Champion: Nuclear Materials
Martin O’Brien’s early career concentrated on research into wave heating and current drive in fusion plasmas, when he developed BANDIT-3D, then the leading code for modelling electron cyclotron wave heating of tokamaks.
From 1996-2011 he was Fusion Programme Manager, reporting to the Culham Director and leading many interactions with the UK Government and EURATOM. In 2001-2003 he managed for Culham the transition from direct Government funding to Research Council (EPSRC) funding of the UK fusion programme.
From 2003 to 2016 he was responsible for managing CCFE’s links to (over 20) universities, including training of over 40 PhD. students at any one time, and still leads on many university collaborations.
In 2011 he became Head of Theory & Modelling Department, which does materials as well as plasma research and runs many of the plasma codes for JET, and joint manager of the materials programme at CCFE. From 2013 he was project sponsor for the new £10M Materials Research Facility (MRF), completed in 2016 for use by universities, industry and CCFE for fission and fusion experiments, and now has overall responsibility for MRF including its £10M investment programme. In June 2016, he became Director of New Research Opportunities, retaining his programmatic and MRF roles, with added responsibilities for increasing non-fusion research income.
Martin’s external roles include membership of advisory panels for Oxford University and EPSRC, and of the National Nuclear User Facility steering committee.