Materials for Nuclear and Extreme Environments

The Materials for Nuclear and Extreme Environments research group was established in late 2017 with the generous support of the Sêr Cymru programme. As a core part of Bangor University’s Nuclear Futures Insititute, our primary focus concerns the development of nuclear materials. However, we are materials scientists at heart and maintain general research interests spanning ceramics, metals, glasses and everything in-between.

Materials Research and Production Capabilities

Our laboratories are the cornerstone of the materials section of the Nuclear Futures Institute. Our MERLIN (Materials Energy Research Lab in Nuclear) laboratory gives us the means to produce world-class research by working with a myriad of materials including uranium compounds.

 Find out more about the MERLIN facility.

Meet the Team

Bill Lee

Prof. Bill Lee FREng

The group is led by Professor. Bill Lee who is Sêr Cymru professor of materials in nuclear energy and extreme environments. Bill is a joint appointment with Imperial College London where he is also Co-Director of the Institute of Security Science and Technology (ISST) and Chair in Ceramic Science and Engineering.

Simon Middleburgh

Prof. Simon Middleburgh

Simon is a professor in nuclear materials and joined Bangor in 2018 having previously held positions with Westinghouse and ANSTO.

Michael Rushton

Dr. Michael Rushton

Michael is senior lecturer with interests in the atomic scale modelling of materials.

Dr. Cillian Cockrell

Cillian is a Lecturer with interests in atomic and multiscale modelling of Nuclear Materials and matter under extreme conditions.

Tessa Davey

Dr. Tessa Davey

Tessa is a UKAEA Reader in Nuclear Materials, focusing on modelling of materials in extreme environments.

abdullah professional

Dr. Abdullah Mamun

Abdullah is a lecturer in structural integrity with interests in advanced materials and additive manufacturing.

Postdoctoral Research Associates and Fellows

Dr. Robert Annewandter

Robert's interest is in modelling performance of nuclear fuels, neutron shielding and multi-state fusion reactions with application in nuclear medicine and power production.

Dr. Jack Callaghan

Jack joined the NFI as a PDRA in August 2023. His research focuses on the modelling and testing of structural materials for nuclear applications.

Dr. Mehdi Ghardi

Mehdi is a PDRA with an interest in atomistic simulations and numerical modeling of amorphous materials. His work at the Nuclear Futures Institute includes the application of glass science to the nuclear industry.

Dr. Phylis Makurunje

Phylis brings a wealth of experience in ceramic materials processing and is working on fuel manufacture and design.

A professional profile/headshot picture.

Dr. Ritesh Mohun

Ritesh's research focuses on the synthesis and behaviour of novel materials, including those designed for nuclear fuel applications, under relevant operational environments. He is also interested in atomic scale modelling to understand mechanisms that can be linked into Mesoscale/Engineering scale models.

Ph.D Students

Lewis Dixon

Lewis has completed a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in Computer Science.

Stuart Dunn

Stuart joined the NFI in January 2023, investigating predictive signatures of common fuel cycle materials in support of Nuclear forensic signature development. Stuart is completing a part time PhD whilst employed, sponsored by AWE and supported by Nuclear Energy Futures CDT.

Cintia Leite Goncalves

In October 2022, Cintia joined the Nuclear Futures Institute as a PhD student sponsored by Westinghouse Electric. Cintia's research focuses on the impact of thermal conductivity of uranium nitride fuel.

Zahid Hasan

Zahid joined the NFI in July 2023, as a PhD student. He is studying Structural Integrity under Prof. Abdullah.

Zola Hinds

Zola Hinds

Zola completed her Master’s degree in Advanced Data Science at Bangor University in 2022. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics for fuel performance modelling. Her project is funded by the National Nuclear Laboratory and OPERA.

Megan Leyland

Megan joined the group in 2023, as a PhD student sponsored by UKAEA, focussing on lithium chemistry.  Megan’s work is focussed on characterising reactions of lithium with impurities in conditions relevant to nuclear fusion applications, primarily using thermal analysis techniques.

India Marshall

India's research involves coupling finite element method analysis and biomimicry - the emulation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex engineering problems.

Chris Moore TMS 2022

Christopher Moore

Christopher’s research project is focused on developing an alloy that will be used as a neutron radiation shielding material for internal components of compact spherical tokamak reactors.

Tom Scott

Tom is a highly driven individual, having completed his bachelor of Engineering in Computer System Engineering with First-Class Honours in May 2023. His dedication to academic excellence was evident in his dissertation, where he focused on creating a digital model of the THOR facility in M-Sparc using OpenModelica.

Moli Smith

Moli joined the NFI in October 2023 as a PhD student sponsored by AWE. Her project is focused on understanding how the morphology and microstructure of plutonium oxide changes with radioactive ageing.

Gareth Stephens

Gareth Stephens

Gareth’s particular area of study is interested in the cladding that holds the fuel within the nuclear reactors. Gareth’s academic studies began in mid Wales at Aberystwyth University where he received a masters of materials physics in 2019. From there, He was granted the opportunity to study towards a PhD within the fantastic Nuclear Futures Bangor team.

Simon Stephens

Simon started his PhD in Nuclear Engineering in 2022 focusing on lithium/hydrogen isotope interactions for use in the Nuclear Fusion industry.

Brandon Stratton

Brandon joined the Nuclear Futures Institute in 2022 as a PhD student sponsored by Tokamak Energy. He is currently working on lithium focused computational research developing atomistic models.

Sarah Vallely

Sarah’s project focuses on supporting the research and development of accident tolerant and advanced technology fuels for commercial nuclear reactors. Sarah’s main area of research looks at how adding dopants to UO2 can beneficially impact fuel performance.

Visiting Researchers

Kaishi Matsudaira

Kaishi Matsudaira joined Bangor University in September 2023 as a visiting researcher sponsored by MEXT. His research focuses on the accident tolerant fuel(ATF).

Latest Posts