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Warren Sullivan, Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Atkins


Graduate Mechanical Engineer

Why did you choose to join Atkins?

I considered various career paths after university and applied for many different jobs where I could use the skills I’d learnt during my degree. When I came to Atkins for an interview and found out more about the company I discovered how varied the work they do is within the company and also within individual specialised teams. The opportunity to have variety in my job coupled with the chance to further my understanding of the technical subjects required in my position was an irresistible opportunity I couldn’t say no to!

How would you describe your role?

I’m positioned in the oil and gas division of Atkins within a team of specialists in the fluid mechanics department. I work predominantly on projects within the oil and gas sector such as safety studies for oil rigs and production vessels concerned with identifying the consequences arising from hydrocarbon leaks and subsequent explosions. These safety studies are used by the client to identify possible design changes they can make to improve their process flow design or if the asset is already in production, what steps they can take to mitigate against loss of life in the event of a disaster. My job has developed over the past 10 months from assisting in computer-model builds and running computational-flow-dynamics (CFD) scenarios to include more independent roles in projects, such as making more decisions and feeding information directly back to our clients.

What location do you currently work in and have you worked in any other locations?

I’m currently based in the Woodcote Grove office in Epsom. Woodcote Grove was until recently the head office of Atkins and still has a large proportion of the workforce based here. Working here allows you to interact with people from other aspects of the business and there is a good mix of friendship groups across disciplines. The social life is strong in Epsom and graduate events are organised regularly, usually in London, not to mention the numerous sports and social clubs and Friday pub trips! I’ve had the opportunity to travel for business to Barcelona for a gas turbine site survey as well as take part in the Olympics by verifying the table tennis arena was fit for play after an air-flow analysis. I will soon be going offshore to carry out a site survey for an oil rig, in order to determine geometric layouts and identify key production vessels for our computer modelling.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I never imagined myself working within oil and gas, thinking it to be a dying industry with the advent of renewable energy. But it’s quite the opposite; there are numerous projects and new assets coming online from the major global producers which provide our team with lots of work to get on with! This constant flow of projects, each one uniquely challenging, keeps me interested in the work I do and doesn’t promote complacency as every time it’s different. I get on great with the people I work with and it’s a very positive, nurturing environment where people are always willing to help you out. I’m learning something new on a daily basis, whether it is a technical part of my job or how to interact with clients. Atkins makes sure you get a wide exposure to all aspects of work life.

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