Dr. Andrew Kirk has been appointed the new Director of Tokamak Science and MAST Upgrade. Andrew has been spearheading UKAEA’s work in fusion science for many years, championing the UK’s compact fusion experiment, MAST, through its upgrade project – now into final commissioning. Andrew will help guide UKAEA’s strategic scientific direction; especially pertinent to the UK’s STEP fusion powerplant design project.
Dr. Amanda Quadling will become UKAEA’s new Director of Materials. Amanda started her career as a geochemist in Africa, working for De Beers and BHP Billiton, Amanda moved to the UK a decade ago and, after completing a PhD in materials science, she has been a Director at Morgan Advanced Materials and M&I Materials. Last year, she was listed among the 10th most influential women in UK engineering in the Financial Times. Amanda will join UKAEA on 2 September and will lead its broad range of materials work in the Materials Research Facility, modelling and various other programmes.
Steve Wheeler has been appointed as UKAEA’s Director of Fusion Technology. Steve’s career started as a design engineer for medical devices, white goods and oil & gas and then a number of production and operations roles at Element Six, becoming Operations Director in 2011. In 2015 he joined UKAEA as Operations Manager at the RACE robotics facility and has recently started his new role, with responsibility for delivery of the new Fusion Technology and H3AT tritium science facilities and UKAEA’s existing tritium facilities.
Paul Methven is the new Director for STEP – UKAEA’s programme to develop a UK compact fusion powerplant. Paul joined the Royal Navy in 1988 as a submariner, then held a succession of major project leadership roles in the MoD. As STEP Director, Paul will bring a wealth of large project experience to this challenging and cutting-edge initiative. Paul will take up his post in September.
UKAEA CEO Professor Ian Chapman commented:
“UKAEA is growing very quickly, and the wide range of activities – from fusion science to various technology areas to the exciting new STEP design programme – clearly requires new leadership and ideas. I am delighted with these new appointments, blending people who have worked in UKAEA for some time, with others who will bring invaluable experience and insight from other fields and industries.”