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The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has announced two senior appointments to its Materials Division.

Former Rolls Royce Global Chief of Materials Testing, Barry Ward, has been appointed as Head of the Division’s Materials Research Facility (MRF) and Dr Amy Gandy joins from the University of Sheffield as Head of Programme, Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Division.

These key appointments reflect one of UKAEA’s aims of developing and delivering materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and neutron loads required by future fusion energy powerplants.

Barry has almost 30 years’ experience in materials engineering with 15 spent working in the aerospace sector. He was previously Technical Director (Aerospace Europe) at Element Materials Technology and has a deep familiarity with work protocols with highly regulated quality requirements. Throughout his career he has covered the full materials lifecycle journey from initial research through to the generation of design data to impact manufacturing changes.

Amy has a PhD in Physics and Materials Science, and was previously Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Materials Engineering and Head of Taught Courses in the Department of Engineering, at the University of Sheffield. She’s been the recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in Understanding Radiation Damage Mechanisms in Compositionally Complex Alloys and was the Henry Royce Technology Platform Lead in Advanced Characterisation to Understand Radiation Damage in Materials, at the University of Sheffield.

Dr Amanda Quadling, UKAEA’s Director of Materials Research, commented: “The Materials Research Facility is a £50m taxpayer investment that requires strong operational leadership towards fusion materials databases for fusion design engineers to lean on. Barry has extensive experience in the development of data to underpin new product assurance for extreme environments.

The Materials Research Programme at UKAEA is intent on not only understanding neutron damage to materials in fusion, but also generating solutions. Amy’s in-depth knowledge of irradiation damage but also her experience in new materials development are the right combination of skills to take forward our plans to support STEP supply chain in the coming decade.”

UKAEA’s latest appointments follow the completion of a £10m extension to the MRF, which has doubled its size, and installed almost £8m of new analytical equipment over the past 24 months, funded by the National Nuclear Users Facility (NNUF).

The MRF enables industrial and academic researchers to analyse the effects of irradiation on materials, offering convenient access for users from fusion, fission and other research programmes.

For further information, visit:

Barry Ward, Head of Materials Research Facility, UKAEA

Amy Gandy, Head of Programme, Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Division, UKAEA

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