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Insights Seven reasons to join our nuclear safety team

I'm Lacey-Jo, a nuclear safety engineer on the Nuclear & Power team at AtkinsRéalis. I started as a biochemist, keen to join an organization where I could gain more commercial awareness while using my nuclear safety experience. I was impressed by the cutting-edge projects being supported across the various business units and I felt like this was a great place to challenge myself and enhance my technical competency.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

I was right!

If you're thinking about joining our Nuclear & Power team, here are seven opportunities you should know about:

1.Our many "niche" areas, like nuclear safety, value transferrable skills

You'd be surprised how many nuclear safety engineers just fell into the industry. I know people with physics, geology, or even history backgrounds who have found their way to nuclear safety! I've always enjoyed puzzles and problem-solving, and now I get to do that on a huge scale. There is something incredibly rewarding about knowing that my work will have a real-world impact and that I can play such a vital role in constructing, commissioning, operating, and decommissioning nuclear power plants. Without safety engineers, it wouldn't be able to happen.

2.If you want to achieve great things here, just put yourself forward

Be curious and ask questions, as these discussions often open up opportunities you didn't even know existed. Is there an opportunity you're interested in? Say so! For example, I took a chance and put my hand up for a project developing a safety case for a robotic system with AI. While I had safety case experience, I was less familiar with robotics and AI...

So I learned.

Just by putting myself out there, I had the opportunity to co-author a paper presented at the Safety Critical Systems Symposium 2024.

3.You will benefit from a culture that promotes flexibility

The biggest benefits for me are the flexibility and workplace culture. By flexibility, I'm not only referring to working patterns or locations but also flexibility and variety in the type of work I do. This is important for me because I am keen to gain a broad range of experience, and I value the opportunity to support a range of different tasks/projects at any time. The flexibility is also vital for me, as a disabled woman, as it ensures I can have the work-life balance I need to attend personal appointments, for example.

The culture here at AtkinsRéalis is also incredibly supportive. As a relatively junior woman in engineering, it has been vital for my development.

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4.Start thinking about how YOU would like to progress YOUR career

I was surprised by how rapidly I've been able to accelerate my career and the exciting opportunities up for grabs. Within a year of joining AtkinReális, I had published a paper and started visiting clients abroad. I've been recently promoted and will become a line manager when the 2024 graduate cohort joins us later this year. Despite all this, I have maintained a healthy work-life balance.

"There is no shortage of opportunities if you're keen to develop your career quickly."

5.We have a team you'll be proud to be a part of

I am currently working as part of a team supporting the design phase of a nuclear power plant and developing a strategy for the client to progress their design through the regulator's Generic Design Assessment process. Our work may enable the licensing of a new type of nuclear reactor for the UK. With all the talk in government around the importance of nuclear energy and our work on Hinkley Point C being so high-profile, it's hard not to feel a sense of pride!

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

6.Are you keen to join a community engineering a better future?

Nuclear power is vital to meet Net Zero targets and limit climate change; it's the very definition of Engineering a better future for our planet and its people. The scope of opportunities within the team at AtkinsRéalis spans a wide range of technologies and geographies, allowing us to support real innovation with far-reaching benefits both now and in the future. This, of course, is dependent on a sustained and inspired workforce. So, the organization does a lot of work in the social value space, and we've received awards for our STEM outreach programmes. The future is bright!

7.Think about how you'd like to #MakeItBrilliant

At AtkinsRéalis, we use the #MakeItBrilliant hashtag to celebrate the daily and significant achievements that make our work meaningful. Thanks to the supportive culture here at AtkinsRéalis, I have had the opportunity to volunteer as the outreach lead for the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network. This role has given me many valuable opportunities, from chairing industry panel sessions to volunteering at large-scale school outreach events. It has been invaluable for my career and allows me to use my skills and experience to support the next generation of nuclear professionals and the wider industry.

Find a role in our Nuclear & Power team today.