Career profiles

Career profile - Graduate

“You are given
a good amount
of responsibility and control
over your
career path straightaway.”


I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Strathclyde and during the summer before my final year I worked on a project with a research group affiliated with CCFE. As part of my project, I had the opportunity to visit the site and present my work. Despite knowing relatively little about CCFE and fusion research beforehand, I really enjoyed the visit. It inspired me to find out more and eventually apply for a position on the graduate scheme.

What is your current role?

I am currently working in the remote handling group who are responsible for maintaining the remote systems on JET as well as working on projects for both ITER and DEMO. I am specifically working on the maintenance and upgrade of the two snake-like booms which carry everything inside JET for remote operations. It is a great area to work in because you can physically see what you have been working on!

Why do you enjoy working in fusion research?

As a young engineer I think that there are definitely benefits to working in fusion research. You gain a lot of knowledge of other subjects aside from your own and a greater understanding of how systems work together. I enjoy working in a field that affects everybody worldwide and the international aspect of fusion research makes it an exciting area to work in.

What do you like about working at CCFE?

One of the things I like most about the graduate scheme is that you are given the opportunity to decide what areas and departments you would like to work in so you are given a good amount of responsibility and control over your career path straight away. Another benefit is that CCFE host a number of guests to give talks on a variety of topics including specialist research and these are open for everyone to attend. There are also opportunities to work abroad either on secondment, or to attend conferences and courses which is great as I enjoy travelling.

How does CCFE encourage career development?

During your time at CCFE you can be mentored by a member of your professional institution (which for me is the IMechE) and all of the graduates are mentored. Your mentor is there to give you guidance on your career path and to help you to become chartered with your institution. There are opportunities to continue advancing your knowledge in your subject through various courses which are run both at and out with CCFE and you can suggest courses that you would like to see being run at Culham in the future too.