So who works in fusion energy then?

Hi everyone Wave

As you may have noticed, fusion energy development is gaining momentum and there's been significant investment by the private sector for a few years now. The UK leads the way in fusion energy research and the UK government seems to be making fusion energy a key focus with significant investment, such as the STEP project. Amongst all the professional engineering institutions, the IET is the most natural home for the professional hub of "fusioneering" because most fusion energy devices are fundamentally electrical machines. I think the IET should be leading the way in furthering the engineering aspects of fusion energy, however first we need to organise ourselves and understand who our members are and where our expertise is. We don't have a "fusion energy technical network", so the most natural home for us for now is the Nuclear Engineering Technical Network  Nuclear engineering, which I am part of.

So, who amongst us also works in fusion energy, like me?


Will Slight smile

  • Hi Will,

    I work in fusion as the Control Systems Lead on the UKAEA STEP Programme. I transferred over from Fission in 2019 at which time I was working as the (nuclear) Software Assurance lead for Hitachi's BWR programme (working for Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe). I think up until recently the fusion community has mostly consisted of scientist and engineers with a scientific background/origins (although of course, we call all be said to fundamentally have a scientific background). But, as you say, that is changing now with a drive towards delivering commercially viable machines and the goal of fusion energy!

    I look forward to speaking with you and others like ourselves who are turning our talents to the problems (and opportunities) of fusion engineering


  • Hi Terry,

    Thank you for joining us and for introducing yourself! Great to have someone from with a background in power plants working on STEP. I'm sure there are plenty of other IET members with you at UKAEA so please encourage them to join in with the IET's conversations on fusion.

    Cheers Slight smile

  • I guess people installing PV could say they're in fusion energy Wink

    The Institute of Physics might be a good place to find more fusion-based engineers while the tech is in its infancy.

  • Hi Dman, well yes you could! Not exactly what I had in mind though Wink

    As for IoP, I think you're right that historically this would be where the bulk of people working on the technical aspects of fusion energy would be found, however now, in the UK at least, I think there are a lot more engineers than scientists. In the context of my post though, I'm not interested in finding out what other institutions might have a hub of fusioneers, rather I'd like to start highlighting how IET members are working on fusion energy.

    Cheers Slight smile

  • I'm working on robotics for fusion energy. There are definitely a large number of engineers working on fusion in the UK and internationally.

  • Hi Rob!

    Thanks for replying and joining the discussion, great to hear from you. I heard your name from my IET colleague Barry Brooks who I believe you met recently at CCFE. I gather you're quite an active IET member?



  • Hi Will, yes fairly active, I've just joined the Robotics and Mechatronics TC and keen to contribute. Yes, Barry has been very helpful! Happy to discuss what we can do to support engineers working in fusion.