Emerging Talent Finalist: Poonam Gehlot (Cavendish Nuclear)

Hello! I am Poonam and I am a Safety Case Engineer at Cavendish Nuclear with experience in both Decommissioning and Nuclear New Build.In simple terms, my work revolves around ensuring risks are As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) to People, Plant and Processes. It’s not okay to say I am a Safety Case Engineer without mentioning ALARP in this Blog!



I am so grateful to be a Finalist for the Women in Defence 2020 Awards in the Emerging Talent Category. This was an absolute surprise to me. I honestly felt I was just doing my job and did not realise how much of an impact I was having on my colleagues. The past year has been tough but working with some great people has allowed me to really develop and learn about myself. I found that I can take any situation and make it work for me as well as the people around me through having trust, honesty and integrity. I have always been a team player and want to make myself available to ensure we can meet our deliverables in a proactive way. Having this attitude has allowed the team to achieve a number of things which was thought impossible within the time frame.


I remember a conversation I had with my maternal Grandfather when he mentioned that I should become a Doctor (they are incredible people vital for keeping us all healthy and well especially during this global pandemic, it just wasn’t for me); he was an Engineer in the Indian Rail industry. Today I hope he can see that I’ve risen to the challenge of not fitting into a stereotypical norm which is encouraged back where my family are originally from, in India. Instead I get to answers questions like, “Wow, tell me more about what you do?” I’m enjoying making the new norm as a Woman in Defence, a Woman in Engineering and a Woman in Nuclear.


I really hope that anyone reading this gets inspired to rise up to a challenge of trying something new, different and unknown because that is what gives us the opportunity to grow and learn to reach our potential. This should be done in every aspect of life, for me it started when I decided to be part of the CrossFit community, I can tangibly see where I was and where I have come both physically and mentally. This is beginning to resonate in my work life too, obviously more in the mental capacity, where I can see by taking on experiences, I can continue to push the bar higher on reaching my unlimited potential.


I’m really excited to continue this journey and see what lies ahead for me in the next 5, 10 and 15 years, in the words of Dr Carol Dweck, “Becoming is better than being”.

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