People

Nuclear expertise and academic capacity at Bangor University is expanding rapidly with the appointment of international research ‘stars’, plus their supporting research teams, funded by the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru programme and the European Regional Development Fund.

Co-Directors

Bill Lee

Prof. Bill Lee FREng

Professor Bill Lee is Director of the Nuclear Futures Institute and Sêr Cymru Professor of Materials in Extreme Environments at Bangor University. Bill is also Emeritus Professor of Materials and Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute of Security Science and Technology (ISST) at Imperial College London. He was previously Deputy Chair of the BEIS Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), a member of the UK Government Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) and is a former President of the American Ceramic Society.

Simon Middleburgh

Prof. Simon Middleburgh

Simon is a professor in nuclear materials and co-director of the NFI. He joined Bangor in 2018 having previously held positions with Westinghouse and ANSTO.

Training Director

Michael Rushton

Dr. Michael Rushton

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

Materials Academics

Dr. Tessa Davey

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

Dr. Abdullah Mamun

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

Deputy Director, Regulation & Policy Academics

Laurence Williams

Prof. Laurence Williams
OBE FREng FIMechE FNucI

Professor Laurence Williams is Ser Cymru Professor of Nuclear Policy and Regulation. His interests lie in safety and regulation. Laurence was previously Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations.

Materials Postdoctoral Research Associates and Fellows

Dr. Robert Annewandter

Robert joined the team in March 2022 and is modelling nuclear fuel and nuclear materials for fusor systems, and fuel performance codes for fission systems. His interest is also in subsurface flow and transport modelling for the CTBT.

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.

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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.

Nuclear Medicine Academics

Mark Ogden

Mark Ogden is a Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Medicine. He joined the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University in July 2023.

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Medicine. He joined the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University in August 2023.

Reactor Design & Thermal Hydraulics Academics

Dr. Walter Villanueva

Walter is a Reader in Nuclear Engineering. He was a Docent at KTH and did a postdoctoral work at NIST. Currently, he is in-charge and PI of the MSParc Thermal-hydraulics Laboratory with the BULLET and THOR rigs.

Honorary/Visiting Academics & Industrial Supervisors

Jack Astbury
Honorary Research Fellow

Jack is an honorary research fellow at the Nuclear Futures Institute and leads the Reactor Technology and Neutronics areas in the UK's leading private fusion company - Tokamak Energy. Jack also chairs the Tokamak Energy Materials Advisory Panel.

Prof. Marjorie Bertolus
Honorary Professor

Marjorie is a Research Director in atomic and multiscale modelling of materials under irradiation. She is a member of the board of the Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials of the European Energy Research Alliance and is the coordinator of the European project, INSPYRE (2017-2022).

David Bowden

David Bowden
Honorary Research Fellow

David is the Materials for Fusion Group leader at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). David is leading the UKAEA team dedicated to the research and development of low-readiness materials for use in future commercial fusion power plants.

Dr. Antoine Claisse
Honorary Research Fellow

Antoine is an honorary research fellow at the Nuclear Futures Institute and a principal engineer at Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB. He brings a wealth of knowledge related to advanced fuel modelling, the commercialisation of materials.

Dr. Aidan Cole-Baker
Honorary Research Fellow

Aidan is an industrial supervisor at the Nuclear Futures Institute. Aidan is a managing consultant for materials science at Jacobs, specialising in reactor materials.

Prof. Francesco D'Auria
Honorary Professor

Francesco D’Auria received his Master's degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1978 and PHD degree in Nuclear Reactor Safety in 1980 both at University of Pisa. His areas of key knowledge are thermal-hydraulics, energy and nuclear systems, applications of radiation in technology and applied thermodynamics.

Marcus

Dr. Marcus Dahlfors
Honorary Professor

Marcus has a background of 23 years in the nuclear energy and closely related research. While in academia his research was focused on accelerator driven systems for the transmutation of nuclear waste.

Dr. Thomas Davis
Honorary Research Fellow

Thomas is an honorary research fellow at the Nuclear Futures Institute. Tom is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Oxford Sigma, a fusion materials technology research company. His research focuses on structural, radiation shielding, and novel materials for fusion systems.

Dr Satyajit Dey

Dr. Satyajit Dey
Honorary Research Fellow

Satyajit is an honorary researcher in structural integrity with interests in materials modelling, structural assessment methods and application of data-centric methods in structural integrity.

Prof. Lyndon Edwards
Honorary Professor

Prof Lyndon Edwards is an honorary professor at the Nuclear Futures Institute and the National Director of Generation IV Research at ANSTO. His research focuses on how technology can reduce the time to deployment of advanced reactor systems.

