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Tagged: EDF Hinkley Point C placement blog

HPC Supply-Chain Innovation Placement Blog - 3


📥  School of Management, Uncategorized

Bienvenu à Paris

This blog tells all about my 5-month Expat Traineeship in Paris with EDF. From integrating into Parisian life in and outside the workplace, travelling around France with EDF and attempting to learn French, it truly was an experience that I’d recommend to anyone.

(A photo I took in Jardin du Luxembourg, my French colleagues weren’t very impressed)

Immediately after moving in to my apartment in the 6th arrondissement (Saint-Germain-Des-Pres), I felt at ease. The flat provided by EDF was perfect, and the location even better, right in the historical centre of Paris.  My first day at work started the following week, allowing me time to get acquainted with Paris. As I already had three English friends from the University of Bath living just down the road, Parisian life got off to a great start. During my first week in the office I was introduced to my mentor and team, briefed on my responsibilities and was given a free pass to EDF’s excellent canteen. I soon became good friends with the six other interns in my department, who I still keep in contact with today. The majority of people spoke excellent English; however, in a group situation, over a long lunch break for example, it become clear that English wouldn’t be spoken. At first that was daunting, however it was a blessing in disguise, forcing me to speak French from day one. Not long after I arrived, the department manager invited me along on their annual trip, which this year involved a two day visit to Normandy.


(We had a day rally in classic Citroen cars around Normandy during our annual department trip away)

What sort of work was I doing?

During my time in Paris I was placed in EDF’s Procurement Division (DAPI) in the Procurement Department for Nuclear Engineering working on the Hinkley Point C and Flamanville 3 projects. Luckily, the majority of the work was in English, but the team made every effort to help improve my French when possible, to compliment my 4 hours private French lessons per week. Our team was responsible for managing the procurement process with the suppliers. My main day-to-day tasks were: liaising with suppliers, report documentation of the procurement process, constructing the commercial appendices for the FIDIC contracts and supplier commercial bid analysis. In my final week I was given the opportunity to present my teams procurement paper (in English!) to the HPC Board of Directors. I was nervous, but my attempt gained unanimous approval.

Flamanville 3 site visit

The highlight of my working life at EDF was a trip to Flamanville 3 (FA3). FA3 is the design used for HPC, but only 1 unit is being built at FA3. It is nearing its commissioning phase so the majority of the site looks and is complete. It’s now just a case of putting it all together (maybe I oversimplified that a little). After an overnight stop in Cherbourg, I had an unrestricted 3-hour tour with a very knowledgeable engineering colleague (albeit in French). The highlights for me were seeing the automated control room running tests around the nuclear power station and standing at the very top of the nuclear dome, observing billions of Euros of equipment and millions of man-hours of work. It truly is an astonishing sight, the scale and complexity is overwhelming.


(My mentor and I standing at the vantage point for the FA3 reactor)

My 5-months working for EDF in Paris couldn’t have more interesting or challenging. I made some lasting connections, started to learn a new language, explored an incredible city/country and developed my professional and technical competencies. My final blog will be about transitioning back to university life as a final year student, au revoir!


HPC Supply Chain Innovation Placement Blog- Post 2


📥  School of Management

Welcome back! My second blog will give you an insight in to the three areas of work I focused on during in my time with EDF Energy in Bristol at the Delivery Command Centre (DCC) for the HPC project. Being present during visits from the EDF Energy CEO, the French ambassador and other VIPs, the newly built DCC is a hive of activity; but this blog won’t just be confined to the office: with my team keen for me to get out and about, I have a few interesting events/visits to tell you about.

International Supply Chain Management

I had the unique opportunity to work personally with the International Supply Chain Lead on the HPC Project. With the French energy giant EDF assuming a 66.5% share and China's CGN having a 33.5% stake, HPC is the definition of international collaboration. I was able to see how the complex global supply networks were formed, managed and developed on a daily basis. The complexity is quite overwhelming at first, but fascinating when you start to delve deeper. The aim of the game was to bring international suppliers in to the HPC procurement process to: increase competition amongst suppliers, decipher previous EPR learning and offer fresh perspectives. I was able to put into practice the soft skills I had developed at Bath that were relatable to the international components of my degree.

When a last minute opportunity arose to attend a Team Building event in Paris between EDF UK, EDF France and EDF China, I couldnt believe my luck. After quickly scrambling an overnight bag together, I found myself in Paris listening to how the HPC international supply chain can learn extensively from the two ongoing EPR projects close to completion in France (Flamanville 3) and in China (Taishan). I got the chance to visit FA3 recently (see picture below) and in my next blog will divulge the details.

Taishan, in China, taking shape

Me (left) with my mentor at Flamanville 3

Similarly, I accompanied the HPC International Supply Chain Lead to the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017, organised by the UK Government Department for International Trade. The two day event took place at a London hotel hosting international delegates, industry experts, politicians and CEOs to promote the revival of the UK nuclear industry. It was particularly interesting to appreciate the perspectives of the Japanese and German delegates/companies, given their recent abrupt scale back in nuclear production. Seeing the other side of the debate is always worthwhile, whether in agreement or not.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox delivering a key note speech at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017

Contract Management

During my time in Bristol (and London) I worked in the field of Contract Management across three varied contract formats.  I helped roll out newly developed contract management software in the Project Management Office team, giving me an oversight of how the HPC project was managed from a resource perspective. I also worked on a high value Balance of Nuclear Plant contract, helping with the day to day management of the contract. Towards the end of my placement, my team leader sent me to London to spend time with the Institutional Contract team to observe how the institutional contracts between NNB and EDF Energy, EDF, CGN and UK Government are arranged, governed and managed on a daily basis. Developing a deeper understanding of how the international stakeholders relationships are structured, gave substance to the strategy, organisation and culture modules undertaken during my first two years at the University of Bath.

