There are so many opportunities for students to travel, meet new people and work on exciting projects.

Materials Science and Engineering Alumna Hadiza
Hadiza Mohammed
Manager of Partnerships and International Business Development – Nuclear Sector, CEA
Nuclear Science and Technology MSc
2019
Nuclear Materials MSc student took her experiences of studying in Sheffield to build her career in the nuclear energy industry in France.

What is your current job?

I am working as Chargée d’Affaires Développement des Partenariats Internationaux - Secteur Nucléaire (Manager of Partnerships and International Business Development – Nuclear Sector) for CEA - the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. This is the French national lab and public government-funded research organisation in the areas of energy, defence and security, information technologies and health technologies.

What are your main responsibilities?

I work within the UPAC team (Unité de Partenariats et de Communication). We support the creation of new business ventures in both nuclear and non-nuclear contexts utilising ISAS Institute research and patents. I set up and coordinats ISAS's international pilot projects relating to R&D, innovation and technology transfer. I also coordinate and lead ISAS responses to international calls for tenders and projects.

Can you describe a typical day?

A typical day involves reviewing international partnership opportunities in nuclear technology and sharing them with the laboratories. I will also support researchers in the lab with applications for grants and funding and review technologies and analyse how they can be transferred to real world applications. I will have meetings with labs from around the world in order to foster collaboration and support.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role or your greatest career achievement so far?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is feeling like I’m making a difference and getting amazing, world-changing technology out of the lab and into real world applications. I am new in this current role after previously working as an assistant project manager at Hinkley Point C as a contractor for Arcadis.

Whilst at HPC, my greatest career achievement is being a great assistant project manager across 5 contracts representing over 150 million Euros of project deliverables. I was responsible for a variety of tasks including:

  • Fully managing smaller packets of work from design through to qualification, deployment and installation
  • Preparing design packages and ensuring all prerequisites are met for the ONR
  • Managing the receipt and approval or 1000s of design documents
  • Overseeing and controlling manufacturing non-conformities with international suppliers
  • Preparing contract packs and selecting supplier
  • Organising and chairing monthly team meetings and ensure collaborative, effective working of the team.

Are there any challenging aspects? If so, what are they?

Everything is a challenge however every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow and develop. The biggest difficulty is not being fluent in French as both my role at HPC and current role involves working with mostly French people.

What skills/qualifications from your degree or other training do you make use of in your job?

Understanding nuclear technology and power plant operations. Carrying out a project from beginning to end and learning and adapting quickly through my final research project.

Further, through the university I had the opportunity to do an amazing engineering internship in Japan for 4 months.

Thinking back to your time at university, why did you choose to study at Sheffield rather than another institution?

I chose Sheffield because of the amazing Materials Department, great professors who have lots of time and energy to give to students, good research opportunities and also a wonderful admin department which supported me with any hiccups or difficulties I had a long the way.

What were the best things about studying in the Department?

Meeting other interesting people (professors, PhD and students) and learning about their passions, their research and their work.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I see myself leading project teams in nuclear innovation and research and supporting collaboration and technology transfer of exciting zero carbon technologies.

If you could give one piece of advice to current students or recent graduates, what would it be?

I think university is what you make of it. My advice to students is to participate in lots of extra curriculars and societies and take your passion for the subject outside of the classroom as much as possible.

There are so many opportunities for students to travel, meet new people, work on exciting projects, participate in exciting events etc outside of the classroom.

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