News Archive


NI welcomes new Trustee and Chair of E&T Committee

On Thursday, June 4th, the Nuclear Institute welcomed John Robertson as the new Chair of NI’s Education and Training Committee. Mr. Robertson, who has also recently been appointed to the Nuclear Institute’s Board of Trustees, brings a wealth of experience to the role through both his past career as an educator with the Ministry of Defence and through his current role as Director of Education and Nuclear Skills with Engineering and Technology Training firm Gen2.

Speaking after the announcement, John said he hoped to see the NI at the forefront of efforts to develop a new wave of high quality nuclear professionals.

“I am delighted and honoured to be elected to the Board of Trustees of the Nuclear Institute and I am really looking forward to my new role as Chairman of the Education and Training Committee,” he began. “The UK is facing an unprecedented challenge in developing nuclear professionals to meet the demands of several large, simultaneous national nuclear projects: continued operation of the current nuclear fleet and associated fuel cycle activities, decommissioning and legacy waste management, plutonium disposition, nuclear defence and nuclear new build.

“The Education and Training Committee sits at the core of the NI’s purposes,” Mr. Robertson continued, “and I believe there is much that can be done to support the continuous professional development of our members, including better access to quality-assured educational and training resources and career development information. As an education and training professional, my objective will be to make the NI the natural source of such information, thus realising tangible and effective benefits of membership.”

Laying out his plans for his term as E&T chair, Mr. Robertson pinpointed collaboration and cooperation across the nuclear sector as a vital tool in meeting the demands facing the industry.

“While improving member benefits, I will need to balance our internal priorities with our equally important external commitments; that is, not only to improve nuclear education and training but also to promote a positive image of the nuclear sector to young people and the population as a whole. There is already a lot of good work being carried out in this area and I will be looking to develop partnerships with other agencies with similar purposes to our own so that we can present a rational, coherent and targeted approach.

“I look forward to the help and cooperation of all members of the committee, as well as the support of previous Chairs, to tackle this busy agenda and ensure we deliver on real improvements.”

Having joined the Ministry of Defence in 1984 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Nuclear Science and Technology (DNST), then based at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, John was involved in education and training in support of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme (NNPP). He lectured in nuclear and reactor physics, nuclear fuel cycle technologies, radiation protection and nuclear safety, and carried out research on behalf of the NNPP specialising in nuclear safety, reactor accident analyses and radiological environmental impact assessment. 

In 1991, following an exchange to the Royal Military College of Canada, Mr. Robertson was promoted to Principal Lecturer and the post of Manager of the Nuclear Physics Group and then to the post of Assistant Director in 1997. During this period, John served on a number of MoD committees involved in setting training and qualification standards and functional competence frameworks for the NNPP. He also managed a research group on nuclear safety, providing technical advice to a range of MoD authorities, including the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR).

Mr. Robertson joined Gen2 in May 2009 as Director of Education and Nuclear Skills. Gen2 is one of the largest private training providers serving the UK engineering and technology sectors and John is responsible for growing the company’s higher education and nuclear training portfolio. Since joining Gen2, John has developed a range of specialist training programmes for clients in the UK and overseas. Although mainly involved in business development, John continues to lecture in nuclear-related technology and holds appointments as honorary lecturer of the University of Manchester and the University of Cumbria.

Welcoming Mr Robertson, NI CEO John Warden said:

"The Institute is delighted to have an educationalist of John's calibre and nuclear experience as our new education lead.  Advancement of education relating to the nuclear sector is one of the NI's core objectives and we look forward to having John's leadership and knowledge to drive this forward.

The Institute would also like to record its sincerest gratitude to outgoing E&T chair Mark Lyons who is stepping down after two extremely fruitful and hard working years leading the committee. Mark has been responsible for a number of important successes including introducing NI to the Big Bang Careers Fair on both a regional and a national level, securing funding for the Nuclear Reactor Simulator hosted on the Institute’s website and a number of Arkwright scholarships for sixth-form students, and continuing the valuable partnership with the Nuclear Academic/Industry Liaison group in establishing a number of NI MSc Prizes. We are delighted that Mark will be continuing in his role as a Trustee and will continue to support the E&T Committee.''