Professor Ian Chapman has been chosen to head the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). At 34 he is among the youngest chief executives to head a major research agency.
He will replace Professor Steve Cowley at the beginning of October.
Chapman’s role includes leading the UK’s magnetic confinement fusion research programme at the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire.
Culham is home to the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) Upgrade experiment, and the Joint European Torus (JET). These are fusion energy experiments that complement a larger international experiment in fusion power at the Iter facility in France.
“Whilst I am young, I am also experienced. I hope my profile means that fusion, and its huge potential to give the world cleaner energy, will get noticed. Furthermore, I hope my appointment will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to make a success of Iter, the international fusion project which in my opinion is the most important experiment mankind has ever done,” said Chapman.
“Steve Cowley leaves a tremendous legacy – exciting plans for JET, the genuinely unique MAST Upgrade nearing completion and the vibrant new Materials Research Facility, RACE robotics centre and Oxford Advanced Skills programmes here at Culham. I am determined to push on with the great work he started,” he added.