Joshua Phillips (Gibbs’ 2003–2008)

Engineer at a nuclear power plant
Joshua Phillips

Joshua Phillips tells us about the world of Nuclear Engineering:

How did I end up in this profession? Well that is a good question! My friends still wonder how I came to take a post working at a Nuclear Power station.

After Lancing I was always going to pursue an Engineering degree of some sort. It was during Sixth Form that I decided on the mechanical side of things as it is probably the most general of them all. I never really knew what I wanted to do before going to university, so a general degree with a varying number of job opportunities suited me fine. We all have that same feeling of trepidation when we get our results. Have I got my grades? Have I got in? Then, if you’re in my boat, have I got into my second choice? Thankfully I had and it was probably the best thing that happened. So, I ended up going to Bristol University, not a bad second choice in anyone’s book.

You would think that during university a certain area of mechanical engineering would take my fancy, but I wasn’t making this easy for myself at all. By the start of the fourth year, all my friends knew roughly what they wanted to do, such as finance in the city, civil or renewable energy, to name a few. Not having any idea what you want to do doesn’t lend itself to job hunting either! Throughout my time at Bristol I was never the most technically gifted, but always willing to get stuck in and try most things out, which is definitely a trait I picked up at Lancing! Having graduated with a Masters in Engineering, I put my CV on some graduate websites to see what would happen. I was fortunate enough to get an interview, and then a job, with Cavendish Nuclear. I was lucky I guess, but then you look at it more closely; I got a good degree, but companies these days look for more than that. This is where Lancing excels - there are so many opportunities for personal development if you’re willing to take them.

I’ve been based at Sizewell B for a year and a half now and I have loved every minute of it. My current highlight is a project I’m working on, to replace three old compressors. It’s a fairly big project, requiring the replacement of alarms, pipework, valves, electrical circuits and management of the entire project. What’s more, my name will be forever linked to this work, which is a nice thought for the future.

The best part of my job? I work at a nuclear power plant, and not many people can say that!