Ep 409: Emma McDaid - Head of Project Management, Magnox Ltd
Gethin Jenkins [00:00:07] Hello, welcome. My name is Gethin Jenkins and this is the Titans of Nuclear Podcast. Today, we have Emma McDaid with us. She's the Head of Project Management at Magnox in the UK. Really good to have you here. I'm really interested in what you've got to say. So, maybe we'll kick off with you introducing yourself and telling us a bit about how you've ended up in the role you're in today.
Emma McDaid [00:00:34] Hi, Gethin. Nice to see you. And thanks very much for inviting me. What an honor. I feel very privileged to have made it to the Titans Podcast. So yeah, I'm Emma McDaid. I'm the Head of Project Management at Magnox. I've been in the role about two and a half years. Before that, I was at Hinkley Point C in Somerset in the southwest of England, and before that I was with Atkins as an engineering and project management consultant.
Emma McDaid [00:01:06] I ended up in the role at Magnox, really, because I wanted to combine my experience as a project leader with a desire to sort of really bring out the best in people. I really believe that people are fundamental to how successful projects are. And so, I really wanted to bring that out, focus on the development of people under our project managers to achieve success, basically. So, that's the direction I thought I'd take for this stage in my career. But where it goes next, who knows?
Gethin Jenkins [00:01:51] No, that's good. Before we go into a bit more about who's influenced you and your experiences in your career, could you tell us a bit about the your experience on the Hinkley Project? I mean, I've been following it with interest. There's lots of great imagery of all the cranes in the site. Is it as fascinating as it looks from the outside? It just looks like a great project to be involved in.
Emma McDaid [00:02:15] Hinkley Point C, and I've no doubt that Sizewell C will be the same, but they're absolutely awesome projects. I remember meeting one of our apprentices and he described coming on to the site for the first time as like stepping into Jurassic Park or Jurassic World. Jurassic Park shows my age a little bit, doesn't it? But, Jurassic World. And he was very quick to point out it wasn't about the dinosaurs element, but really just how absolutely epic and massive everything is. It's just super-scaled. I think it's really seen particularly with the use of that enormous land crane, Big Carl, the biggest land crane, I think in Europe and maybe the world. I'm not sure, but it's really, really big. Standing next to that, just the cab is like a three story building just to have the one person who's operating the crane. So, it gives you the scale and the enormity of that kind of project.
Emma McDaid [00:03:25] I feel very privileged to have been a part of it. And I'm sure that anybody who is involved will feel the same way. It's not easy, it's not easy. A big project like that is extremely complex. The logistical challenges on their own are absolutely just mind blowing, to be honest with you. But I was lucky to be involved right from the sort of site licensing and the things, the early planning stages, the early kind of putting the management arrangements together part.
Emma McDaid [00:04:00] And when I actually was employed by EDF to join them, the site was still a set of greenfields. We were put in... there were a couple of barns there. There was plenty of wildlife. It was a very different thing from what it looks like today. And when you watch the program and see the pictures about it today, it just still blows your mind about how they're putting that together. It's such a constrained environment. It's absolutely epic to be part of that. But it's not easy. It's not easy to be involved in it either. And yeah, it is challenging. It's very tiring. It requires a lot of dedication and commitment.
Gethin Jenkins [00:04:54] As we go through the rest of the podcast and discussion, I'll be really keen to hear your thoughts on large projects, large-scale infrastructure projects like that, and some of the lessons that could be learned for some of the smaller projects that are coming online. There was the announcement from UK Government this week about a focus on small modular reactors in the UK, and I'm sure there are some really good lessons learned from projects like that. We'll hopefully touch on that as the discussion goes forward.
Gethin Jenkins [00:05:24] I'd like to pick up on your career progression and how you've got to where you are today. I'd like to understand about some of the influences that you came across, some of the people that you worked with who were maybe influential in helping you in your career. But also some of the challenges and maybe how you overcame them to get to being in this fairly significant and important role you've got in Magnox.
