Prestigious honour for UCLan Board member and proud Prestonian

Prestigious honour for UCLan Board member and proud Prestonian Banner Image

Dame Sue Ion becomes an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics

A member of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Board of Governors has joined the list of esteemed physicists to have received the highest honour that the Institute of Physics (IOP) can bestow.

Dame Sue Ion 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’. 

Sue joins the list of other Honorary Fellows that includes Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Peter Higgs and Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Our Honorary Fellows represent an extraordinary group of physicists, to whom we all owe an enormous debt of gratitude. Each and every one of them has made a positive difference to our understanding of physics

In addition to her role on the UCLan 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 tremendous contribution to science and engineering.

Commenting on the IOP award she 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.” 

Congratulating this year’s new Honorary Fellows, which also included Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor Ian Munro and last year’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Donna Strickland, Institute of Physics President, Dame Julia Higgins, said: “Our Honorary Fellows represent an extraordinary group of physicists, to whom we all owe an enormous debt of gratitude.

“Each and every one of them has made a positive difference to our understanding of physics, enhanced our everyday lives through research and become a beacon for the next generation of physicists.

“On behalf of the IOP, I warmly congratulate all of them.” 

Sue was educated at Penwortham Girls Grammar School and lives in Leyland, Lancashire. She is pictured delivering a speech at the recent opening of UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Centre.

Chris Theobald | 21 November 2019