Gareth Roberts: "What would be my superpower? The ability to pick up and play any musical instrument effortlessly."
Member Since: 1999
Grade: CRadP Member
Interview Date: April 2018
Who do you work for?

Nuvia Ltd.

Please describe your work in general and what you are currently working on

ADS Head for Nuvia’s Harwell dosimetry services: our 70th anniversary this year!  I’m primarily concerned with internal and accident dosimetry.  As well as ongoing service support to our clients, I'm also part of a EURADOS Task Group, organising an international inter-comparison on internal dosimetry: the main objective being to test the application of the new EC Technical Recommendations for Monitoring Individuals for Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides (aka TECHREC).  We have had 66 respondents from 26 countries, submitting assessments for four separate case studies: we’re now in the process of collating and analysing this data.  A final report is anticipated in 2019.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Internal dosimetry, in particular, is still a developing science – in both theory and application (and probably always will be); this presents challenges and opportunities for novel solutions.  Also provides the chance to engage with similar 'specialists’ from around the world.

Can you recommend any information resources that have been useful for you in your work?

The IDEAS Guidelines™: probably the most useful reference work for internal dosimetry assessments ever published…(anoraks not included).

EC’s TECHREC (to be published soon) – a more general overview of all aspects of internal dosimetry: anoraks not essential, but you will still need to find a quiet room (and a long drink).

Describe SRP in three adjectives

Informative, developing, engaging.

What has been the most memorable, or useful, SRP event you have attended, and why?

IRPA13 Congress in Glasgow: a chance to meet (and share a drink) with professionals from other countries.

Where do you live?

Newbury, West Berkshire.

Who do you live with?

Christine and our two children; Connor (who also works at Nuvia) and Ceri (studying languages at university).

Do you have pets?

Ellie the little black cat: 18 years old; deaf; near blind; a little unsteady on her paws; yowls through the night; occasionally still cute.

When you were young, who did you want to be when you grew up?

Neil Armstrong.

What would be your Desert Island Disc?

Khachaturian’s Spartacus (adagio)…as used as the theme for BBC’s Onedin Line: an evocative piece, that stirs from moody depths to a joyous exposition of optimism, and the lure of far horizons.

What are your hobbies?

Poetry and music.

Tell us about your poetry

I’ve had over 50 poems published in various magazines and anthologies; and in 2016 published my first full collection: What’s Not Wasted (Tawny Owl Press).  I’m starting to experiment with audio-visual poetry on YouTube: the latest attempt is of my poem Tiger Bay.

The cover of 'What's Not Wasted', Gareth's poetry collection.
And your other hobby is music?

I play guitar with Berkshire-based band Not Souled Out.  We play a mixture of ‘60s and ‘70s soul and funk classics, lesser known tracks, and our own numbers.  We have clocked up 30+ gigs and are planning some studio recordings later this year. 

Gareth and the other band members of 'Not Souled Out'.
What book would you recommend taking on holiday?

Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny, dark, bitter and chillingly poignant.  The repeated and developing scene of Yossarian tending the dying gunner is a heart-wrenching piece of literary genius.

What's your favourite meal?


Who would you like to be for a day?

Michael Collins: alone in orbit around the moon for nearly 24 hours while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin gambolled on the surface: what must that have felt like?  (He never got to walk on the moon).

What would be your superpower?

The ability to pick up and play any musical instrument effortlessly.

What's the most exciting or interesting thing you have ever done?

Diving with the seals off the Farne Islands.  We were the first divers there for about 10 days, due to bad weather – and, boy, were they pleased to see us!  Very playful.  Beautiful creatures.

What's your favourite film?

Dr Strangelove: still funny and (worryingly) relevant.

Share a fascinating fact

In the 1860s, my great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Wales to Patagonia and opened a tea-shop in the town of Gaiman; this was later frequented by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Do you have a prized possession?

1994 Shadow electric guitar (handmade in Germany, now pretty rare).

Gareth playing in 'Not Souled Out'.
Who would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

Douglas Adams: an intellect to probe the latest theories in physics and cosmology…and the irreverent wit to turn them into a pan-galactic gargle blaster.

What phone app would you recommend?

Telephone (seriously).

What would be your dream holiday, assuming unlimited money and a month off?


What's the most beautiful view you have ever seen?

Sandwood Bay on Cape Wrath… I wrote a short poem about it.😊




There is drift and wrack

at Sandwood.  There are


lost in the dunes;


and scraps for gulls and mussels

in the rotting spume

on worn-down stacks.




A wild Atlantic music blew;

there were guillemots daft in the wind

when you let go.

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