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Kurtis Gamble, Assistant Engineer, Atkins


Assistant Engineer

Business Area: Nuclear & Power
Years into GDP: 3
University and degree: Queen’s University Belfast, MEng Aerospace Engineering

What projects have you worked on during the graduate development programme?

Mechanical Handling – Nuclear and Renewable Energy

I have learnt a lot about how offshore wind structures are laid out and the complexity that comes with placing them out at sea, as well as managing the electrical cable routes in leading the power back onto land. Through this I have had some exposure to horizontal directional drilling and experience in applying some of the technical skills honed in at university in analysing the tension involved and structural integrity of the cable as it is pulled through a duct in the ground from land to sea. Additionally, I have worked in a number of different design teams regarding the mechanical handling of nuclear waste, having gained a huge amount of industry knowledge from this, more so than the variety of small jobs that are available within Atkins. I have learnt how the business wins’ work and manages projects in terms of costs and meeting deadlines. The projects are varied, and typically involve design optioneering, calculations, use of spreadsheets, 2D / 3D CAD software and preparing reports for various clients. I have experienced site visits to nuclear power stations and bridges here in the UK. Throughout my time at Atkins I have gained exposure to a range of software packages, predominately MathCAD, AutoCAD 2D and Autodesk Inventor 3D, while there always remains plenty of opportunity going forward to gain knowledge in many more computational packages such as FEA (Finite Element Analysis) on ANSYS or Abaqus.

Project Management – Transportation (Rail)

Steering away from my engineering background at university I participated in a secondment opportunity where I was embedded within the rail design teams across the Atkins Derby and Birmingham offices, for overhead line electrification as a work package manager. I developed qualities in teamwork, leadership and management as well as broadened my commercial knowledge, consultancy experience and people skills.

Wider Projects - (Opportunities outside Atkins)

I have taken part in wider events encouraged by Atkins such as the Spark 2017 competition which involved writing a one page synopsis about small modular reactors leading on to networking opportunities in London at the residency of the French ambassador and on the SS, Great Britain in Bristol, as well as a visit to Hinkley Point C construction site. Also, I attended the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum 2017 in Manchester, another high-profile event in the nuclear industry. All which Atkins have sponsored, enabling their employees to seize these opportunities.
What social, society or CSR activities have you been involved with at Atkins?
Atkins Graduate Ski Trip - Val Thorens France - I took part in my first ever ski trip with Atkins, many falls included! This was a great opportunity to meet other graduates across the UK in a light hearted non-working environment. I made friends from other offices and also learnt to ski which is always a bonus. The trip involved Atkins graduates with a mixed range of skiing abilities and has been one of the highlights for me so far in my time here, I would highly recommend. I enjoyed it so much, that I went back again the following year to Avoriaz.

Having moved to work in the Sheffield office on my own from Northern Ireland it is always good to have plenty of social opportunities. 7 Graduates started at my office when I began, all of similar age and interests, while more new fresh faces tend to join each year. As part of the general office and GAP (Graduate Apprentice Placement) network we tend to organise an office social once a month, socials so far have involved, dinners, drinks, laser quest, watching ice hockey, immersive plays, comedy clubs, paint ball, go-karting and day trips to breweries and York Christmas market. Socials really are what you make of them, if you have an idea put it forward and people are generally enthusiastic to join in.

Where do you see your career in the future and how do you see yourself getting there?


I see myself taking advantage of all the opportunities Atkins has to offer, including going on secondments to different clients and sites within Atkins’ portfolio in the UK. Working on different client sites is a great way to learn a lot in a short period typically 6-12 months.
The aim at this point in my career is to gain as much experience as possible in the Nuclear & Power sector, given my background in Aerospace I feel I have a lot more to learn to transfer my skills and get up to speed in this current industry. It is an industry which I feel adds value and is very important to everyday life, therefore my job feels worthwhile and that I am contributing my part in making life in the UK more sustainable.
Atkins offer many projects to fill in a wide range of competencies required for Chartership in Technical, Project Management, Business and Leadership areas, if you are willing to put your name forward and get involved.
Atkins are sponsoring my chartership through an institution of my choice, the IMechE. I am aiming to become chartered within Atkins over the next 2-3 years and can see myself making a life-long career with this company. As they are such a large and diverse consultancy throughout the UK I cannot say for sure where I will end up, but the future excites me.

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