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Sellafield Ltd

Employee profile

Alexander Lowe-Bird

Graduate Process Engineer

What is your role on the graduate programme?

I am Design Engineering graduate based in Risley and I am currently on my second 6-month placement of four with the Effluent Management Strategy team. My role includes tasks such as monitoring/calculating aerial and liquid discharges from the Sellafield Site, computer modelling and government reporting.

I am also on the 2019 Graduate Council as the SharePoint and Communications lead. Responsibilities include managing the Graduate SharePoint page (a hub of information and announcements for the graduate scheme), producing the monthly graduate newsletter and attending council meetings.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities?

Graduate football takes place twice a week and I play most times. There are also monthly social events organised around Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester. I’ve also been involved in a number of STEM activities including running work experience programmes for 15-18 year olds and manning the Sellafield stand the at Big Bang at the NEC, Birmingham. I was also part of the team that organised the 2019 Nuclear Vision Conference. There are loads of STEM, social and other things going on too.

How did you find moving to a new area after University?

It took a reasonable amount of effort finding an area to move to alongside a flat, and it’s not the same as university where most people live in the same place so I made sure I moved to an area where previous graduates had lived and recommended. Everyone moving to a new area is in the same boat though so getting in touch with other graduates in good time is very helpful.

What is the graduate community like at Sellafield?

It’s a really outgoing, fun and supportive group of Graduates. Everyone looks out for each other both in and out of work, and as I mentioned previously there are loads of social events and sports organised by graduates. There is also a real sense of ambition within the community, which is fed by regular interaction between graduates and senior managers and the opportunities presented through working at Sellafield.

What do you think it takes to be successful on the graduate programme?

The graduate scheme is all about developing yourself in your profession, so a willingness to adapt to challenges and learning new things is a must; one of the best ways of developing is through tasks at work. It also goes without saying that a positive attitude goes a long way. If a certain job is proving difficult for whatever reason, there will always be help available and using that help is the key to success.

What initially attracted you to the Sellafield graduate programme?

I learned a lot about Sellafield at University and the uniqueness and variety of projects required to decommission the Sellafield site are very interesting to me. Naturally after graduating the next step in career development is to become a Chartered Engineer, and Sellafield is widely regarded as being one of the best companies for helping graduates achieve this. Furthermore there are loads of graduates taken on every year so the prospect of joining such a large graduate community was exciting.

If you could give a future graduate some advice, what would it be?

Make the most of it and don’t be afraid to ask silly questions! The Graduate Scheme is designed to develop you as a professional so get involved with as much as you can with that in mind.

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