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Sarah Abel, Engineer, nuclear, Atkins


Engineer, nuclear

What type of projects have you undertaken?

I initially joined the defence business where I spent sometime in the business development team working with departments across Atkins to produce bid strategies and tender documentation to compete for new contracts.

I then moved to work on client site as part of a technical assessment team supporting the MoD in their procurement of a fleet of medium weight, armoured fighting vehicles.

After two years I transferred to the energy business and provided project and programme management support to one of our major energy clients. In my third year with Atkins I took over as project manager of a project to deliver an updated safety case at two UK nuclear power stations, managing an Atkins team of 18 staff across seven locations in the UK and India.

I am now working in a technical role with the same client producing safety case documentation, engineering advice notes and feasibility studies in support of a major programme to substantiate and replace ageing reactor instrumentation.

What have been your key achievements since joining Atkins?

Delivering the final set of results for the MoD tender assessment was probably one of my best achievements. I spent over eight months preparing for the final assessment period and had learnt a considerable amount during that time.

I needed to complete the final analysis within tight timescales so there was no room for error and fortunately, as a tribute to good planning, all went to plan!

Another key achievement was successfully proposing and running an initiative to develop the links between defence graduates across the UK Atkins sites. After gaining support for my idea from the management board, and with help from other graduates, the programme was up-and-running six months later. This is still in place today, with responsibility for running it handed down to a new set of graduates each year.

What advice would you give to a graduate applying to Atkins?

Atkins has a great culture, full of brilliant people to learn from and you are always invited to put forward your own ideas. The sky is the limit at Atkins - if you are capable and willing then the opportunities are endless.

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