Matthew Gilbert

Dr. Matthew Gilbert
Honorary Research Fellow

Matt is a senior scientist in Nuclear Forensics at AWE. He brings extensive experience in the processing signatures of actinide materials to determine history and provenance.

Prof. Mark Gilbert
Honorary Professor

Mark is a programme leader at United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. Mark has more than 15 years’ experience working on computational nuclear inventory analysis and nuclear materials modelling.

Prof. David Goddard
Honorary Professor

Dave is a Fellow of the National Nuclear Laboratory working in the area of nuclear fuel manufacture. He has experience providing operational support to current fuel manufacturing plants as well as leading the development of new fuel and cladding materials for the next generation of reactors.

Prof. Yassin Hassan
Honorary Professor

Yassin A. Hassan is the L.F. Peterson '36 Chair II in Engineering, Regents Professor and professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, USA. He is a member of US National Academy of Engineering.

Mike Hawkes
Honorary Research Fellow

Mike Hawkes of Capventis has a technical background encompassing nuclear defence and high-performance / high-availability distributed computing for broadcast and mobile services. Mike brings his expertise in the areas of control & instrumentation and cyber security.

Dr. Iuliia Ipatova

Dr. Iuliia Ipatova
Honorary Research Fellow

Iuliia is a Research Fellow in the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham where she is the experimental leader in electron microscopy and radiation damage characterisation in metals and ceramics. Iuliia was a materials PDRA in the NFI between May 2018- March 2021.

John Idris Jones

Prof. John Idris Jones
Honorary Professor

John Idris Jones is an honorary professor in the group. He is Chair of the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone and was previously Engineering Manager at the Magnox station at Wylfa.

Dr

Dr. Jean-Marie Le Corre
Honorary Research Fellow

Jean-Marie is an honorary fellow engineer and BWR core thermal-hydraulics technical lead at Westinghouse Electric Sweden.

Dewi Meirion Lewis

Prof. Dewi Meirion Lewis FLSW
Honorary Professor

Professor Dewi Lewis is a Welsh physicist in nuclear medicine & technologies specialising in radio pharmaceuticals using cyclotron accelerators and nuclear research reactors. Dewi is a member of the Fellow Learned Society of Wales, Wales' top academic recognition.

John Lillington

Prof. John Lillington
Honorary Professor

John is currently a Chief Technologist within Jacobs and is an Honorary Professor at Bangor University in the School of Computer Sciences and Electronic Engineering.

Dr. Julian MacDonald
Honorary Research Fellow

Julian is an honorary research fellow at the Nuclear Futures Institute. He is a nuclear medicine physicist and Head of Radioisotope Physics and Clinical Engineering in the North Wales Medical Physics Department of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). He is the current Chair of the central BCUHB Research & Innovation Board.

John Norton
Honorary Professor

John is the Head of Technical Strategy at Magnox and is responsible for the Research and Development Programme to underpin and accelerate reactor decommissioning in the UK.

Prof. em. Horst-Michael Prasser
Honorary Professor

Michael has been professor of nuclear energy systems at ETH Zurich. His background is in thermal-hydraulics with a focus on innovative experimental techniques and advanced instrumentation.

Mattias Puide
Honorary Research Fellow

Mattias is a principal engineer at Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB. He has a background in the advanced manufacture of ceramics and nuclear fuels.

Prof. Andrew Sherry FREng
Visiting Professor

Andrew Sherry is a Professor at the University of Manchester with interest in nuclear technology, structural integrity and materials. Professor Sherry is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK's top engineering recognition.

Prof. Paul Smith
Honorary Professor

Prof Paul Smith is the manager of Jacobs’ ANSWERS Software Service. He has worked in mathematical modelling in the nuclear industry for over 37 years.

Prof. John Stairmand
Honorary Professor

John is the Technical Director of the Technology and Consulting business of Jacobs. In the first half of his career he carried out modelling, experimentation and product innovation in thermal hydraulics and mass transfer.

Julian Vance-Daniel
Honorary Research Fellow

Julian is an honorary research fellow assisting with the thermal hydraulics facilities at Nuclear Futures Bangor. He is Managing Director of Vessco Engineering Ltd a supplier of pressure vessels and high integrity fabrications to Hinkley Point C and other civil nuclear sites.

Prof. Lynda Warren OBE
Honorary Professor

Lynda is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Law at Aberystwyth University and a Honorary Professor in the group. She has a special interest in law and policy relating to the nuclear industry and was Deputy Chair of the BEIS Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.

Prof. Janet Wilson
Honorary Professor

Janet has spent the majority of her career to date working in the nuclear sector (public and private both civil and defence) at senior and executive level with an expert interest in areas of organisational development, regulation, nuclear safety, security, environment, non-proliferation and armed response policing.

