AWE has been central to the UK's defence for more than 50 years, providing and maintaining the warheads for the country's nuclear deterrent. We are the nation's largest high-tech research, development and production facility and cover the whole lifecycle of nuclear warheads - from initial concept and design, through component manufacture and assembly, to in-service support, decommissioning and disposal.

Case Studies

  • Name: Tom Meir
  • Role: Graduate Mechanical Engineer
  • University: Loughborough University
  • Degree: MBSc (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering

"AWE is undoubtedly the best place to gain specialised engineering knowledge"


Career History

Tom Meir is an Aeronautical engineering graduate currently employed by AWE.

Tom has completed a rotational placement in the Systems department under AWE's Graduate Programme - a comprehensive and highly structured training scheme focusing on the needs of the individual.

What attracted you to working for AWE?

I was one of those children who always wondered how things worked. I liked to take objects apart and rebuild them - so engineering was a logical career choice from an early age. Prior to graduation, I had already seen the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) featured in various guides and both the work and the organisation itself looked intriguing, so I decided to apply.

Individual focus

AWE's Graduate Programme comprises a series of three-month rotational placements over a two-year period. The programme is carefully tailored to the needs of the individual with the focus on continuous professional development and the attainment of Chartered status. The first year of the programme includes a series of graduate projects - ranging in scope and diversity from presenting an engineering workshop at a local school to designing a prototype in just two weeks.

The placements provide an important foundation to a career at AWE - rapidly building a valuable understanding of the organisation as a whole. At the end of my training I will have gained experience in Manufacturing, Systems, Assurance, Finance, Infrastructure and Maintenance, and the Drawing Office.

Challenging projects

The depth and quality of training at AWE is truly unrivalled. In addition to my projects and placements, I have also received instruction in health and safety, white technology and unigraphics - all within four months of joining AWE! I also attended a one-week 'outward bound' Graduate Development course in the Lake District which developed my leadership, teamwork and communication skills considerably and also helped me understand how to motivate others.

However, I don't want to give the impression that your first two years at AWE are solely confined to training. There is plenty of work to be done here and graduates are included in live projects from the word 'go'. Furthermore, due to the nature of the materials involved, even relatively simple engineering tasks can become challenging and complex problems - making AWE an endlessly fascinating place to work.

Valuable contribution

AWE offers an excellent quality of life as an employer. There are many graduates on site and a thriving graduate network exists throughout the organisation. There is a first-class recreational facility on site at Aldermaston consisting of a gymnasium, six squash courts, a theatre and a bar. Social activities are also regularly organised within departments. The opportunities within AWE are immense. It is undoubtedly the best place to gain specialised engineering knowledge. Furthermore, at AWE you have the satisfaction of knowing that your career not only benefits you personally but also plays a valuable role in the continuing security of your country.

Training & Profiles

Our graduate programme will expose you to some of the most advanced technology around and will give you the chance to work alongside some of the most respected scientists, engineers and business professionals in the country. What's more, with direct exposure to world-leading research projects, you'll have the chance to work collaboratively with scientific and engineering communities on an international level.

There's no fixed path as such. You'll work with your line manager and mentor to create an individual development plan that can adapt to your changing needs as you progress. Your mentor's knowledge of the company and your discipline will help you to apply yourself effectively within the company and obtain professional qualifications. We also provide financial support and study leave - and the programme is accredited by the IChemE, RSC, IMechE, IET, IoM3 and IoP.

We're interested in people who have or expect a good degree, HND, MSc or PhD. If you have strong technical skills and the confidence to work as part of a team, we can offer you all the support you need to become a leading professional in your chosen field.

Application Procedure

Applications can be made online at our website or alternatively call the recruitment team on 0118 982 9009