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UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kaveh Pourteymour, Julie Nerney and Dr Luc Bardin as Non-Executive Directors to its Board in support of the delivery of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.  

STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) will be built at West Burton, a former coal-fired power station site in Nottinghamshire, and aims to demonstrate net energy from fusion alongside paving the way for the commercialisation of fusion energy.  

These strategic appointments follow the launch of a multi-stage competition to find industry partners – one in engineering and one in construction – to form a public-private alliance led by UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS), a wholly owned subsidiary of UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) Group, to deliver STEP.  

Professor David Gann, Chair of UK Industrial Fusion Solutions, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kaveh, Julie and Luc to our Board, together with Charlotte Valeur and our other executive and non-exec members. Their strategic insights will be invaluable as we navigate the delivery of a new technology to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of an emerging industry.”  

Kaveh is currently Managing Director – Head of Business Partnering and Projects for global mining group, Rio Tinto, and joins the UKIFS Board as a digital transformation leader with over 30 years’ experience spanning energy, utilities and manufacturing in addition to complex systems engineering and digital modelling. Throughout his career, Kaveh has successfully implemented cutting edge solutions to enhance business performance delivered through operating models that incorporated diversity and inclusion at their heart. 

Julie has been delivering impactful and sustainable change in organisations for over 30 years in roles that span c-suite and board level, experiencing every stage of the organisational life cycle. She has delivered high profile and complex programmes, including a leadership role in the transport operation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Supreme Court in February 2023.   

A current Non-Executive Director on the UKAEA Group Board, Dr Luc Bardin joins for a shorter period to help with the transition from UKAEA to UKIFS, where his world renowned expertise in organisational development and strategic partnering will be of immense value.  

The UKIFS Board will also be joined by Jamie Stapleton as Board Advisor. Jamie is currently VP Digital Innovation & Synergies at Hitachi Energy.  

The new appointments join fellow independent Non-Executive Director, Charlotte Valeur, an Investment Banker and experienced FTSE Chair and Non-Executive Director. Her long board-level experience spans a host of sectors and industries and covers IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring. She is a recognised international authority and professor in corporate governance and leadership, and author of ‘Effective Directors, Questions to Ask’. 

UKIFS will be responsible for the delivery of STEP from later this year. The programme aims to create future opportunities for suppliers ranging from whole plant integrators to critical system manufacturers that can design and deliver future plants worldwide in addition to benefitting the communities that surround West Burton.  

The fusion process can be thought of as the opposite of fission – combining lighter atoms rather than splitting heavier ones. It is based on the same processes that power the Sun and stars and has potential to provide safe, sustainable and low-carbon energy for generations to come. 

For further information about STEP, visit:  

Julie Nerney

Julie Nerney

Kaveh Pourteymour

Kaveh Pourteymour

UKIFS Board 

Professor David Gann CBE

Paul Methven CB
UKIFS Chief Executive Officer and Senior Responsible Owner for STEP  

Professor Sir Ian Chapman
UKAEA Group Chief Executive Officer 

Professor Charlotte Valour
Non-Executive Director

John Stapleton
Non-Executive Director 

Julie Nerney 
Non-Executive Director 

Kaveh Pourteymour
Non-Executive Director 

Dr Luc Bardin
Non-Executive Director UKAEA 

Jamie Stapleton
Board Advisor

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