Saralyn Thomas

SaralynThomas headshot smaller

NI Volunteering roles:

  • NI Trustee 2024 - present
  • YGN Strategic Committee 2019 – 2023, including:

    • YGN Chair, 2022
    • YGN Vice-Chair and International Liaison, 2021
    • YGN Marketing and Comms Lead, 2020
    • YGN Secretary, 2019

    YGN representative for the NI Central England Branch, 2016 – 2018


Saralyn Thomas CPhys MNucl MInstP MSaRS

Senior Consultant, Abbott Risk Consulting Ltd

Route into nuclear

 I undertook a Bachelors in Physics at the University of Bristol in 2010-2013. After taking a year off to explore my options, I decided on a Masters in Nuclear Science and Technology in 2014 at the University of Manchester as part of the NTEC consortium.

The NTEC course opened up so many doors for me to the industry and after attending a careers fair put on by NTEC, I joined Orano as a Junior Consultant in 2015.

Currently, I am a nuclear safety consultant. I have worked for various clients across the sector in new build, waste management and decommissioning projects, writing various safety case documentation. This can include facilitating workshops to identify hazards from facilities and processes, assessing the doses and risks from such operations and justifying that these risks are As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).

Nuclear Professionalism

Working in nuclear safety, which is a core part of the Nuclear Delta, I felt that acquiring professional membership of the Nuclear Institute was very important to help demonstrate my professionalism in the area and set myself apart from others.

I was introduced to the Nuclear Institute when I was on the NTEC course and was signed up as a member automatically. I then became an Associate member when working at Orano as it was highly encouraged. I then got to meet some amazing people in the sector through the Nuclear Institute, in particular through the YGN.

This included attending the YGN seminar and dinner, various Intro to events and getting involved in the YGN speaking competition. Being a member of the NI allowed me to create this network and also keep up to speed with industry news thanks to the Nuclear Future journal.

How did you find the application process?

Fairly straightforward. Having been a YGN volunteer for some time, I have been involved in supporting various membership and chartership events which have given me a great insight into the process. The YGN aims to run these fairly regularly each year and it is a fantastic opportunity to hear from assessors about the process and better understand what they are looking for in your application.

I would really recommend attending one of those or getting in touch directly with the Nuclear Institute for support – there are many assessors willing to mentor you through the application process.

Professional membership and chartership is a huge milestone in your career. Being a big sufferer of imposter syndrome, this level of professional recognition really ignited me and gave me the confidence that I can develop myself even further in a technical sense.

The Future

After building on my skills from various volunteering roles at the YGN, I am now looking to apply these to my day job to gain more management responsibility of safety case programmes of work.

Having chaired many meetings from YGN activities, I can see my confidence is much stronger when leading on technical workshops and supporting others in my team

Volunteering for the YGN has been a highlight of my career in the nuclear sector. It has provided me with so many opportunities to meet various people from across the sector and improve skills which I would not normally get the opportunity to develop in the day job.