Emma McDaid [00:05:52] Yes, so gosh, where to start? I suppose we'll talk about some people that maybe have influenced me along the way. I'd probably particularly pick up on my time when I was Atkins. I was really lucky, actually, to join Atkins when I did. which was back in the 2000s now, so don't judge me, but quite a long time ago. And we were a very, very young office. We felt pretty invincible about how we could pretty much take anything on. A really bright bunch of people who could really just... We just thought that we could do anything we wanted, really. And so, we did. I think there was a real freedom in the way that we approached our work and who we got in touch with in terms of clients and the different markets that we tried to be involved with.
Emma McDaid [00:06:56] One of the main influences or one of the people who has influenced me and still does today is Caroline Brown of Atkins. And she's still there. The work that she's been doing recently with Emily Hutchinson and the book that they've written together about strengths-based organizations and the work they've done there is absolutely awesome. What she taught me, actually, was that it was okay to be yourself. And I think, particularly as a woman in STEM subjects and engineering and science backgrounds, I think I probably was on the sort of the line that I had to be. I had to fit in with the lads, and I was one of the lads. And she taught me that you didn't have to be that way. Not that I've ever been much of a girly girl, I have to confess. But she really taught me that you can just be who you want to be, and you're perfectly acceptable as you were, kind of thing.
Gethin Jenkins [00:08:08] A very important and powerful lesson to carry. Yeah, I think that's great.
Emma McDaid [00:08:16] Definitely. We did a lot of work together when I was at Atkins and I carried that through into Hinkley Point C's work on the sort of diversity and inclusion and gender balance, particularly. She taught me quite a lot about how to challenge the status quo, how to talk to people who may have said something or done something that was not necessarily okay, actually, and how to address that in a way that helped them to learn that lesson rather than sort of perpetuate barriers and irritate people, frankly. Many of the things that happen that are still sort of affecting gender balance are not from a place of malice. And actually, if you assume somebody gets defensive, they're not going to learn that lesson. So, Caroline taught me ways of working and talking to people without completely just annoying them, I suppose, which is quite important.
Gethin Jenkins [00:09:24] Yeah. And actually picking up on the diversity and gender balance, I think historically the STEM topics and the nuclear industry itself is very male dominated just due to the historical topics that were selected in schools and universities. What's your view on the current status of it in the nuclear industry? Do you think things have improved somewhat? Do you think we've still got some ways to go? I was quite interested to hear your thoughts on that.
Emma McDaid [00:10:00] When I started out as an engineer, I studied at Sheffield University as a mechanical engineer. There maybe were about 10% girls, 10% women I should say, at that stage. I think that the intake for graduate engineers now is pretty good; it's pretty robust. Maybe 30 or 40% retaining those women. Through their career life, though, is still problematic. We still see quite a drop off of female representation through more senior roles, and then, obviously, into exec roles and board roles. So yes, I think there's always going to be... To be honest, I think there'll be work to do for many, many years to come in that respect. I think those of us who are women in senior roles have to recognize that we are role models and people are looking and listening to what we have to say. I think if we sort of back off from that then we're sort of doing them a disservice, essentially. And we need to continue to ask questions of ourselves and others about what is maybe preventing people from progressing.
Emma McDaid [00:11:20] Unconscious bias is still definitely there. Even for me, if I'm recruiting, it doesn't stop me from recruiting in my own image. I have to challenge myself "Am I actually recruiting somebody who's like me?" Maybe who doesn't look like me, but who thinks like me. So, we should always be challenging ourselves about what it is that we actually need. And actually, having a team around you that doesn't all think the same way, hasn't got the same background, has a completely different set of perspectives, that's really where you get the most benefit out of that team, because you'll hear all the voices and they can all contribute to what is going on. And you may have clashes and tension, but actually, tension breeds that creativity, the innovation, the sort of optimized ways forward. So, it's really, really important that you do that.
Emma McDaid [00:12:20] When I was working at Hinkley C and on a construction site, clearly in construction particularly, there's a long way to go still in terms of gender balance. The nuclear industry itself is probably further advanced in terms of numbers, the stock numbers on the paper. That's not been helped by historical influences from like the unions and the like as well. They sort of didn't let women into trades for most of the 20th century. And they're much different now. They've turned their sort of voices around now, which is fantastic. But there's a lot of damage done there and a lot of societal norms that have to be broken to progress.
