Engineer Interview – Paul Wilson, NSG Environmental Ltd.

The PIF team are currently on the lookout for engineers to take part in our weekly interview article. This week we've decided to take a look at the career of Paul Wilson who works within the Nuclear Decommissioning industry. His insightful tips to anyone wanting to become an engineer make for interesting reading.

Paul Wilson

Name: Paul Wilson

Industry Sector: Nuclear Decommissioning

Company: NSG Environmental Ltd

Years as a Qualified Engineer: 30


1. When did you first realise you wanted to become an Engineer?

I didn’t decide to become an engineer, more like fell into it but way of finding a job when I left school at 16


2. Did you attend College/ University? If so, where/ what did you study?

I did attend college as part of my apprenticeship, 12 months off the job then day release


3. Describe your first job as an Engineer? What were your responsibilities in this role?

My first job was at Ribble Cement at Clitheroe. I had no responsibilities except for watching and learning


4. What sort of role would you recommend to someone who is at the start of their engineering career?

If you’re thinking of going into engineering hands on experience is a must. You can learn all the theory you like but practical knowledge will help immensely


5. How have you progressed from your first job role?

What were the stepping-stones you made to get to your current role? I have progressed up the ranks to Senior Engineer. This was achieved by going out of my way to gain additional qualifications, through evening classes. Then once I had the qualifications I looked for positions that would utilise the experience and knowledge I had.


6. What is your current role? And what are your responsibilities?

I’m currently a Senior Engineer for a Nuclear Decommissioning Company. I design and install equipment for the handling of legacy Radio Active materials for the purpose of safe long term storage to allow the existing building infrastructure to be dismantled. In addition I supervise a team installing and commissioning the equipment on various sites within the UK.


7. What has been the most challenging engineering project you have worked on in your career?

The most challenging project was designing and building a large heat treatment furnace in Saudi Arabia. The furnace was 30 metres long x 13 metres wide x 14 metres tall and was capable of heating 600 tonnes to 760 degrees C in 24 hours. The furnace has a thermal rating of 64 million BTUs. (British Thermal Units)


8. What are the most satisfying parts of your current job role?

Taking the project form Cradle to grave.


9. Would you do anything differently if you had the chance to change one thing in your career?

Maybe go to University. But I wouldn’t change the hands on aspect of my career


10. Do you have any patents? If so, tell me more about them? If not, is it something you are interested in pursuing?



11. What do you see happening in your industry in the next 5 years?

There will be even more challenging problems to solve within the Nuclear Decommissioning sector


12. Would you use the Internet to try and get in touch with other industry experts?



13. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest technologies in your sector?

Through the suppliers being in contact with new innovations


14. Finally, how do you take your mind off work when you’re at home? Hobbies/ Interests?

Walking, Gardening


If you have any questions for Paul then get in touch using the comments section below, alternatively, you can send us an email to [email protected] and we'll get in touch with Paul to answer your questions.  

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