Dr. Fiona Rayment OBE FREng CChem FRSC FNucl


Fiona Rayment OBE Dec 17

Board / Advisory positions

  • Nuclear Skills Strategy Group
  • The Nuclear Institute Board
  • Research Council UK Fusion Advisory Panel
  • Office for Nuclear Regulation Advisory Committee
  • The American Nuclear Society International Committee
  • Idaho National Laboratory's Nuclear Science and Technology Advisory Committee

Dr Fiona Rayment, OBE FREng CChem CEng FRSC FNucl 

Dr Fiona Rayment OBE has been a Fellow of the Nuclear Institute since 2014 and is an excellent example of nuclear professionalism at its very best. As an internationally recognised Subject Matter Expert, Fiona is a nuclear professional at the top of her game.

She is Executive Director of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office (NIRO), a division of NNL. NIRO is charged with providing strategic nuclear advice to HM Government. 

Her impressive career spans three decades in the UK and overseas. Her impact on the industry has been such that she was awarded the OBE in 2017 in recognition of her services to nuclear innovation and research.

In addition to and alongside her role with NIRO, Fiona also contributes to a quite astonishing array of organisations, holding Board positions across the industry and participating regularly in international nuclear conferences, the media and parliamentary committees and consultations.

As Chair of the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), she is influential in driving major developments in the sector. The NSSG is a key feature of a new UK wide partnership approach on skills with membership including the government and nuclear employers. It will address skills infrastructure and the training needed to secure the supply of qualified and competent people for the industry.

Route into nuclear

A chartered Chemist by background, Fiona believes she was destined to eventually join the nuclear industry. She first expressed an interest in 1988 during her time as an undergraduate at the University of Strathclyde, where she achieved her BSc (Honours) in Chemistry and her PhD in the same subject.

“My interest in nuclear stemmed from an interest in clean energy and the work being done in nuclear medicine for cancer therapy,” she said.

“Following my PhD I knew that I wanted to join the industry and succeeded in securing a research role at BNFL. I have never looked back since.” 

Her first decade at BNFL saw her achieve success in various technical and commercial roles. Fiona saw BNFL Research and Technology develop first into Nexia Solutions and then NNL in 2008. A couple of years earlier, in 2006, she had been appointed Head of Technology before taking up the role of Director of Fuel Cycle Solutions in 2011. She became Executive Director of NIRO in 2017. 

Nuclear professionalism

Achieving professional status was always a prized goal for Fiona and she is a Chartered Chemist and Engineer. “From the start of my career I was interested in professional accreditation,” she said. 

“The nuclear industry has its own unique requirements, which are expressed in the Nuclear Institute’s standard, the Nuclear Delta. It was important for me to gain recognition, both as a Chemist and Nuclear Professional. I was keen to progress right to the top of my profession.” 

Fiona certainly did this as she moved from professional membership with the Royal Society of Chemistry and Nuclear Institute to achieve Fellowships with both. She also holds an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Always enthusiastic for professional development, Fiona has excellent advice for others in the industry.

“Make the achievement of professional status a clear goal in your development plan,” she said. “Within the nuclear industry, professional recognition is a highly valued achievement and signifies personal investment and commitment to the standards and values of the industry.”

“A nuclear professional at the top of her game”

Supporting employee development

Both NIRO and NNL also support the drive for professional recognition for employees at all levels. As part of career development, NNL encourages professional membership through to Fellowship. NNL piloted the Nuclear Institute’s new Company Membership Scheme in 2017.

Liane White, NNL’s Talent and Development Director said: “Professional recognition through the Nuclear Institute is a key part of our approach to developing employees and encouraging pride and responsibility in becoming a nuclear professional.”