Emma McDaid [00:13:08] Working for Magnox is actually a very different experience. Actually, our gender pay gaps probably one of the lowest of the nuclear industry. And myself included, there are a number of women in senior roles, obviously, including our CEO, Gwen Parry-Jones. So in that respect, it actually feels a much more balanced workforce in that respect. I feel quite privileged. It's quite unusual for me to feel that way, having spent really probably the past sort of 25 to 30 years predominantly in sort of studying and work environments that are male-dominated. Not that that particularly bothers me; I quite like working with men. It's not a big problem in that respect, but it's notable, I think, to see more women in more senior roles and different types of roles as well.
Gethin Jenkins [00:14:03] Yeah, that's good. That's interesting. I think Magnox also pushing the boundaries and challenging in a way that it's demonstrably making changes is a good sign for the industry.
Gethin Jenkins [00:14:20] Just picking up on your current role with Magnox in the decommissioning... We've got very complicated, we've got very challenging projects in the UK. I'd be quite keen to hear your thoughts on the skill sets and the approaches that are used as part of those projects that might be of value to the new build arena. What are your thoughts on are there transferable skills across? There's a very limited resource pool looking at new nuclear in the UK. I, for one, have worked in both types of projects and I'm just keen to hear your thoughts on the skill sets for decommissioning and how valuable are they for any new build arena or new build nuclear.
Emma McDaid [00:15:05] It's a good question, Gethin. I think it's something that's useful to reflect on for the industry as a whole and wider. There are lots of synergies, particularly between decommissioning and new build. Because largely, we're talking about construction environments and construction-type activity. There's a lot of conventional build work, whether that's actual build or demolition or refit in both enterprises. So, there's a lot of similarity there. It's really probably the operational period of the power stations that is sort of more starkly different.
Emma McDaid [00:15:46] I feel really lucky that I've had the opportunity to work in all the areas of the nuclear lifecycle. And as a project manager and somebody who sort of supports the project management industry, there are a lot of synergies between the nuclear industry and oil and gas and other construction, sort of more highly-regulated construction arenas. I think the industry needs to make sure that it doesn't preclude people who maybe don't have nuclear experience from being involved in a lot of the work that we do, particularly at either end of the lifecycle in the new build and on the decommissioning end.
Emma McDaid [00:16:41] Obviously, there are aspects of the work that we do that require that sort of real attention around nuclear-regulated work. But there's a lot of conventional construction work that's associated with those and a lot of opportunity, really, to move between those ends, particularly. It's been quite interesting for me, both from a new build and from a decommissioning perspective, that I have been involved in teams where there have been represented people who are very experienced in generation and then either decommissioning or construction. And there can be quite a culture clash between those things because they're quite different environments in which people are working.
Emma McDaid [00:17:34] And it's not that one's right or one's wrong, it's just what the requirements of that particular part of the lifecycle are asking of you at that point. Obviously, when you're in an operational environment, there's extremely strictly controlled, absolutely understandably, a lot of repetitive, careful work. And that doesn't necessarily translate that well into decommissioning and into new build.
Gethin Jenkins [00:18:11] There's a gap in the middle. So, there's the decommissioning approach to problem solving, project management, construction activities or deconstruction, and then the phase in the middle of the operations where the skill sets are very different. From new build nuclear, the skill sets are more linked to the decommissioning skills, really.
Emma McDaid [00:18:32] Yeah, yeah. It's not to say that there's no skills in the generation part that are applicable to anyone else; that's not the case. But there's definitely more synergy, I would say, between decommissioning and new build than maybe people are aware of. Because people think with decommissioning, it must just mean that you're demolishing the building. But actually, we're quite often building stores or waste handling facilities, those sorts of things. There's quite a lot of new build within decommissioning or refitting or modification as part of the decommissioning cycle. And there's a lot of synergy there, definitely, between those.
