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Cogent: Pat Kieran receives industry accolade for leadership in nuclear skills

Pat Kieran, Senior Control & Instrument Engineer, Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) has received the third Cogent SSC Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nuclear Skills.

His passionate commitment to promoting the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) agenda, in the local community, saw him shine through. Cogent is the national Skills Council for the nuclear industry. The prestigious Award was one of several handed out at an Awards Dinner organised by The National Skills Academy for Nuclear and Cogent SSC, on March 10th at the Palace Hotel in Manchester.

The Cogent Outstanding Leadership in Skills Award recognises an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to ensuring that the UK nuclear sector has the skills it needs to continue to be a world-class industry. The judges were looking for someone who had gone beyond their job description.

Pat has worked on the Dounreay site for over 7 years and is currently supporting the decommissioning of the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). Prior to this he was employed as a lecturer at North Highland College for 9 years.


Pat's commitment to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths began with a series of Science Engagement activities, which started back in 1990 with a Young Engineers' Club at Thurso College, where he also lectured for 20 years.

When Pat returned to Dounreay in 2002 DSRL were forward-thinking enough to support him to help build up a network of around 120 registered STEM ambassadors in the local area both from DSRL and other local science and engineering firms.

An example of his commitment is the organisation of a number of events to train STEM Ambassadors. This has resulted in around 100 STEM Ambassadors in the Caithness area alone. Most of these have been recruited as a result of Pat's work and encouragement. Without this drive from Pat, there would be significantly fewer STEM Ambassadors in the area.

Pat, who was awarded an MBE for Services to Science in the 2010 New Years' Honours, as a result of this work over the years, said he was delighted with the accolade, "I am extremely grateful for this latest award, coming as it does from a panel of my peers in the nuclear industry. It really means a lot to me."

Cogent CEO, Joanna Woolf said, "Cogent received many deserving nominations for the award and the judges were challenged to find just one winner. Kieran deserves this Award, he has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to ensure the nuclear industry has the skills it needs to continue to be a world class industry by stimulating young peoples' interest in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects. STEM is the foundation of nuclear skills."

National Skills Academy for Nuclear Chief Executive, Jean Llewellyn added, "the Cogent Outstanding Leadership in Skills award highlights the activities of people who go beyond the call of duty on the skills agenda. Individuals like Pat, whose commitment to developing skills is hugely important for our sector. Pat's commitment to developing skills has led him to develop a network of 120 STEM ambassadors in the Caithness area. I would like to congratulate Pat on this achievement he should be extremely proud of this prestigious accolade."

For further information regarding the Awards Dinner, please go to: www.cogent-ssc.com

About Cogent

Cogent is the sector skills council for the chemicals, biosience, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymer industries. It is the voice of employers in these sectors and is working with them to design qualifications; attract young people into the Sector and understand their needs through comprehensive research. Cogent currently represents the interests of more than 20,000 businesses employing around 900,000 people. Since its creation it has been building on existing partnerships at regional and national level to drive forward the skills agenda in its science-using footprint.

For more on what we offer go to: www.cogent-ssc.com

For press enquiries contact:

Judith Holcroft on: 07818 408554; 01925 515 215; judith.holcroft@cogent-ssc.com:
Or Mervin Dadd on: 07717 486102; 01925 515 233;

About the National Skills Academy Nuclear

The National Skills Academy for Nuclear has been established to create, develop and promote world class skills and career pathways to support a sustainable future for the UK Nuclear Industry. The Skills Academy puts employers at the forefront of skills development, by providing a means for hands-on involvement in the design and delivery of learning, so that training is tailored to the specific needs of the nuclear sector. Launched in January 2008 the Skills Academy is working with employers and quality assured training providers to address the current and future skills challenges facing the nuclear industry.

For more information please go to

Mary Kinsella, Communications Manager; 01925 60704; m.kinsella@nuclear.nsacademy.co.uk

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