Lancashire physicist granted high honour

Dame Sue Ion, who lives in Leyland and has ties to UCLan, has joined the ranks of physicists including Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Peter Higgs and Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell by earning the the highest honour that the Institute of Physics can bestow.

Sue has been conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the IoP ‘for her internationally recognised expertise in energy and energy policy and tireless advocacy of the safe and efficient use of nuclear power for a better world’.

In addition to her role on the UCLan governors board, Sue is a British engineer and an expert advisor on the nuclear power industry. She represents the UK on the world stage, as well as helping to shape long-term energy strategy at home.

She began her career at British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in 1979, acting as chief technology director from 1992 until 2006. She has chaired the EU Euratom Science and Technology Committee since 2010 and represents the UK on a number of international committees, as an expert on nuclear fuel manufacture and technology.

An expert on fuel recycling and on 'fourth generation reactors', which promise to be both safer and more efficient, Sue is the only non-US member of the US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee on which she has served since 2005.

In 2003, Sue was awarded an OBE for services to the nuclear industry. In 2010, she was made a Dame in recognition of her contribution to science and engineering.

When I review the list of those holding Honorary Fellowships I am truly humbled to be counted in their number.

Sue said: “When I review the list of those holding Honorary Fellowships from the Institute of Physics, all luminaries in their respective fields, I am truly humbled to be counted in their number.”

Dame Julia Higgins, president of the Institute of Physics, said: “Our Honorary Fellows represent an extraordinary group of physicists, to whom we all owe an enormous debt of gratitude."

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