National Nuclear Laboratory


Friday 10 June 2016

Royal Honour for Former NNL Chief Scientist Graham Fairhall

NNL’s former Chief Scientist, Professor Graham Fairhall, was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list published on 10 June 2016. The award is “For services to UK Nuclear Energy Research and Development”.

Graham Fairhall.jpg

Graham retired from NNL in March 2015, following a long and illustrious career with NNL and its predecessor organisations. He joined BNFL (NNL’s former parent company) in 1979 and spent his entire career working in R&D and technical roles in the civil nuclear sector. In his Chief Scientist role at NNL he was responsible for the longer term science and technical strategy for programmes covering the breadth of the nuclear fuel cycle as well as external technical collaborations in the UK and internationally. He had extensive international links with other National Laboratories and Universities and sat on many national and international committees covering nuclear R&D.

In the latter years of his NNL career, Graham played a central role in re-positioning both NNL and the wider nuclear research agenda, culminating in the Nuclear Industrial Strategy in 2013 and the more recent announcement of a substantial programme of Government funding for nuclear research work.  Graham is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Chartered Engineer and held a role as Visiting Professor at The University of Manchester in the Dalton Nuclear Institute.

Graham commented:

“I am greatly honoured to receive this award. I’m also extremely pleased to see recognition of the important role which R&D has played underpinning the nuclear sector in the past, which it will continue to play in the future.  There are many outstanding people in the nuclear industry and I have been very fortunate to have worked with a good number of them over my long career. I would like to acknowledge their support and in particular that of my NNL colleagues over the past few years.”

NNL’s Managing Director, Prof Paul Howarth, said:

“I know that everyone in NNL will join me in congratulating Graham on this honour which is very well-deserved. His contribution to the industry was tremendous, based on his exceptional technical knowledge of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. He played a big part in helping to develop and optimise much of the technology we see across the industry today.”