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Dame Sue Ion

News story

Nuclear power expert who champions women in science to deliver free talk at Edge Hill

April 9, 2024

AN internationally-recognised expert in nuclear energy that is credited with influencing Government policy will deliver a free talk at Edge Hill University next week.

Dame Sue Ion – an Honorary Doctor of Science at Edge Hill – has been a prominent figure in the UK nuclear industry for decades and was made a Dame in 2022 for her services to science and engineering.

The talk, which takes place on Thursday 18 April and is open to the public, will focus on Dame Sue’s career path, the challenges she faced to achieve success and how she continues to serve as an outstanding role model and a champion of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

After studying at Imperial College London, Dame Sue was hired as a technical officer at British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) in 1979 and was one of only two females working for the company.

She is a huge advocate of encouraging woman to pursue careers in science and engineering and once said: “I just want to get across that it is possible to have a really exciting career and say to young girls, for goodness sake, don’t drop science.”

Her career also included a 14-year tenure as director of research and technology at BNFL, the most senior technical role in the company.

She led a team of over 1,000 scientists and engineers delivering innovative solutions with annual investments exceeding £100million.

Dame Sue is credited with persuading Tony Blair to change Labour’s official government policy on nuclear power and she also advised Gordon Brown on energy policies.

She was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s most prestigious accolade – the President’s Medal.

Celebrating 90 years at our Ormskirk campus

Dame Sue’s talk is part of a programme of celebration events to mark 90 years of Edge Hill University at the award-winning Ormskirk campus.

Edge Hill’s commitment to STEM has been underlined by the construction of a £17.4m state-of-art Life Sciences building, which will support both research and teaching at the University.

It will significantly advance the University’s capabilities in biomedical research, with work being done in areas such as cancer, neurobiology, genetic skin conditions and ageing.

The Department of Engineering also holds the Athena Swan Bronze Award, a recognition of commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

To find out more about courses at Edge Hill, go to:

In Conversation With Dame Sue Ion takes place on Thursday 18 April 2024, 12pm – 1.30pm. To book a place go to:

April 9, 2024


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