News Archive


YGN Cammell Laird Technical Tour

On 23rd August, a number of young nuclear professionals and NI members were given the opportunity to visit the Cammell Laird site.


Primarily known as shipbuilders and ship repairers, Cammell Laird built and recently launched the RRS Sir David Attenborough, one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. Cammell Laird have also branched into the nuclear industry, designing and manufacturing large structures and component parts for nuclear new build and SMRs.

The day commenced with tour members meeting Diane Gough, a Senior Project Manager at Cammell Laird, and John Eldridge, Principal Engineer. John briefed the group with safety information relating to the site before setting off on the tour.

The first stop-off was at the Irish Sea Pioneer, a lift-boat capable of jacking itself up on four giant legs. It was the first time many members of the tour had seen a lift-boat and it was fascinating to hear about its operation and uses.

Kathleen and May, the last remaining British-built wooden hull three-masted schooner, was the next stop. Tour members were invited aboard to look around beneath deck. It was interesting to learn about the various restorations that had taken place on the ship whilst trying to retain the feel and authenticity of the 19th century vessel.

Delegates were privileged to be invited aboard the RRS Sir David Attenborough, a first for members of the public. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the engineering and manufacturing effort behind such a huge project. Standing outside on one of the upper decks the sense of scale really became apparent as John instructed tour members about the vessel. The ship is due to set sail in 2019 where its crew of scientists and researchers will be able to collect information about the oceans, ice and the atmosphere.

The final stop was at an area reserved for the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC). In this vast facility, there was a large robotic arm mounted onto a frame fabricated from structural steel members. This was a project that had been conceived and completed by a previous graduate at Cammell Laird working in conjunction with the NAMRC. It was a great example of how Cammell Laird is taking significant steps to position itself as a world leading nuclear industry hub; by cementing its relationship with the NAMRC and demonstrating its facilities and capabilities.

All-in-all a fantastic tour that is recommended to anybody with even a slight interest in the maritime and nuclear industries, as well as manufacturing and engineering.
Big thanks to Cammell Laird and the YGN for organising the event.


Written by Philip Forster

Picture: Cammell Laird Facilities, from