Joseph Wheatley

MEng Nuclear Engineering, 2019
Technical Consultant, Actica Consulting

I’m just a few years into my career but have already had some great experiences and progression:

  • · Analyst at Mass (new job starting on 04/07/2022)
  • · Technical Consultant to Ministry of Defence UK Strategic Command (04/2022 - 06/2022)
  • · Design Engineer at Atomic Weapons Establishment (09/2021 - 04/2022)
  • · Graduate Engineer at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (09/2019 - 09/2021)
  • · Research Intern at the Dalton Nuclear Institute (07/2019 - 09/2019)

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

The freedom to use technical skills to solve real problems, and the enjoyment of teaching others by sharing lessons-learned. For example, I’ve built a cost model and taught others how to use it for the benefit of wider projects/programmes.

What made you interested in your current role?

I’m looking forward to be moving to another role very soon as there are exciting learning and development opportunities more focussed to data analysis and engineering. Plus opportunities to travel to US and around the UK.

joseph wheatley

How has your career developed since graduating?

I’ve moved from an engineering graduate scheme to a design engineering role. This has led onto further opportunities in consulting, and now I am working towards building a career in engineering and data analysis. I’m doing a job I enjoy.

What skills you learned from degree or time at university would you say you use most in your job?

Statistics prepared me for the data analysis work I currently do; the ‘Mathematics for Physicists’ module helped me to derive heat transfer equations as a graduate engineer; the 'Physics and Communication Skills' module helped me to write code to filter diagnostic signals as a design engineer; and the list goes on. The skills I learned at University helped me to develop both my technical and non-technical skillsets.

What motivates you?

Teaching others. Solving problems at work and at home. Being creative. Seeing a better future for all.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

It’s a great university, welcoming and knowledgeable lecturers, reputation, campus, and the scientific equipment available to aid with learning.

We Are (Third Width)

What are your fondest memories of the University?

Eureka moments after days (or even weeks) of not understanding a problem sheet question or concept.

Did you get involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?

I was a member of the Thai Boxing Society. It was very good and I would recommend highly.

How did your time at university help you start your career?

When I left university I worked in physics, mechanical/chemical engineering, and data analysis, all of which was possible from Birmingham helping to nurture and grow their students to pursue any direction they wished. They hold careers fairs, industry talks on Wednesday afternoons, opportunities for placements, internships and more... All of which helped start me in my career.

Is there anything you wish you knew either before you started your studies or before you graduated that would have better helped prepare you?

I think it is helpful to be self-aware, know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and really try your best to become a more complete person both academically speaking and in your personal-life. Remember that you are also human and try to have some fun too ;)

What advice would you give to current students?

Work hard, play hard!

Joe reflects on his biggest influence at the University

“The lecturers being so welcoming, inviting for questions and explaining things in the simplest possible way helped massively with our confidence. You'll be surprised how this type of learning can help prepare you to solve complex problems in the workplace.”