A few stats about HPC

Financial Management

Aware of my interest in the Financial Management of the HPC Project, my manager arranged for me to spend time working with the financial controls team in London. Working with the financial tools and models used to manage a project of this magnitude was an eye opening experience. I was immediately struck by the sheer financial complexity of the numbers behind HPC, testament to the years of dedicated hard work from all relevant stakeholders. This area of work was probably the most relatable to the modules I have completed at Bath (and during academic exchange in Mexico) such as: Project Finance, Corporate Finance and International Accounting for Managers.


Before heading  out to Paris for 4 months on an expat traineeship, EDF Energy provided me with private French tuition for 4-6 hours a week (within office hours) to help with work place integration and life outside work in Paris. French isn’t required to undertake the work in Paris, but is certainly useful. This is an example of the way EDF Energy is keen to invest in all employees. For me personally, being given the opportunity to learn a second language in my placement year was a real bonus.

Next time I`ll be talking about my 4 month expat assignment working for EDF in their Procurement Division for Nuclear Engineering in Paris, including work trips around France. À bientôt


HPC Supply-Chain Innovation Placement Blog


📥  School of Management

First things first

Currently writing from Paris, in the midst of a`canicule` (French for heatwave), this blog aims to give students a flavour of what working in the fields of supply chain management/complex project management entails. Similarly, I’ll be providing a unique insight into my EDF Energy Hinkley Point C (HPC) International Placement year to raise awareness and promote the different job opportunities available with EDF Energy, in light of the new partnership with the University of Bath.

The bulk of my blog posts will be focused around my role for EDF Energy on the HPC project,  high profile events I’ve attended, the international aspect of my placement and how the modules I’ve taken during my first two years at the University of Bath (and during my academic exchange in Mexico) have helped me along the way. With blog publications every couple of weeks, why not read for a glimpse into a placement year that has truly ticked all the boxes.

A little about me

I`m a 3rd year BSc (Hons) in International Management student at the University of Bath with a desire to pursue a career in the low carbon energy industry after graduating. Initially, I applied for placements in the renewable energy sector in Europe (solar and wind predominantly), without considering nuclear. However, when the chance to work on the world’s largest low carbon energy investment arose, it was an opportunity I simply couldn’t refuse (all will be revealed in good time).

I had already secured an academic exchange at ITESM in Mexico for semester one, therefore I deliberately tailored my modules to the work I would be doing for EDF Energy upon my return: supply chain management, project finance, logistics and Spanish (maybe not so useful considering I am now based in Paris).

What is HPC?

Now you`re probably thinking `Okay, but what is Hinkley Point C`? Well, you can find out here. Or, strain your eyes below on the artist’s impression of the multi-billion nuclear construction project of two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) on the coast of Somerset. HPC will soon be the largest construction site in Europe. More photos can be found on the @hinkleypointc Instagram account.

Artist`s impression of Hinkley Point C when completed


Me enjoying my weekends in Mexico

Participating in an induction day at ITESM, Puebla (Mexico)

Introducing the ‘EDF Energy HPC International Placement’

An exciting new research partnership between EDF Energy and the University of Bath, School of Management has now been established – The HPC Supply Chain Innovation Lab. EDF Energy naturally want to offer placements to University of Bath, School of Management students. I am the inaugural BSc in International Management (BIM) student, so here’s a brief overview of how my International Placement was set up.

The competitive recruitment process consisted of a cover letter/CV, followed by a 1 hour interview with the Commercial Director of the HPC Project Ken Owen and a senior member of his staff. After successfully being chosen for the role, I subsequently went to meet Ken again in July 2016 to organise the details of my placement before heading to Mexico.

Ken made it very clear that the sheer size and complexity of the project meant a placement student would be able to choose from a variety of business/management disciplines to work in: supply chain management, procurement, contract management, finance, human resources, law and the list continues.

You won`t find many Commercial Directors willing to engage with a placement student on such a personal level, showing the high level of attention he has for all young people wanting to join the field of supply chain/contract/project management. We decided to split my 8 months by locations and areas of work to suit my specific interests:

Bristol/London (3 months)- Contract Management, International Supply Chain Management & Finance
Paris (4 months)- Procurement
Bristol/London (1 months)- International Supply Chain Management and Finance

Until next time

I hope my first blog provided a clear introduction into the HPC project, the link between University of Bath and EDF Energy and the EDF Energy HPC International Placement. My next blog will give you an insight in to my day to day work during my three months in Bristol/London. Specifically, working personally with the Head of International Supply Chain on the HPC Project, helping to roll out contract management software for multi-million pound contracts and analysing a multi-billion pound project using complex financial models. Stay tuned.