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Insights What did it take for Naresh to redirect his career to nuclear energy?

Before joining AtkinsRéalis, Naresh's previous work experience was in the aerospace industry as a consultant on the world's second-largest aero-engine maker. Leaning on his mechanical engineering background, Naresh developed technical instructions for maintenance, repair, or modification activities across various fleets of large civil engines. More recently, he finished his master's in Advanced Heat Engineering at Cranfield University to pursue his career goals in tackling climate change.

Inside AtkinsRéalis, he works across a broad portfolio of net zero projects, from renewable energy systems to nuclear energy and household decarbonization.

"Despite my experience outside of nuclear, AtkinsRéalis recruited me as a project engineer, recognizing my passion and potential to contribute to nuclear industry innovation." —Naresh, Project Engineer

Photo of Naresh sitting in a cafe

Naresh, what have been your highlights so far at AtkinsRéalis?

My short tenure with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). It's a research organization funded by the UK government and responsible for developing fusion energy.

I was instrumental in conducting an optioneering study of cryogenic cooling systems involved in the nuclear fusion cycle. I identified potential vendors and liaised with them to progress the study to suit the client's needs. I had the opportunity to give the team a detailed presentation on existing cryogenic cold-head cooling technologies, critiquing each to propose a feasible choice for the project.

The best part was exposure to how nuclear fusion-cycle-associated components function. Its setup amazed me completely. On top of that, the project's chief engineer also recognized me, giving good feedback on my presentation.

"To know I've contributed to such a significant project and received recognition for my work has been truly remarkable." —Naresh

How do you feel the diversity of our projects, clients, and sectors influences your career development?

I'm passionate about people and the environment and have always wanted to align my career with that. I realized electricity generation accounts for the bulk of our CO2 emissions. Based on studies, nuclear energy has the smallest carbon footprint throughout its lifecycle. This motivated me to pursue my master's program and switch my domain from Aerospace to Energy in nuclear projects.

As a leading engineering consultancy within the nuclear domain, AtkinsRéalis offers me diverse opportunities with different clients and project scales. The projects vary from new nuclear building to nuclear generation and decommissioning of existing nuclear fleets.

AtkinsRéalis exposes me to complete life cycle opportunities associated with nuclear. I can work on projects on New nuclear technologies, focussing on Small Modular Reactors (SMR), Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR), and Fusion Reactors. Our dedicated Net Zero team offers opportunities to engage in innovative fields like hydrogen production, district heating, and carbon capture technologies.

"It's fair to say I work for a powerhouse, present everywhere in the decarbonization of energy in the UK and worldwide." —Naresh

How would you describe your team's culture at AtkinsRéalis?

AtkinsRéalis advocates for diversity, inclusivity, and collaborative work culture. It's reflected in our hiring team, who recognize the value of a diverse workforce and actively promote an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed and respected. I was at the receiving end of the support system established within the organization during my new starter days. There are social events organized outside of work to foster good working relationships. I believe the phrase, "People are better than books." Interacting with the people here enriches my personal growth and development.

This organization understands the importance of personal well-being. It encourages employees to prioritize their mental and physical health alongside their professional responsibilities. AtkinsRéalis provides the perks of flexible working arrangements, training opportunities, and mentoring for their employees. If you have a clear vision of your career goals, AtkinsRéalis is where it shapes into reality.

What does sustainability mean to you?

The UK government has committed to reach Net Zero goals by 2050. Working on nuclear projects like Hinkley Point C (HPC) directly contributes to achieving that target. Once HPC becomes operational, it will drive the transition to clean energy on the UK grids, providing sustainable energy solutions to individuals and communities.

I certainly feel privileged to know that my work impacts society. My mindset and approach towards problem-solving have changed since I've been in the nuclear industry. I strive to understand the long-term implications of my decisions and aim to create positive change, not focus only on the immediate results.

As your career progresses, what are you looking forward to with AtkinsRéalis?

As we are at the end of the year, it's time to revisit the objectives and goals set out at the start of the year as part of my performance development review. Get 2024's objectives and training plan completed to support my career aspirations. I am currently part of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning project within HPC, estimated at £70 million. The contract is expected to continue next year, and I look forward to contributing better to deliver against key milestones.

In parallel, I have been progressing on my Chartership application with support from mentors. I'm excited to complete the application and prepare for the rest of the process. As I said, AtkinsRéalis supports the professional development of its workforce.

I look forward to cherishing the responsibilities of line managing my colleagues and assisting them in their professional growth and development. At last, enjoy the Christmas and end-of-year party!

Our nuclear teams are hiring. Browse these fantastic live roles and join us.