Gethin Jenkins [00:19:17] And how have you found bringing in people from outside the nuclear... I'm a massive advocate of bringing people in from outside the nuclear industry. I think it brings a fresh pair of eyes and fresh thinking and ideas that we need to push the nuclear agenda forward in the UK. So, how have you found bringing people in from outside the industry? Has it been successful? Any challenges or anything that people need to be aware of?
Emma McDaid [00:19:43] I think it does bring challenges because of the culture clash that I mentioned. There is a way of working and then a very different way of working, and you're bringing those two things together. But I absolutely think that it's ideal to have both. And for reasons that we discussed a bit earlier around the sort of gender balance and recruiting kind of thing, it's about having the different perspectives and different viewpoints and challenging the status quo. We talk a lot in the nuclear industry about nuclear safety and the challenging, questioning attitude. And actually, people from outside can help to bring that view because they can say, "But why are we still doing that? Do we really need to do that? Because it's actually adding a lot of time." It's not always easy. And the answer is sometimes, "Yes." There can be very good reasons for why we're doing something the way that we're doing it. But I always like a bit of a churn and a bit of a mix on the whole thing because I think it brings the different voices into account.
Gethin Jenkins [00:20:57] No, that's good. I am very interested in your current role, the Head of Project Management for Magnox and in trying to get my head around what the day to day means in that role, what are the levels, what are the responsibilities and skill sets you need so maybe people listening can maybe work on skills development to go towards a role like that. Could you just explain a little bit about your current role and how it applies... Or the new way of thinking or the advances in project management, maybe, and how you're taking things forward?
Emma McDaid [00:21:34] I'll give it a go. In terms of my current role, really I kind of shaped my role since coming into Magnox. After a couple of years, I kind of pinned it down, as you do. So, I split into three areas. It is a functional role. We've got a Program Delivery Director who is responsible for actually delivering all the project and program work itself, which is understandably a large portfolio of work across the sites, multiple sites across the UK. So, I work very closely with him. I see myself as sort of the cheerleading support act to all our programs and project managers.
Emma McDaid [00:22:22] So, I split it into three. One is the people. We'll look after things like have we got the right training provision, what are the career pathways? And we've introduced mentoring, both internally and an ECITB-supported scheme that has now become open. If you look on LinkedIn, it's open to...
Gethin Jenkins [00:22:42] What scheme is that? Sorry.
Emma McDaid [00:22:44] ECITB PM Mentoring Scheme. So, we have that. And so, we'll also look after what the job profiles look like, what's the capability and how we're growing people and trying to recruit people and that kind of thing. So, very much a sort of people element. Since I started, we've also started to bring in project management, project controls graduates. And this year, we're starting to bring in project management apprentices as well into Magnox. So, really excited about that because it's really generating the project managers and project controls teams of the future. So, we do a lot of that around the people side.
Emma McDaid [00:23:34] And then I have what I call the tool set, which is like the processes, the systems that we use, the templates, any of the reporting systems, those kinds of things. So, there's the tool set. And then, last but not least, is what I call expertise. And that's where we do assurance work on the projects that are going through project gates, but also support projects with just the expertise and wisdom and scars, the scars that we've gotten over the years, to try and help shape and set projects up for success. So, those are sort of the three areas there.
Emma McDaid [00:24:19] You asked about project management as the field as well, I think. Before I do that, did you ask me how did I get into it?
Gethin Jenkins [00:24:36] Yeah, I'm interested to see how you've taken your skills and your experiences throughout your your time in Atkins and at Hinkley and how you're applying those in your role now. So, almost like a skills development because I'm very mindful of some project manager roles. There's no go-to king of course, book, kind of guidance that says "This is what you must do to be a good project manager." And I think I'm trying to sort of tease out what makes a good project manager. What are the skill sets that need to be put in place to take it forward? And also, some of the challenges, some of the things that maybe we haven't quite got right and things that we need to maybe improve going forward.
Emma McDaid [00:25:21] As you know, Gethin, I'm doing a Master's at the moment in Major Program Management. But project management is a social science. And I think that we've historically treated project management probably more as a science, tried to really sort of rigidly control it and tried to pull it through the wringer, essentially.
