Gemma Sherwood graduated from Bristol University with an MSci in Geology before joining a ground investigation (GI) contractor. My first project was core logging for the detailed GI at Hinkley Point C (HPC). I then went on to work on multiple GI phases of the Wylfa Newydd project, first as a GI contractor and then, after moving to a Geotechnical Consultancy, as the Client’s Representative. During this time, I also completed a part-time MSc in Geotechnical Engineering.
In 2016, I was seconded to the HPC project in the Client role and then joined EDF in 2018 as the Geotechnical Subject Matter Expert. After returning from maternity leave in 2020 I was seconded to the EDF Geotechnical Design office in France where I am currently assessing the ground conditions and writing earthworks specifications for Sizewell C.
Nuclear power is important in the energy transition as a low carbon, reliable and long-term energy source. It will help to plug the gap as we reduce the use of fossil fuels and move towards fully sustainable renewable energy. This in a time when energy demands in the UK are continuously growing and there is a strong need to be self-sufficient in our energy sources.
Geoscientists are essential to the design and construction of any nuclear power station, and with 7 potential new nuclear power stations to be built in the UK over the next 30 years, we will be in demand. I will be discussing the variety of roles available to geoscientists in the field of nuclear using my experience of working on new nuclear builds and what geoscientists can contribute to the nuclear industry.