Gerhard Samide

Gerhard Samide

I was born in Salzburg, Austria and raised in Ridgewood, New York.  I was 2 years old when we arrived in NYC.  Educated at St. Francis Prep. high school, NYU and MIT. I hold a degree in Nuclear Engineering from New York University (NYU), with graduate work in Nuclear Engineering and Plasma Physics at NYU and MIT.  Additionally, I received two PWR reactor operating licenses for naval reactors.

My interest in music started in the second grade when I studied guitar for about a year and gave it up – the guitar was bigger than I was.  In fourth grade I started singing in the boys choir of the Bishop of NY.  We performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Carnegie Hall.  That provided a foundation in music theory and musical group performance.  In High School I gave up singing and started studying the violin.  It became difficult for me to continue the amount of practice required to maintain proficiency, given my other sports interests, so I switched to flute and saxophone.  Today I focus almost exclusively on flute performance.

After college, my 40-year nuclear engineering career began as a Test Engineer testing nuclear reactor cores on submarines at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.  From there I joined American Nuclear Insurers, where I performed “program oversight” functions related to power plant operations and radiation safety practices of commercial nuclear power plants.  I also managed a team of nuclear experts who conducted independent safety evaluations of nuclear power plant operations and radiation safety.

I concluded my career at Westinghouse Electric Company as Principal Engineer in the Risk Applications and Methods group in Windsor, CT where I was a Project Manager for mathematical modeling related to various probabilistic risk analysis contracts, and worked with the NRC on developing new risk-informed regulations based on probabilistic risk assessment methods.

All along the way I tried to fit in music where I could.  In high school I played in a professional jazz sextet that played various venues in Greenwich Village and around the NYC boroughs.  I was accepted to Julliard in my senior year in high school, but I could already see that a career in classical orchestral “flute” was fraught with intense competition where close to 250 applicants competed for the one or two slots available in an orchestra.  At that time I also received an engineering school scholarship to NYU, so I decided that music would be a great hobby, and engineering would be a great career.

Now that I am retired, my passion for music has resurfaced.  I enjoy performing chamber music and volunteering with the Naples Music Club.