Gethin Jenkins [00:25:46] That's interesting, yeah.
Emma McDaid [00:25:46] But actually, the social part of it is equally, if not more important as the science part. I think that's what sort of has always drawn me into it, because it is both. It's so people-oriented. Relationships, stakeholders, working with sponsors, understanding users, needs and stuff. You don't get that by just drawing some of that upon pieces of paper. You get that from having conversations and developing those relationships.
Emma McDaid [00:26:26] And for me personally, that's why I got into it, I suppose. I found that I was better at organizing stuff and coordinating resources and getting from here to there through the people who were involved in that team. And I found that I had a natural sort of ability in that more than I did, actually, in engineering. I was an alright engineer, but I was really a good project manager, so that's the direction that I took.
Emma McDaid [00:26:57] To get where I am in terms of being the Head of Project Management now, I think my motivation through my career has been about gathering experiences and being able to, as well, demonstrate my credibility to others that I do know what I'm talking about and I've had these experiences. And project management is so much about experience. Yes, there's training and yes, there are qualifications that you can get and they will give you something to put on your CV, but it's the experience that you get and the variety of that and the breadth of thought that actually contributes to your knowledge bank and makes you more and more resilient and more and more capable as a project leader to take on bigger and bigger and more interesting stuff. I think though, that when I reflect back on where I started as a project manager and where it is now, I think the role of the project manager is changing and changing rapidly.
Gethin Jenkins [00:28:07] Yeah. That might be interesting to see. Especially on the projects you've worked on, some of the high hazard, largest projects in the UK, what's your view on this sort of change in the role of the project manager? Any developments or advances in how things are working?
Emma McDaid [00:28:32] Certainly a lot of the projects I worked on in my earlier days would have been sort of more discrete projects. You sort of got something that needed to be managed through the stages. And I think project management is now changing to be much more systemic in its viewpoint. It's almost like project management and project managers and project teams come in at a point through the system's cycle and give it nudge, give it like a rugby pass on to the next stage of its life. But understanding that's an ongoing game is actually now something we have to contend with.
Emma McDaid [00:29:18] Whereas, I think when we used to talk about project management capability in the past, you'd have all your core suite of documents, you'd have your weekly team meetings, you're starting on date "X" and you need to finish by date "Y." It's going "X", how many pounds, whatever, and that's your bundle that you need to deliver. I think now project managers have to think, "What else is going on in the world? What do we want to do that is innovative and creative? To demonstrate some sustainability, how do we make sure that we're using materials and that when this thing reaches the end of its life, we can decommission it and demolish it without it leaving a huge legacy to future generations.".
Emma McDaid [00:30:13] And also, I need to think about how we're developing people, how we're bringing others on. When do talks to senior project managers or am helping to develop others, we'll talk about all the things you need to juggle. And I just think that list is growing all the time about what you need to juggle and what you need to be thinking about. But at the same time, I see project managers being less empowered than they used to be. Project managers 20 years ago were sort of like gods when they decided... It's interesting seeing that happen.
Gethin Jenkins [00:30:55] Why do you think that's happened then? What's the main reason behind that? Is it more of an administrative role now or is it roles and responsibilities being moved around? What are your thoughts?
Emma McDaid [00:31:07] I'm not sure I can call it, Gethin, to be honest. I think it's a variety of reasons. I think, potentially, because of the nature of project delivery and the fact that, in terms of success rates... They're not incredible, kind of being generous. Reputationally, I'm not sure. The field has kind of taken quite a knock from business leaders and financiers, investors. They've lost confidence a little bit in the project management. I think as well, though, there's a temptation when things do go a bit wrong to put more and more control in. And usually that actually has the adverse effect of enabling delivery to be successful. Yeah, I think there is a variety of reasons. It's not easy to just say, "It's this one thing."
Gethin Jenkins [00:32:10] Yeah. Picking up on... You mentioned the success of projects. Those of us who work in the industry know this, that projects aren't always successful. Some are inherent with delays and overruns, but others go really, really well and on schedule to budget. I'm interested in seizing out what you think... I know there's no sort of simple answer to what makes a good project, but with a view that all the new nuclear in the UK is kicking off and there's going to be answers from GBN in the week, there must be some lessons we can learn from the decommissioning projects that would allow for the roll out and achieving net zero quicker and more efficiently than we're currently looking at. So, any thoughts on that?
