National Award For Cumbrian Sellafield Ltd Worker

A Sellafield Ltd employee, Katie Bell, has been named as Industry Technician of the Year.

Katie works in the analytical support team providing technical support to the Instrumental Laboratories on the Sellafield site.

Katie Bell at work

She won the award for her work analysing Special Nuclear Materials. Her team, like many others, is currently working from home.

The award was announced by the Royal Society of Chemistry this week.

Katie said: “I was shocked when I found out I’d won.

“It was completely unexpected.

“I’m really happy doing what I do, it’s interesting work, challenging at times, and it’s different every day.”

Katie’s Sellafield story shows the opportunities that are on offer within Sellafield Ltd – she has an arts background and moved to the area because her husband was on our graduate scheme.

Her experience of working in laboratories got her a job and she has gone on to gain an HND in Applied Chemistry and Chartered Chemist status.

She’s continuing her training during lockdown as well as working with her team through the Nuclear Decommisioning Authority’s online hub.

Technical manager John McQuirk, who nominated Katie, said: “Katie is a highly respected member of the analytical services technical community.

“It is no surprise that her work on the validation on the use of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy for elemental impurity analysis has been recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

“This work led to accreditation of the method by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and is an exemplar for future method validations.”

Head of strategy and technical Dawn Watson said: “Katie is a valued member of the analytical services team.

“She is a very intelligent and conscientious individual, who came into the scientific profession through an unconventional route.

“She gets on with the job quietly and unassumingly, and she is a well-respected member of the team.

“This recognition is great for someone like Katie, and I can see that she will go far in her career, in whatever direction she chooses.”