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Sellafield Ltd

Employee profile

Daniel Paterson

Graduate Plant Engineer

What is your role on the graduate programme?

My current role on the graduate programme is within the innovation centre. This is a place where a team of engineers (7 for my project) come together from Sellafield and the supply chain and have 6 weeks to design and build a prototype for an onsite problem with a limited budget. Before this, I was in a system engineering secondment which involved being based on plant and looking after assets and equipment. It also involved addressing short term issues as well as ongoing problems, organising maintenance amongst other things. This role was very fast paced, which I enjoyed as I like to be busy.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities?

I am a STEM ambassador and am involved in CASS (Cockermouth Afterschool STEM Scheme). This is an afterschool club for primary school children whereby STEM related activities are organised by the CASS team which try and educate primary school children about engineering by participating in activities.

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

Before moving to Cumbria, I thought it would be the last place I would ever live. I have always lived near or in big towns and cities such as Newcastle, where I studied at Northumbria university. Having said all that, Cumbria is an excellent place to live and has lot of stuff to do like long walks through the country side, plenty of sporting opportunities and lots of social activities to do.

Being on the graduate scheme means that there’s a lot of people in the same boat who have never lived here before. There are always socials going on with all the graduates which makes moving here a lot easier.

What is the graduate community like at Sellafield?

The graduate community is excellent. There are always events going on where anyone can go to like sporting events, nights out or anything in between.

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

The main thing is to work hard but make sure you’re not doing the same thing twice. The graduate programme gives you the best opportunity to work in a lot of different areas of site which will give you an appreciation of the mission Sellafield is trying to deliver on.

What initially attracted you to the Sellafield graduate programme?

The graduate programme focuses on graduates striving towards obtaining chartership status within their discipline. Myself being a goal orientated person, this was perfect as this is what I wanted to achieve next following completing my degree at university. The opportunity to be involved in tackling some of Sellafield’s complex challenges also enticed me.

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

Try and take opportunities which come your way, but make sure to balance them with your day job. You will get as much out of the graduate programme as you put into it. Try and ensure that the tasks you are being given are in accordance with your personal development. That is what the graduate scheme is about.