Emma McDaid [00:32:54] Actually, I don't want to sort of go into the decommissioning project so much, but there are lessons to be learned through wider industry. And a lot of those are to do with, again, they come back to relationships. Actually, especially for larger and more complex projects, how we set up our commercial relationships and our supply chain engagement. I'd say there's still quite a traditional view of how that should be done. That's still very much the status quo. There are pockets where that's moving and changing. Actually, at Sellafield with its partnership arrangements that are set up there, you can see this; you can see a different model. And the MEH Alliance at Hinkley Point C, same sort of thing. We're starting to see partnerships, alliances much more.
Emma McDaid [00:33:59] If you think about how supply chain and how contracts are set up in the first instance, the traditional route is, "We'll try and work it all out and design it or throw it over the fence," and then, "What do you mean you can't build it for that?" And, you know the rest of it. We're we've got different contracting models is where supply chain partners haven't got to commit so early in the delivery lifecycle. The incentives are all around delivery of outcomes, collective delivery of outcomes. I think we're seeing, in those programs and projects, an improvement in terms of delivery success.
Gethin Jenkins [00:34:52] So, the collective delivery of outcomes, that sounds like very much a collaborative or working towards... Could you maybe just explain that in a bit more detail?
Emma McDaid [00:35:03] There are commercial vehicles that are available where, basically, we can work up the plan and the costs and stuff together. But then in terms of how the financing, the payments work, the incentivization comes from achieving the specific outcomes and the costs are just paid. So, if you know that you're working on a program where your cost is going to get paid, you're not going to lose money on that, but you'll only get your bonuses if, actually, you're all successful together. That's a whole different set of supply chain relationships than that traditional model where you're kind just hoping, you're praying that you make a profit, and at least making sure you don't make any terrible losses.
Emma McDaid [00:35:59] I think there's a way to go for just industry as a whole. I don't think that's anything particularly to do with nuclear. I'm not involved in the GBN and the SMRs program, but I would definitely recommend that they make sure that they have a good look at how we set up our commercial relationships and leverage the supply chain. Definitely.
Gethin Jenkins [00:36:25] Yeah. No, that's fascinating. Going back to the women in the workplace and the gender and diversity balance, I was going ask you if there were any words of advice or guidance that you would offer anyone thinking of entering into the nuclear industry? Personally, I think it's a fascinating industry to be in. Again, if you were advising somebody coming through university at this stage or through college, what would your main advice be to them?
Emma McDaid [00:36:59] Really, we didn't touch on my Atkins career very much, but I will touch on it now. Obviously, I said that we were a very young office and we did whatever we liked, but for me that meant that...
Gethin Jenkins [00:37:10] It sounds like great fun. Sounds like great fun.
Emma McDaid [00:37:12] It was awesome. They were very happy days. Very happy days. But it meant that I worked on projects in defense, in rail, in medical engineering. I did a lot of work in aerospace, and of course, nuclear. And it's funny, it always gives me a bit of a wry smile because when I set and I graduated, I was like, "Oh, I'm never going to work in defense and nuclear. I'm not going to do it." Sort of high morals and all this kind of stuff. "And it will be dirty and gray and horrible and stuff." And nuclear is where I just gravitated back to.
Emma McDaid [00:37:57] And the reason for it is that, personally, I'm really attracted to variety and interest. Every day has to be different for me. I couldn't bear to have a job where I could pretty much guarantee what's going to happen every day. It would be absolutely "blah." And that translates through to the industry that I work. There is nothing that is ever the same in nuclear. Wherever you are in the lifecycle, whoever you're working with, it's all unique. It's all fascinating. It's all like some sort of bespoke challenge. There are always unique qualities to it and things that we're trying to work through. I don't think any other industry gives you that degree of variety.
