Mr David Nicholls has worked in the nuclear and energy fields since being qualified as a nuclear engineering officer in Royal Navy in the 1970s before joining Eskom in 1984.
He worked his way up through the ranks at Eskom, working in its nuclear engineering department in the 1980s before being appointed as Technical Support Manager at Koeberg in the early 1990s. He launched and headed up Eskom’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project from 1996-2004. He was the technical leader of the program for nuclear new build from 2007 onwards. He was appointed the General Manager – Nuclear Engineering in 2010 and Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer in 2016. This position included management of Koeberg and all other nuclear activities in Eskom. With 34 years of experience at Eskom, Dave Nicholls is no stranger to the nuclear industry.
He was appointed as the Chairperson of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation in January 2020.
He is a registered Professional Engineer under the Engineering Council of South Africa, a Charted Engineer under the Engineering Council of UK and a Fellow of the South African Electrical Engineering Society. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (2-1) from the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon and a Post Graduate Diploma in Nuclear Engineering from the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He was appointed a Professor of Practice by the University of Johannesburg in 2020.