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NI Cumbria celebrate nuclear research and development at day seminar and dinner

On Thursday 12th February members of Cumbria’s nuclear industry assembled at the Energus Centre in West Cumbria for a day seminar celebrating nuclear research and development and the Nuclear Institute Cumbria Branch’s 11th Annual Dinner.

The day event, entitled ‘A Celebration of Nuclear Research and Development’, was  co-organised by Innovus and Sellafield Ltd and included presentations by Professor Melanie Brownridge (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority), Dame Sue Ion and Richard Noble OBE.

The morning began with a poster session showcasing 30 different examples of research and development programmes that are underway in nuclear sector.

IMG 9953 day seminar stands
Participants enjoying the networking and stands at the NI Cumbria Branch’s Celebration of Nuclear Research and Development.

The talks then began with Professor Melanie Brownridge, of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Brownridge stressed the importance of research and development (R&D) in delivering cost effective and safe decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear facilities.

Dame Sue Ion also presented her hopes for the future of the UK’s nuclear industry and the key role that innovation and R&D must play in that future. She commended the day seminar for encouraging the sharing of R&D but emphasised that, for the industry to have a truly prosperous future, similar events should be held for the decision makers in London, in order to positively influence future nuclear policy.

The final talk of the day was given by Richard Noble OBE who recounted historical stories of the land speed record, including his own previous successes as both driver and project lead. He also told how his current project, Bloodhound SSC, has matured to the point where he hopes to secure a new land speed record later in 2015, before pushing to break the 1000mph barrier in 2016; a record that if achieved Richard feels will mark the limit of what current propulsion systems can achieve.

The Bloodhound project, Richard explained, has also stemmed into a unique STEM education programme where all data from the car is being made available to schools around the world. It is hoped this will create a lasting legacy.

Following the day event, the Energus Centre was transformed to stage the 11th Annual Cumbria Branch Dinner and extend the celebrations into the evening.

IMG 0041 Organising committee
The 2015 Nuclear Institute Cumbria Branch Dinner Organising Committee (from Left to Right) Jacqueline Bishop, Alexandrea McHugh, Joanah Macababbad, Mark Gardiner, Anna Mawson, Katy Ferguson.

The dinner was occasion for further speeches and awards. Speakers included Mary Bradley from Age UK Cumbria, who gave an impassioned speech about the charity’s work for the elderly in Cumbria; and Dr Adrian Simper, from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, who focused on the R&D theme from the day and its role in giving strength to the industry.

IMG 0001 Dinner guests
Dinner participants enjoying the evening’s speeches.

The activities for the evening where then rounded with the presentation of a series of the awards, the first four focusing on the successes from the day seminar were:

Best Idea Category (Presented by James Parkhouse from Capita)

  • Highly Commended - Lucideon for their work on Geopolymers
  • Winner - University of Manchester in partnership with Forth Engineering for  their Aqua Vehicle Explorer for In-Situ Sensing (AVEXIS)

IMG 0010 James Parkhouse Reiner Bonsmann and Sean Morgan
James Parkhouse (Capita) presents Reiner Bonsmann (Lucideon) and Sean Morgan (Sellafield Ltd) with a Highly Commended Award in the Best Idea Category for their work on Geopolymers.

Best Applied R&D Category (Presented by Michael Graham from Bechtel)

  • Highly Commended - The University of Bristol and Sellafield Ltd for their work on Mobile Radiation Mapping Capability
  • Winner - Graham Engineering Ltd for their Robotic Arm Mounted Measurement Technology demonstrator

IMG 0020 Michael Graham and John Jowsey
Michael Graham (Bechtel) presents John Jowsey on behalf of Graham Engineering Ltd & Sellafield Ltd with the Winner Award in the Best Applied R&D Category.

The final award of the evening was presented by Rebecca Weston on behalf of the Nuclear Institute to Donna Connor of Sellafield Ltd as confirming the NI and NSAN’s Endorsement of the Sellafield Ltd Technical Trainee Scheme.

IMG 0023 Rebecca Weston and Donna Connor
Nuclear Institute Trustee Rebecca Weston presents the NI/NSAN Endorsement of the Sellafield Ltd Technical Trainee Scheme to Donna Connor of Sellafield Ltd.

NI Cumbria Branch Chair Neil Crewdson also passed on his thanks to the day and evening event sponsors Sellafield Ltd (Day Seminar on R&D), Capita & Bechtel (Main Event Sponsors), National Nuclear Laboratory (Evening Entertainment Sponsor) and Northwest Projects (Evening Hospitality Sponsor) as well as the NI’s branch members involved with ensuring the programme during the last year was a success.

Find out more about NI Cumbria

Check out other NI regional events