possible as long as you work hard and do your best.”

Baez-Roman is now working on obtaining her professional engineering license and then plans to take on a master’s degree program in mechanical engineering.

About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit