So you want to be a… nuclear engineer

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

If you have a keen interest in science and technology, and have good numerical and analytical abilities, you might want to consider a career as a nuclear engineer. As with many nuclear power plant jobs, nuclear engineers also need to have excellent organisational and planning skills to ensure all projects adhere to strict security and safety legislations.

Nuclear engineers have a range of responsibilities, from designing and developing nuclear equipment, such as reactor cores and radiation shielding, to writing operational instructions or examining nuclear accidents.

Think this sounds like the perfect role for you? Take a look at the information below to find out how you can become a nuclear engineer.

What qualifications would I need?

To pursue a career in nuclear engineering, you’ll need either a HNC/HND, a foundation degree or a degree. Not all universities offer courses specific to nuclear engineering, however you can also sidestep into nuclear by studying a science or technology based subject, such as:

  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Chemical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering

Entry requirements for different universities or colleges will differ. If your A Levels aren’t suitable to access the course, you may find you can take a foundation year instead. Engineering and science degrees often require three A Levels including maths and at least one other science subject.

Looking for a course specific to nuclear engineering? The Nuclear Industry Association has a list of courses available here in the UK.

When it comes to getting your first job in nuclear engineering, most employers will be looking for at least a 2:2 in a technical subject. Alternatively, you could look to get into nuclear engineering by becoming a technician through an apprenticeship.

What skills would I need?

To become a nuclear engineer, you’ll need a wide range of skills, many of which go beyond your technical knowledge. Here are some of the qualities you’ll be required to demonstrate:

  • A high level of mathematical and computer skills
  • The ability to be analytical and a good problem-solver
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills
  • Leadership and management abilities
  • A high level of written and verbal communication skills
  • An enthusiasm for science and technology
  • Great teamwork abilities
  • That you’re a responsible individual

How much could I earn?

As a graduate nuclear engineer, you can expect to earn around £20,000 – £25,000. As you gain more experience and progress further in your career, your salary can increase substantially. Most experienced nuclear engineers are likely to earn between £30,000 and £50,000, however depending on your specialism or employer, you could potentially earn much more.

These figures are intended as a guideline only.

What would my working hours and conditions be like?

Your work setting would vary depending on what industry you were working in. Nuclear engineers employed in power generation and supply will tend to work in power plants, however many engineers are based in offices, laboratories or control rooms. Being aware of health and safety regulations in all work spaces is crucial, especially when working with radioactive material.

If you’re working in a power station, your working hours could include weekends, evenings and nights, and may even feature a seven-day shift system. However, if you’re office based or predominately work in research and development, your hours are more likely to fall into the normal 9am-5pm office hours from Monday to Friday.

So, do you think you’re ready to pursue a career in nuclear engineering? Take a look at our latest job listings to see if there are any roles you’d be suitable for.


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Cx Jobs

Project Controller - P6

Project Controller with a defence/aerospace/nuclear engineering background is required to lead tasks and activities to deliver the approved scope of work in accordance with the specified objectives, as agreed with the Senior Project Manager or their delegate. The Project Controller will also monitor resource demands and actual availability of the project team and prepare reports showing budgets, actual and forecast costs and earned value information in accordance with APM guidelines. This role will be a remote role with some time spent in the office in the North Yorkshire Moors.The role involves but is not limited to the following:Supports the project manager with the day-to-day management and deliverable completion of the projects, using agreed resources, by an agreed date to agreed safetystandards and an agreed quality within an agreed budget.Responsible for coordination, scheduling and reporting of activities as agreed with the Project Manager.Responsible for coordinating all project gate reviews, recording of any actions and the production and approval of the gate review report.Facilitates the identification of lessons learnt from previous projects and programmes, as well as any new lessons from their project team.Undertakes the role of risk coordinator, and ensures the project follows the agreed risk management plan.Responsibility to ensure a project resource plan for the entire project lifecycle is regularly reviewed and updated.Responsible for coordinating the project's change management process, and specifically being the chair of the regular change board.Ensures that a master decisions & assumption log or equivalent is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.Responsible for establishing and auditing against a project configuration management process.Supports the project manager to establish and undertake the Project Scope reviews.Responsible for the development, monitoring and updating of a detailed manage the project workstream schedule.Reporting on the project workstream progress on a regular basis and escalate when exceptional circumstances arise.Has responsibility for the creation and upkeep of the Project Files, meetings, records and correspondence, and maintaining the Project Controls information.Delegated chair for weekly progress review and workshop meetings as required.Chairs project change board meetings and ensures all other necessary actions and minutes are recorded as required.Ensure that the project is given appropriate priority and ensuring that adequate resources are available and escalate to the project manager as required.Ensure all project reviews are carried out in accordance with project governance set out in the project management plan.Support the project manager in the preparation of initial and ongoing estimates of the project costs, including resource, materials and contingency costs.Monitor cost expenditure for the pre-sanction works against estimates and report cost position to Project Manager on a regular basis.Manage Project Documentation, from Initiation to Handover, meeting all milestones within the Project Programme to ensure that the project progresses in a timely manner.Person SpecificationKnowledge and experience of a Programme Management OfficeDemonstrable, specific skills and experience in planning, ideally in a complex programme environmentProficient in P6Working knowledge of Microsoft ProjectStrong analytical, problem solving and reporting skills to deliver precise insight on programme performance

Systems Engineer

Lead Systems Safety Engineer required to work on major rail projects. Contract or Permanent Staff position available Contract (Inside IR35) Role is required to support the application of the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations and the Common Safety Method on Risk Assessment to rail projects. Previous Railway Systems Safety Engineering experience essential. Client requires railway experience in order to hit the ground running. Working Knowledge in HAZOP/HAZOP/RAMS analysis in a railway environment. Demonstrable track record in engineering safety management. Knowledge of safety verification requirements of Network Rail and London Underground.

Quality Engineer

An opportunity has arisen for a Quality Engineer to join the team with our prestigious clientSummary of Role:To assure the fitness for purpose (airworthiness) of products and drive/lead a Right First Time & zero waste culture. Also to maintain and expand regulatory, customer and third party accreditation and to ensure effective systems of assurance.Principal Accountabilities:Establishment and maintenance of the Quality Management Systems and associated Regulatory, Customer and Third party Accreditation's.Liaison with Regulators, Customers and Third Parties on issues which affect accreditation, airworthiness and product conformance to achieve regulatory and customer accreditation.Establish and manage the Quality Metrics across to achieve policy deployment goals.Lead the drive to achieve Right First Time and zero waste through SQCDP Value Stream activity utilising lean tools and methodologies. Identification of Root cause and the implementation of robust corrective actions and control measures.Support all functional teams in key areas of shared responsibility including Training, Continuous Improvement, Risk, Process Engineering and Process Responsibilities/Accountabilities.Key Stakeholder in determining innovation / technical development strategies.Work cross functionally to help drive a consistent and effective approach to New Product Introduction (NPI).Actively participate in bid and contract reviews and assist with quality aspects of project management as required to ensure bid success and bid delivery.Uphold processes that assure the effective health, safety and environmental best practices as defined by the Business HSE management system.The Post holder is expected to work flexibly within the role. It is expected for the post holder to carry out activities for which they are competent. Additionally, the post holder will also carry out additional duties upon request from Senior Management.QualificationsDegree level education, in anengineering / science discipline.Qualifications recognised by regulatorybodies (eg EASA , FAA etc. )Demonstrable continuous professionaldevelopment.Experience10+ years in an equivalent role /environment.Experience of installing and maintainingQuality Management SystemsExceptional product and processexperience.Demonstrable experience in anadvanced manufacturing environment.Demonstrable experience in decisionmaking roles.Demonstrable risk assessmentexperienceDemonstrable experience of commercialawareness / budgetary controls.Skills and AptitudeExcellent understanding of qualityassurance management principles andpractice.Target driven with excellent analyticalskills to support continuousimprovement.A Leader and Communicator able tomotivate and manage cross functionalteams.Strategically focused but with strongoperational knowledge.Detailed understanding of SpecialProcess requirements within AdvancedManufacturing Organisation.Strong knowledge of the AerospaceRegulatory Environment andAirworthiness principlesUnderstanding of LEAN principles andpractice.Managerial / Business acumen andawareness.

Trend Research Engineer

Currently recruiting for a Trend Research Engineer for a large well know automotive client. The automotive industry is transforming from over a century long businesses that relied on car production and sales, the industry now aims at becoming 0 emission mobility provider. This change is influenced by various technical and non-technical factors including for example the availability of new technologies as well as socio-political and environmental drivers.A passionate, experienced mobility ecosystems expert is welcome to join the Trend Research Team to help the client comprehend the changes occurring in the mobility space (and the space surrounding mobility), particularly within smart cities in Europe. This work will also lead to identifying technology and business research opportunities coming from the above mentioned observations. The successful candidate should show experience in one or more of the following disciplines:Europe smart cities and smart mobility - both technology and socio-economic expertise is a mustData analyses - previous experience in information research/ analyses will be required to successfully perform in this jobYou will have strategic thinking mind-set to translate the research findings to new technology and business research opportunitiesGeneral knowledge of the technology fields related to electric vehicles (EV), EV charging infrastructures, connected cars and autonomous cars is an assetIdentification and creation of new work (make new research project proposals & new budget requests) Qualifications/SkillsUniversity degree (bachelor or higher. Preferably in an engineering field)Previous, documented experience in smart cities and smart mobility topicsPrevious experience in data research and data processingAble to process complex information (information identification, compiling and distilling down to compact formats)Ability to self-propelled work (be able to work on their own) but also to work in a team when necessaryGeneral understanding of electric vehicle, connected cars and autonomous cars technologyGood communication skills (written and spoken)Good presentation skillsGood computer skillsWilling to travel (within Europe)

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