Galson Sciences, part of the Egis group, announces Dr Jenny Kent as their new Managing Director. Jenny succeeds Dr Dan Galson, who is going to continue supporting Jenny and the team as a Strategic Director. Read more about Jenny’s trajectory and aspirations as she steps into her new role in this interview with Egis UK.
Can you tell us about your journey leading up to your recent appointment as Galson Sciences’ Managing Director?
Jenny Kent: I was always interested in the sciences and went from an undergraduate geology degree to a PhD in radiochemistry. I was then fortunate to be offered a place on the graduate scheme at a large nuclear licensed site, whilst working on waste characterisation of waste and environmental samples in their radiochemistry labs. This gave me a good understanding of inventory and regulatory requirements, but I found myself wanting to explore the full lifecycle of radioactive waste management. This led me to Galson Sciences 15 years ago, where I have worked on a wide range of projects relating to waste treatment, packaging, storage and disposal, often providing in-house support to clients. Over this time, I have developed technical and commercial expertise, contributing to and then leading on project and framework management and building strong working relationships with my colleagues, partner organisations and clients. I also became a line manager and received leadership training from our parent company, Egis, preparing me for this new role.
I’ve had so many opportunities to collaborate with great people who shared their knowledge, skills and experience, and this has had a major influence on my career development. In particular, Dan has been generous in sharing his extensive management and technical experience and I am being mentored by Francesco Granieri, Operations Director at Egis Nuclear, who has been immensely supportive during this transition.
As you step into your new role as MD, could you share your main focus for the future of the company?
JK: We have a fantastic team delivering important work in the field of radioactive waste management and disposal in the UK and abroad. There are some really interesting nuclear decommissioning and energy security challenges ahead that we can contribute to solving. Our key focus is to continue delivering high-quality services to our clients and maintain strong collaborative relationships with our supply chain partners.
Equally important is to continue fostering our company culture, ensuring the well-being and job satisfaction of our people. As our team grows, we're dedicated to continue offering opportunities for learning and development. For instance, our experienced team members are actively sharing knowledge, mentoring, and providing close support to our newer recruits. This initiative is helping newcomers to settle into our company and industry, empowering them to thrive in their new roles.
Are there any specific areas or initiatives that you are particularly excited to explore?
JK: Joining Egis two years ago has brought us fresh perspectives and exciting opportunities. We've been exploring synergies with nuclear infrastructure and new build activities, both domestically and internationally. As our team expands, we'll have the capacity to support these projects alongside our current commitments, which is incredibly exciting.
Being part of Egis also grants us access to diverse training opportunities. Recently, we have joined industry networks such as the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) and Women in Nuclear (WiN). Having personally benefited from the Women in Nuclear mentoring scheme this year, I am eager to ensure that other team members can participate and take full advantage of these networking and training opportunities.
Lastly, what advice would you give to professionals who aspire to reach similar positions of leadership in their careers?
JK: Throughout my career, I have sought out interesting and challenging work that allows me to develop new skills. I firmly believe it's important to proactively ask for opportunities. If there's something you aspire to do or skills you possess that are underutilised, don't hesitate to make it known. I’d also say that embracing challenges and seizing opportunities that come your way, even if they weren't in “the plan” can lead to remarkable growth and fulfilment so don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’. I would encourage you to take the time to absorb knowledge, develop skills, and gain a comprehensive understanding of your technical specialism(s). Building both depth and breadth in your current role will not only enhance your confidence but also make you a more reliable and well-rounded professional, which can take you far in your career!