Our employee spotlight shines a light on one employee at a time. We value diversity and inclusion and welcome diverse thinking. It takes a village — through collaboration, living safely and driving innovation we realize our goals and help our clients achieve mission success. Our mantra is people first, mission always.
Today’s spotlight is on Max Ehrhardt. He is an accomplished project leader within the Amentum Nuclear and Environment International sector, who leads Amentum’s business development and operations in the Japanese market. He is a proud veteran who last served as a Surface Warfare Officer (Nuclear) for the U.S. Navy. Based in Japan, Max is essential to Amentum realizing growth opportunities to support Japanese clients with safe and effective nuclear clean-up and management of nuclear materials.
Pioneer in a Challenging Market
Max joined Amentum after working as a Nuclear Engineer for the U.S. naval shipyard in Yokosuka, Japan. He brings 16+ years of project leadership experience in technical and supervisory positions. As the Project Engineering Manager for Amentum in Tokyo, he is responsible for managing Japan-based projects related to nuclear decommissioning, providing a link between the Amentum’s skilled engineers and our Japanese customers’ needs.
In his current role, he manages all phases of nuclear decommissioning-related projects, from initial business development activities through project execution to customer acceptance of deliverables. As the only in-country project manager and engineer, he currently leads cross functional and geographically distributed teams for two design projects for decommissioning work at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The major players in the Japanese nuclear industry are a small group of large companies and customers with strong relationships built over decades of successful plant operations. Max has had the rewarding experience of introducing Amentum’s capabilities into this environment as Japanese companies face new challenges of efficiently decommissioning their older plants as well as Fukushima Daiichi. His years spent in Japan have resulted in formative relationships within the market and initiating an emerging foundation of trust built between Amentum’s Japanese clients and partners.
Education and Naval Nuclear Training
After graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering, Max worked as a full-time research assistant in the Rheology Research Center while pursuing his MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Next, Max served as a Weapons Officer on the USS Harpers Ferry in Sasebo, Japan, where he led 12 combat system technicians in the upkeep of all weapons systems, small arms, and ammunition storage areas. Max returned to the United States to attend the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina, and he completed the coursework and practical qualification to operate a shipboard nuclear plant. He completed his US Navy service as the Reactor Electrical Division Officer on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in Yokosuka, Japan, where he led a team to operate the ship’s nuclear propulsion plant. Additionally, Max is fluent in the Japanese language and holds a private pilot license.
Max shares his leadership insight and perspective about working for Amentum, his passion as an engineer, career advice, and mindset on safety:
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum? “Despite working at a physical distance, Amentum’s engineers are motivated and focused, and there is a great sense of teamwork in project meetings. The shared enthusiasm is inspiring.”
What are you passionate about? “Quality. When customers receive a deliverable with Amentum’s logo and color scheme, I want them to intuitively feel that they bought a world-class product, something a cut above the competition.”
What’s your career advice? “I think it’s important to decide early where you want to end up. If you work hard and get noticed, many different opportunities will come along. But without a plan, it will be hard to decide what risks to take and what opportunities to seize.”
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip? “The key to safety for me is considering risk and reward. An ill-considered shortcut might save seconds or minutes, but it brings an enormous risk of injury that can set you back years. That mindset helps me avoid complacency.”
Throughout each assignment and key leadership role, Max’s technical and international culture expertise, capable demeanor, and commitment to serve each customer with integrity and quality has had a significant impact on creating a positive culture and growing our Amentum footprint in Japan.
Contact Max via email, [email protected]