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University of Surrey helps 'power up' Atkins new Training Academy

The University of Surrey's Physics Department is delighted to be involved in a new venture, to provide some crucial training needs for one of the key players in the UK's nuclear industry, Atkins Limited.

Atkins, with more than 16,000 employees, is one of the UK's top 100 companies. The company specialises in engineering consultancy and has, over the last 30 years, become a major player in the UK's nuclear industry, with particular interests in all aspects of decommissioning and the sensitive issues associated with the disposal of nuclear waste, as well as the huge potential in the new generation of nuclear power stations.

The Surrey Physics department has developed its own expertise in radiation science over the same 30 year period, so was the obvious choice as Atkins' academic partner in their plans to develop a nuclear training academy, primarily to address a recognised industry skill shortage.

John Pritchard, a Director of Atkins' Nuclear and Power division, is ‘thrilled to be combining forces with the University of Surrey's team and is confident that the new courses will not just be of huge benefit to Atkins, but also our industry partners, to whom it is proposed to offer places in due course.’

The new Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses in Radiation Physics are being developed by John Pritchard and the Course Director, Dr. Paddy Regan, Reader in Nuclear Physics, as part of the Atkins Training Academy (ATA).

Dr. Regan said 'the expanding relationship between ourselves and Atkins represents a wonderful opportunity to put our respective heads together and come up with a course that is second-to-none. It is a pleasure to see the concept of the Atkins Training Academy evolve from a discussion to a real programme, which we expect will provide graduate level training in an area of national need for more than 150 of Atkins' engineers and scientist over the next two years or so.'

The course is taught by a mixture of Surrey physics academics, external experts and Atkins' representatives who show 'real world' applications of the course material. The delegates, who are either new graduates or experienced engineers gaining 'nuclear' knowledge, also spend a significant amount of time performing practical work in the recently revamped radiation teaching laboratories in the Physics department at Surrey.

The ATA courses run over 3-4 days in the Surrey Centre for Continuing Education and are administered by Mrs. Barbara Steel, who heads up the short course office in the School of Electronics and Physical Sciences. For more details, please email:

Stuart Miller | alfa
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