The winners of the first UK Nuclear Manufacturing Awards have been named.
The awards were presented at the close of the Nuclear AMRC’s third annual Nuclear Manufacturing Summit, at a gala dinner in Rotherham’s Magna Science Adventure Centre.
The awards covered six categories, with all entries scored by a panel of expert judges. Winners and finalists are listed below.
Customer focus: Bendalls Engineering
The judges were impressed with customer feedback from nuclear projects at Bendalls, part of Carr’s Group. Bendalls recently achieved ISO 19443 certification, which the judges considered a clear sign to customers that the firm has a serious commitment to health, safety and quality. The Carlisle-based firm has also launched a skills academy to tackle local skills shortages, with benefits for other regional employers.
Runners-up: Hydrobolt; Nuclear Energy Components.
People development: Proeon Systems
Specialist control and safety solutions group Proeon has more than doubled its investment in staff training, with regular lunch-and-learn sessions led by the MD and QHSE advisor. The business has become more competitive as a result, driving sales growth across various markets. The judges were also impressed by the Norwich-based firm’s graduate placement programme with local universities and colleges.
Innovation: Sellafield Ltd
Sellafield worked with partners to introduce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for site monitoring. As well as reducing costs by half, the UAVs remove the need for humans to go into hazardous environments or work at height, and are now the standard method for remote inspection. The project has had a lasting impact on Sellafield’s culture by fostering acceptance of working with robots to improve performance and safety.
Runners-up: Sheffield Forgemasters; Tokamak Energy & Qdot.
Judges were impressed by the diverse and multi-skilled workforce at the Halifax-based company, which has worked with local schools to increase its apprentice and graduate intake. They also commended the way Fan Systems works with its local supply chain to instil the importance of quality management and traceability. Fan Systems started the Fit For Nuclear programme in 2014 as part of a strategic move up the supply chain.
Runners-up: GR Carr; Hydrobolt.
Large employer: Sheffield Forgemasters
The stalwart of UK nuclear forgings has generated renewed interest from customers across the sector by successfully industrialising local-vacuum electron beam welding techniques for thick-section vessels. The judges were also impressed by the way that Forgemasters has expanded its manufacturing capabilities and capacity while transitioning to new ownership under the Ministry of Defence.
Runner-up: Cementation Skanska.
Young manufacturing engineer: Grace McCrickard, Jacobs
Now working as an electrical project engineer at Jacobs, McCrickard was previously employed by James Fisher Nuclear, and trained through Cumbria’s Gen2 apprenticeship centre. She has mentored other apprentices, hosted work experience students, and been active in a string of outreach activities. She is a trained UAV pilot, and winner of NSAN Apprentice of the Year 2023.
Runners-up: William Coles, Westinghouse; Tom Hughes, Westinghouse.