Luminant Engineers on Engineering

National Engineers Week at Luminant

For National Engineers Week, we asked several of our engineers to discuss why they choose their profession. As you’ll see, the propensity to embrace a challenge and uncover a solution is a common trait shared between them.


Crystal Bennett (Turner), Support Services Engineer
Big Brown/TurlingtoCrystal Bennettn Mines

“Working as an engineer for Luminant has allowed me the opportunity to be challenged daily, and to constantly grow as an individual and a leader. You have the ability to learn a lot from a lot of people that have a lot of experience. You basically have the control and it’s up to you how far you want to enhance your career. The doors are wide open.”



Craig Birkenfeld

Craig Birkenfeld, Fossil Engineering & Support (FES) AQCS System Engineer
Energy Resource Center

“As an air quality controls system engineer, I work with emission controls across Luminant’s entire power generation fleet. I enjoy how the technical aspects of my job allow me to apply data analysis skills to optimize operational and maintenance practices. The challenges posed by the competitive market and the regulatory push to lower emissions energize me to continuously learn at a fast pace – and this keeps work interesting!”


Najalie Donahue, Senior Engineer
Three Oaks MineNajeli Donahue

“I’m a senior engineer in charge of providing civil engineering support to the operations and the environmental departments. I design different water structures, like sedimentation ponds, water diversions, drop structures and permanent impoundments. I have always had a passion for math and physics. I knew that, as an engineer, I would be able to use these STEM skills and apply them to real-world problems to make a difference. More and more, I’m noticing that as I move forward in my career every project is different and brings with it its own set of challenges.”



Kevin KnierKevin Knier, Equipment Reliability Staff Engineer
Power Optimization Center (POC)

“As a member of the equipment reliability group, I’m responsible for providing support to Luminant and our commercial fleets by applying sound engineering judgment and knowledge to identify and resolve equipment reliability issues. I have always had an interest in how things work, and I like learning new things. This drew me to mechanical systems when I was young. As I got older, my interest grew from working on cars to large industrial turbines. At the POC, we’re constantly on the frontline of remote monitoring and diagnostics. We’re constantly trying to detect new forms of system degradation before they can affect operation. We’re challenged to develop new ways to detect anomalies and keep up with current industry technology so we can stop a problem before it starts.”


Lauren Neuburger, Engineering Corrective Action Program Coordinator
Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Lauren NeuburgerPlant

“I’ve learned that working at Comanche Peak means flexing your technical and interpersonal muscles to support the safe operation of the plant. We have high standards, an important workload and an excellent team to drive results. As the engineering department’s corrective action program coordinator (CAPCO), my primary role is to organize work, trend corrective actions, perform and review cause analyses and facilitate meetings with other work groups on site to resolve plant issues. I enjoy engineering because I like to help people. That’s what engineers do. They study, learn and fix problems using all the tools available.”


Colt Smith, Thermal Performance Engineer
Power Optimization Center (POC)

Colt Smith“I chose to be an engineer for the challenge and creativity that my field allows. In my role at the POC, my team and I look at the performance of our entire fleet, as well as our clients’ fleet to identify any performance issues. What challenges and excites me about working at Luminant is the ever-changing conditions of the energy market because it keeps us on our toes.”




Keep an eye on our social media channels (listed below) to see how our engineers play a part in powering Texas.

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