Prof Simon Middleburgh FIMMM MInstP
Professor in Nuclear Materials
Simon was appointed to the Nuclear Futures Institute in March 2018. His research is focused on developing new nuclear materials, investigating material behaviour in extreme environments (including nuclear and aerospace) and combining materials modelling techniques with experimental methods. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) and Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP).
Simon has over 80 peer reviewed journal articles and 14 patents.
He is building a suite of software and hardware capabilities at Bangor University in order to support industrially relevant research in order to produce research in a timely manner required by the nuclear and aerospace industries. This includes the MERLIN (Materials for Energy Research Laboratory: Innovating for Nuclear) facility at Bangor University that combines a manufacturing capability (including an inert atmosphere glove box, ultra-high temperature furnaces) with a materials characterisation facility (including electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction hardware).
Simon is also the primary investigator for the Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility (BUFFF), a National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) that aims to bridge the academic/industry divide in nuclear materials fabrication, specifically for uranium-based fuels and fusion materials. Simon also leads the Enhanced Methodologies for Advanced Nuclear System Safety (eMEANSS) project, part of the UK-India Civil Nuclear Programme.
He supervises a number of Ph.D. projects including:
Fabio Martini – Sponsored by Westinghouse Electric and KESS 2 – Developing composite nuclear fuels for commercial power plants.
Gareth Stephens – Sponsored by Jacobs and the Nuclear Energy Futures CDT (EPSRC) – Impact of coolant chemistry on grain boundary corrosion of nuclear fuels.
Mustafa Bolukbasi – Sponsored by the Ministry of National Education of the Turkish Republic – Assessment of the Economic Impacts of Nuclear Fuel Cycles for Current and Future Reactors
Christopher Moore – Sponsored by Tokamak Energy – improving current materials which offer inadequate protection for long fusion cycles due to the geometry constraints of the compact reactors.
Sarah Vallely – Sponsored by Westinghouse Electric – using uranium nitride (UN) as an Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF).
Stuart Dunn – Sponsored by AWE – developing advanced nuclear forensics techniques to assess material provenance.
Zola Hinds – Sponsored by the NNL to investigate the use of Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) for fuel performance modelling.
Brandon Stratton – Sponsored by Tokamak Energy to investigate the behaviour of hydride materials using atomistic modelling techniques, supported by experimental assessment.
Simon Stephens – Sponsored by Tokamak Energy to investigate the behaviour of breeder materials experimentally with support from first-principals calculations.
and Masters Projects:
Lewis Dixon – Sponsored by EdF Energy to investigate the role of microstructural evolution on fuel fragmentation.
Megan Leyland – Sponsored by the UKAEA to investigate the role of impurities on corrosion of materials in lithium
Completed PhD and Masters projects
Dr Megan Owen – Sponsored by Westinghouse Electric and KESS 2 – Impact of alloying additions on grain boundary corrosion of zirconium oxide [link to thesis]. Megan took a position as a PDRA with Prof Sir Robin Grimes at Imperial College London.
Dr Jack Wilson – Sponsored by UK-NNL and Nuclear Energy Futures CDT (EPSRC) – Development of high entropy alloys for advanced nuclear applications [link to thesis].
Alexander Lin-Vines – Sponsored by Tokamak Energy – High entropy alloys and their desirability for novel first wall materials in fusion applications [link to thesis].
Simon brings experience from the nuclear industry to the Nuclear Futures Institute and has taken part in a number of expert panel groups including: the IAEA ACTOF group tasked with investigating accident tolerant fuels and SCIP III (the Studsvik cladding integrity project). He continues to consult and is a member of the Materials Advisory Panel at Tokamak Energy. Simon is part of international research collaborations including MUZIC-3 (a collaborative project investigating corrosion and hydrogen pickup mechanisms in zirconium alloys) and CARAT (consortium of academic researchers investigating accident tolerant fuels). Simon has been on the nuclear advisory committee at the Centre of Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London, consulted for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK National Nuclear Laboratory and has had visiting academic positions at Imperial College London and KTH, Stockholm during his time working in industry.
Simon completed his Ph.D. at Imperial College London in 2012 working on the simulation of doped nuclear fuels and materials for advanced nuclear systems sponsored by Westinghouse Electric Company. Simon then took up a Research Leader position at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights in Sydney, Australia. There he built a research team that focused on the simulation of nuclear materials with a focus on combining theoretical results with experimental investigations including work carried out at the Australian Synchrotron. Simon then joined Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB in Västerås, Sweden where he used his methods to advance fuel development and fuel performance modelling methods.