- Course: Chemical and Nuclear Engineering MEng
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Job title: Nuclear Process Engineer
- Company: Sellafield Ltd
What have you been doing since finishing your studies?
I’m currently halfway through the graduate scheme at Sellafield Ltd. Throughout my time here, I’ve been in several different roles, including system engineering where I was responsible for the cooling water supply to key plants. I also worked in a plant-facing design team, where I was responsible for short-term design and delivery of plant modifications and solutions. I currently work in a technical team, helping to underpin effluent chemistry and behaviour during decommissioning operations.
What experiences at Leeds have particularly helped with your career?
The University of Leeds gave me the fundamental knowledge I needed to settle into my job quickly. However, I think the greatest thing I took away from my degree was the ability to analyse a task, break it down and determine the best way forward.
Looking back, why did you choose to study at the University of Leeds?
Originally, I wanted to be a dentist! That is, until I had a spare hour on an open day and wandered into the Chemical Engineering department at Leeds. In that hour, I decided engineering was for me. The nuclear element was unique and interesting. I liked the city and the staff showed a genuine interest in prospective students. Once I got my offers, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather go.
What was the best aspect of the course?
As part of the course, I spent a month at Xiamen University, China on a summer school course in clean energy. The course was fantastic and we even got to see two nuclear power stations under construction.
Were you involved in any other activities outside of your studies?
I’m a keen footballer, so I was the goalkeeper for the Chemical Engineering team and represented the university a number of times at Frank Morton Sports Day (something I definitely recommend going to). In my spare time, I also enjoyed exploring the dales.
What would you say to students thinking about the same career?
The nuclear industry is really taking off in the UK. There are new power stations being built and some of the biggest decommissioning challenges in the world are taking place in the UK. Job prospects are brilliant and being one of the few people in the country with the words “Nuclear Engineering” in your degree means you’ll be in great demand.
If you decide to pursue a different career path at the end of your degree, the skills gained through an engineering degree will still place you in a great position for many high-end jobs. Ultimately, it’s a win-win situation.