Students

Ph.D Students

Mustafa

Mustafa Bolukbasi

Mustafa completed his Applied Metallurgical and Materials Engineering education in Turkey. During this time, he worked with a range of techniques including Non-Destructive testing of aviation materials in “Turkish Technic”. After this he worked in the architectural aluminium industry as a quality engineer.

conor

Conor Buchanan

Conor recently completed a Bsc(Hons) in physics with nuclear technology at the University of the West of Scotland. Conor's PhD project focuses on studying Auger electrons for use in targeted cancer therapy.

Stuart Dunn

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

Geraldyne Ule Duque

Geraldyne joined the NFI in April 2023, she has completed an undergraduate project in Reactor Physics, and a further Masters in Medical Physics at Valencia University in Spain. She is now taking on a PHD sponsored by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

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.

Celt Griffith

Celt Griffith completed an integrated master’s degree in physics from Cardiff University in 2021, having earned the Vera Rubin award for consistent work for the university. Celt’s work is focused on researching corrosion/erosion effects of molten lead, working on BULLET at MSparc, where different samples will be tested for corrosion resistance.

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 Nuclear Engineering with a focus on using Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics for fuel performance modelling. Her project is funded by the National Nuclear Laboratory and OPERA HPC.

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.

Bright Madinka Mweetwa

Bright is a PhD student (Nuclear Engineering) in Reactor Design and Thermal Hydraulics with a focus on Small Modular Reactor physics.

Harvey Plows

Harvey obtained an integrated master’s degree in physics, with a focus on nuclear technology, at Nottingham Trent University in 2021. After this, Harvey joined Bangor University having secured funding for a PhD through the Draper's Company Scholarship and the EPSRC’s Nuclear Energy Futures CDT. His PhD work shall focus on developing instruments and experiments for the THOR facility.

Archana Prasad

Archana joined the NFI in September 2023 as a PhD student in the Reactor Design and Thermal Hydraulics group. Her project is primarily focused on investigating Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) effects on the heat transfer properties of molten lead. This project in collaboration with UKAEA is  to be conducted on BULLET. 

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.

Masters Students

Lewis Dixon

Lewis has completed a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in Computer Science. He is working on a KESSS2 Funded Masters partnered with EDF Energy. His maters looks into the relationship between high burnup fuel, and its susceptibility to fragment and pulverize under accident conditions in PWR's.

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).

Administrative Staff

Iain Lettice

Iain started work at Bangor University in March 2023 as a Senior Clerical Officer for the School of Ocean Sciences. He transferred from Ocean Sciences to work full time at the Nuclear Futures Institute in February 2024.

Brian Murcutt

Brian Murcutt

Brian is the Operational Manager for the Nuclear Futures Institute. After having worked in the university since 1988, he has joined to share his expertise, and to liaison with staff around all operations.

Emily Robinson

Emily studied art and graduated from the University of Arts London in 2018, she is a Welsh speaker and local to the Bangor area. Her primary duties as a clerical officer are to assist the NFI in their daily activities and offer support for students and staff.

Technical and Support Staff

Dr. Charlotte Baxter

Charlotte is the Chief Technician of the Nuclear Futures Institute, with responsibility over the THOR and BULLET facilities. Charlotte completed her PhD in Chemistry in 2017 at Bangor University and has 6 years’ experience working with soluble glass materials in the animal health industry. Charlotte is a fluent Welsh speaker and is local to the area. Charlotte plays an active role in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s North Wales Local Section committee and has experience in numerous chemistry outreach activities.

Eddie O'Carroll

Eddie joined the NFI in February 2024 in the role of Nuclear Fusion Materials Technician. His work at the NFI is centred around assisting academics and PhD students in projects working with liquid metals, primarily lithium, in relation to nuclear fusion research.

Iwan Vaughan Hughes

Iwan joined the NFI in January 2024 as an NNL sponsored degree apprentice. His background is in mechanical engineering, having experience working with diesel and steam locomotives as well as the design, manufacture, and installation of clean water systems for commercial aquariums.

Alex Malone

Alex has a Masters Degree in Advanced Computer Science (MSC), graduating from Bangor University in the winter of 2022. He is a Computer-based Research Technician providing support in research computing to the NFI.

Dr. John Thomas Prabhakar

John is the Chief Technician of the Nuclear Futures Institute. He has successfully built complex systems operating under ultra-high vacuum with samples at elevated temperatures as well as instruments operating at cryogenic conditions.

David Williams

David is the Senior Lab technician within the Nuclear Futures Bangor team. David completed his MChem in 2016 at Bangor University and has a background of 4 years within the chemical industry. He is a Welsh speaker who grew up around the Bangor area.