Management Team

Paul Abbott

Like many in our industry I got my start in the Nuclear Navy. After six years as an electrician on a nuclear fast attack submarine I landed a job as an auxiliary operator at CP&L’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant (BWR). I worked my way up the operations ladder as a Reactor Operator (RO) and then a Senior Reactor Operator (SRO).

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After nine years at Brunswick, I had the opportunity to return north near my hometown of Philadelphia. There I started work at the Salem Generating Station as a maintenance supervisor. However, my time in maintenance was short lived when the Salem operations manager pulled some strings, and I found myself in license class – yet again.

I obtained my SRO license at Salem the following year and after a year on shift as a control room supervisor I was promoted to shift manager. I left Salem in the fall of 2009 to join Hyperspring.

Yes, I have been through license class three times. Twice at Brunswick for my RO and SRO licenses, and once for my SRO license for Salem. These learning experiences gave me a great appreciation for what we put our students through and the commitment it takes to succeed in this industry.

I am a lifelong learner and I enjoy sharing the knowledge that I have gained. Even though I am now an INPO certified instructor, I believe it was the experience of sitting through multiple licensing classes that shaped me as a teacher. I gained the insights I needed to recognize the best ways to teach difficult subjects and how to keep students engaged throughout the process.

Over the years, I have taught a variety of subjects from generic fundamentals to severe accident mitigation. I have managed multimillion-dollar learning material upgrade projects and turnkey SRO certification courses for a number of different utilities.

In 1991, I finally earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree in nuclear technology – working on it during my “spare time!”

Since joining Hyperspring, I have helped grow the company to more than 100 employees. By being active in the industry, we pride ourselves in understanding and anticipating our clients' needs – and our guiding principals reflect that. Our commitment enables us to provide the right resource solution every time.

When not teaching and growing Hyperspring, I enjoy relaxing with family and friends. In the summer you can find me at the lake boating and playing with our jet skis and in the winter on a snowmobile trail in upstate NY.

Mickey Ellis

I was the first person hired into the operator trainee classification at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (GGNS). I arrived there in April 1979 – 20 years old and fresh out of the Memphis State University's Nuclear Operator and Radiation Technology Fundamentals Program.

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At GGNS, I was one of three people chosen to perform initial fuel loading. I received a Cold RO license in 1984 and transitioned to training as RO. Soon thereafter I received my SRO Instructor Certification. I received my SRO license in 1996.

During my six years as control room supervisor, I generated a template and modified the method for performing shutdowns when entering refueling outages. I thought, “Why have horses in the stable if you don’t let them run!” Twelve hours from entering hot shutdown, we were five hours ahead of schedule. The simulator was used extensively in practicing and perfecting our method.

I became a shift manager and transitioned to training as the operations requalification training superintendent, where I oversaw all aspects of requal training.

In 2007, I left GGNS and began work at a coal upgrade facility in Wyoming where I served as mentor to the operations management team. Shortly after I arrived, the company hired a former Navy captain. Working with him, we provided the site’s first training class in the area of fundamentals. We staffed the site with crew mentors, procedure writers and training personnel. According to reports, our work increased production 700 percent above the previously recorded highest quarter.

I returned to GGNS in late 2008 and served as the lead simulator instructor for the next six Licensed Operator training classes. Most recently I have performed training at Monticello Nuclear station. The class was for SRO Certifications for both new operations training instructors and plant support personnel.

There are three things that I stress when training – 1) be on time, 2) learn, 3) have fun. I always make myself available for additional training at students' request. Also, I focus on operator fundamentals – not just because it’s a buzz phrase, but because I mean it.

My home is in Alabama (Roll Tide!), but while my wife and I were living in Mississippi we got bored and decided to buy a house and flip it. We remodeled a classic 1950s home in about six months. I wish I could express the joy I had working so closely with my wife on that project!

For fun, I enjoy smoking meats, and I have perfected steak with a Cajun cream sauce. I eat a lot of Cajun food and experiment with new recipes and cooking methods. If I am not cooking, you may find me on the "Redneck Riviera." If you don’t know what that is, you ain’t from the South!

Shawn McKeever

I have more than 18 years of commercial nuclear operation experience and held an SRO and RO license at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station. I’m an INPO Certified Instructor with experience in teaching licensing class, SRO certification and generic fundamentals.

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My education includes eight years in the Nuclear Navy as an ELT and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nuclear engineering technology.

As one of Hyperspring’s cofounders, it has always been my desire to replicate and improve the methods of training that helped me succeed in the rigid nuclear training process.

When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my children.

Lee Smith

I began my career in 1979 at Southern California Edison San Onofre Unit One. At that time the industry was changing rapidly and I was excited to find a career that was new, open, exciting, rewarding and expanding. My original intention of a career in medical research was forgotten and my focus shifted to becoming part of providing clean, safe reliable power.

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The nuclear industry is fast paced, and providing staff to plants across the country has given me a unique perspective of industry issues. I find it very rewarding to help clients find the right person and put them in the right position. In doing so, I have been fortunate to develop and nurture relationships with people that became much more than clients, candidates or employees – they became extended family.

I joined the Hyperspring family in 2009, after having established relationships with several of the partners back in the early 1990s.

My passion for my large extended family (human and animal) is well known and frequently discussed. I am a mother, grandmother and recently great-grandmother. I love German Shepherds – especially my beautiful two-year-old sable/mink female named Rolex. Of course being a North Carolinian, I am excellent at barbeque. I have a smoking recipe based upon a traditional NC Lexington pulled-pork style that some of my good friends have had a chance to taste thanks to Fed-Ex overnight!