Open and close mobile menu


Insights What's life like as a Net Zero Engineer in the UK?

Shayakgomo is a talented Senior HV Plant Engineer at AtkinsRéalis. He specializes in substation design and comes with a rich international background. He skillfully handles front-end designs and comprehensive project coordination as a Lead Contractor Design Approval Engineer for National Grid projects. His expertise ranges from tendering and feasibility to detailed design and construction support. In this interview, Shayakgomo talks about his growth journey and shares his work on innovative energy solutions.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

Shayakgomo, as someone who transitioned from working in South Africa to the UK, how did you navigate the ups and downs of the move?

My transition was challenging but rewarding due to working for different companies with different cultures. Regarding engineering practices, both countries adhere to similar globally recognized professional bodies and organizations, thus ensuring a continuous transition from a technical aspect. What made it straightforward was that I'd been working in a similar environment—electricity distribution and transmission. As such, comparable standards and practices apply. On a lighter note, the UK weather has been unpredictable, to say the least.

What have been some highlights with AtkinsRéalis so far?

The opportunities to be involved in Net Zero projects in support of the UK's Net Zero ambitions. This includes solar connection projects and battery energy storage system (BESS) projects.

How does AtkinsRéalis' commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion play out in the workplace?

The culture at AtkinsRéalis supports me in so many positive ways, including psychological safety, which is the aspect of expressing myself without the fear of being judged. The team has a supportive culture, encouraging continuous learning, professional development, and growth. The team is empathetic, and inclusive, and we all share a sense of mutual respect. Our organizational culture enhances my job satisfaction, motivation, and overall well-being.

Why should engineers consider joining AtkinsRéalis now?

AtkinsRéalis is a reputable organization with an exceptional culture and pleasant people. We offer a flexible working environment that promotes an excellent work-life balance. We can choose work from multitudes of exciting projects that provide a continuous learning, growth, and development environment, offering great benefits to everyone who works here. AtkinsRéalis has a global footprint, so we enjoy opportunities to work on projects across various parts of the world.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

How does your focus on sustainability as a lead engineer influence your approach to energy-efficient solutions?

As a lead engineer, sustainability means designing and facilitating environmentally friendly, energy-efficient solutions while reducing carbon emissions. It promotes long-term resource conservation in electrical substations to support future generations.

Sustainability impacts my decisions in various projects as lead engineer. I must continually peruse electrical designs and their implications on sustainability. Furthermore, I am also responsible for producing a project sustainability action plan specifying how the sustainability goals and improvements will be achieved over time.

What does the future look like at AtkinsRéalis?

I have been afforded an opportunity to be part of the AtkinsRéalis' Leading Our Culture' cohort 2 (LOC2). This makes me excited and eager to learn more, positively influence our organizational culture, and continue making AtkinsRéalis a great workplace.

I am also looking forward to completing my course in Environmental Sustainability Skills for Managers with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). Gaining a National Grid design assurance status will allow me to support AtkinsRéalis in further offering design assurance services to the National Grid.

Our Engineering Net Zero team in the UK is hiring. Browse live roles, and join us.