Emma McDaid [00:38:46] And so, I think if that is the sort of thing that excites you... If you want to have those challenges... If you're sort of activated by problem solving, working in teams and... I don't know, you get a kick out of a real challenge and the achievement you get at the other end of that, then it's a great industry to be a part of. And now, of course, it's got a massively bright future. You know, the introduction of the SMRs, the direction of travel with fusion and the STEP program... I mean, that is just really, really exciting. What we're doing in decommissioning is still, I think, one of the biggest programs of work in the UK, if not the biggest. And we might be kind of quiet about it, but there's some fascinating work going on across the estate on that.
Gethin Jenkins [00:39:45] Do you think we should shout about it more? I mean, I think I would want to agree with you that there's so much good work being done, but we don't shout about it as much. It sort of stays within the industry.
Emma McDaid [00:39:58] Yeah. I don't know why. I think it probably isn't seen quite as sexy as SMRs, you know, decommissioning old power stations. Maybe that's part of it. Maybe, of course, there's an element of the legacy that we're managing, and of course, having to be respectful about that. But I think we should shout about it more. I think there are loads of really cool stuff that we do. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it on Guy Martin's programs about the energy mix. And Spot the dog seems to have been everywhere in the UK. He's very busy; he's like on tour or something. You know, stuff like that. There's so much robotics, there's all this sort of remote-operated bespoke equipment that has to be developed. Why wouldn't you want to be part of that? Fascinating.
Gethin Jenkins [00:40:53] Well, hopefully listeners will tap into that. Before we bring it to a close, I would just like to ask you if there's anything else you want to pick up. Anything else you want to bring up or discuss that we may not have had a chance to go over?
Emma McDaid [00:41:12] No, I think I'm going to put a bit of a shout out around the master's degree that I'm doing. And actually, the focus of that, which is the major program side of things. We have a fantastic professor, Professor Daniel Armanios. Absolutely brilliant guy. Lovely to listen to. I really recommend you sort of finding him on YouTube and just seeing what he's up to. But some really interesting moves in the industry of major programs across the globe, really. And a lot of people say... When I say I'm doing a Master's in Major Program Management, they sort of go "What's that?"
Gethin Jenkins [00:41:57] Where is that? Sorry, where is that? And could you say the name of the professor again, just to make sure we get it right if people do want to look him up.
Emma McDaid [00:42:05] It's at Saïd Business school in Oxford University, and it's Professor Daniel Armanios. When we think about major programs in our industry, things like Hinkley Point C are really obvious. Like, massive infrastructure projects. Massive bridge building schemes or sort of transformations of different environments and stuff. But there are other types of major programs and there are things like higher education systems, the vaccination rollout. But there's also now sort of a move towards more decentralized sort of schemes as well. And I think the SMRs are a good example of that, where we're moving from a great big scheme to something that is more repeatable and that we can like learn the lessons from and stuff. So, more modular, more repeatable, more able to learn lessons, sort of almost the sort of simpler kind of approach rather than these enormous, complex end-delivery models. So yeah, I just sort of encourage people to have look at some of the world's major programs. Things like The Line in Saudi Arabia may be controversial, but I mean, it's just like mind blowing.
Gethin Jenkins [00:43:31] It's crazy. Yeah, yeah.
Emma McDaid [00:43:33] Big rail schemes in Mexico, and that was sort of like, what do they have to deal with? We heard from a lady who was managing that scheme over in Mexico and she was talking about how the President of Mexico is her primary client. And he comes to visit the site every few weeks. He rings her every few weeks and they have to train up the army in the running of the scheme because they're the ones who are going to be running the scheme. And you just think, "Oh." It sort of takes the delivery of projects to a whole different level. And it's really exciting. Just look, just look. Google it all and look what's out there.
Gethin Jenkins [00:44:25] Okay. Brilliant. Emma, I'd just like to thank you again for taking your time out to share some of your experience with us. It's been really interesting to talk to you. So yeah, many thanks and all the best.
Emma McDaid [00:44:41] Many thanks, Gethin. It's lovely to catch up with you again after all these years.
Gethin Jenkins [00:44:44] Yeah, yeah. Nice to speak. Cheers, bye.