Made of the right ‘material’ – Meet Jenny

Meet Jenny our Materials Engineer

We recently took some time to chat with Jenny, a Materials Engineer, currently on our Graduate Scheme working within Technical. Jenny studied Materials Science & Metallurgy at The University of Cambridge before joining Sellafield.

What is your role on the graduate scheme?

I work as a Materials Engineer in a plant-facing technical team which supports some of the plants dealing with waste from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. My job role involves writing reports and other technical documents on various matters of relevance to plant operations. I also assist the Materials Science and NDT Centre of Expertise within Sellafield Ltd.

Have you always been interested in pursing a career in Engineering?

Yes, absolutely. I’ve always had a strong interest in Science, Engineering, and Maths, and a continuing curiosity to find out how and why things work the way they do. My interests were supported and encouraged by my parents, who patiently tolerated all of my questions! Whilst at school I undertook work experience at a local engineering firm, which confirmed to me that I wanted to pursue a career in that area.

How did you progress your passion for engineering after your left school?

I decided to study materials science at university, which combined the rigorous technical underpinning of a science subject with the application driven approach of engineering. In addition to this, I completed two summer placements – the first within an engineering research department at my university, and the second at Sellafield Ltd. This experience was invaluable in helping me to decide what I wanted to pursue after graduation.

Do you think the industry could do more to inspire girls to become interested in STEM roles?

The industry has a hugely important role in inspiring the next generation of women in STEM. Many girls get put off STEM subjects at school for a variety of reasons, and of course we need to demonstrate that STEM subjects are interesting and fun, and furthermore that there are many career opportunities available.  As a large employer, Sellafield has a responsibility to play a part in this by increasing awareness of the variety of roles within the industry carried out by women.

Are you involved in any activities that promote STEM subjects to the younger generation?

This year I volunteered for the Nuclear Institute at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. It was really rewarding being able to meet so many school children of different ages and seeing how engaged and enthusiastic they were about science and engineering. I am also a STEM ambassador for the company, and recently returned to my school to give a talk to students about my experience at university.

What would your advice be for girls who are interested in a career in STEM?

There are loads of opportunities for a career in STEM, regardless of your gender. It’s important to explore the different options available to find out what most interests you – for example, by studying different STEM subjects at school, but also by reading books or magazines and attending talks in your own time. I would definitely recommend gaining work experience, which is a great way of trying out a job, and also looks good on a CV.


You can register your interest for our 2018 Graduate Scheme by clicking here.

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