Case study

DESG Graduate Scheme: Alex

Graduate Nuclear Engineer on the MOD Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) training scheme.


Current role and title:

“I am a graduate Nuclear Engineer on the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) graduate training scheme within the MOD, Defence Equipment and Support.

I am currently on secondment at HMNB Devonport, working on Future Nuclear Facilities. I am working within the Engineering design team on this project and am completing design and analysis work surrounding the crane mechanisms and radiation shielding.

Attraction of the MOD and the graduate nuclear scheme:

Given the breadth of work the MOD nuclear domain is involved with, there was a fantastic number of opportunities. The work is high profile, and can be very technically demanding; in some places it becomes a fascinating blend of scientific and engineering principles.

The scheme is accredited by the IMechE, and we are given a lot of support to achieve Chartered Engineer status.

Highlights of career to date:

On my placements over the past 2 years I have worked at: Faslane, Rolls-Royce Derby, AWE, BAES Barrow, HMNB Devonport, and the British Embassy at Washington DC.

In my first placement I worked on in service submarines, assisting on identification and mitigation of hazards. In this role I visited Faslane and HMNB Devonport to discuss and investigate issues around the current fleet.

My second placement focused on the propulsion systems for the Successor to Trident submarines. As part of this I had frequent visits to the Devonshire Dock-Hall to see the current submarines being built.

For my third placement I spent 6 months at the British Embassy in Washington DC. While there I attended meetings at the Pentagon and many other sites in the US.

Future goals:

I plan to become a fully qualified nuclear engineer, working on a technical project. My long term plan is to gain experience in the nuclear domain, and in the process become a Chartered Engineer.

Advice to someone thinking of applying to the DESG scheme:

There is a huge variety of work which can be done, and the job of seeking placements is largely for the graduate to pursue, so be proactive! How good or bad a placement is depends largely on the effort the graduate puts into.”

Published 24 October 2016