Professor Mike Burke will lead teams based at the NAMRC’s headquarters, under construction on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley, and at Manchester University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, where he is currently based.
Professor Burke studied for his PhD at Sheffield University, winning the Brunton Medal for Metallurgical Research in the process.
He spent the next three decades in the US, working for Westinghouse and Siemens on industrial research for nuclear and fossil fuel applications, culminating in managing nuclear power plant developer Westinghouse’s Materials Center of Excellence in the USA.
At Westinghouse he has been involved In research into how material processing affects long-term performance in reactors, particularly with regards to stress corrosion cracking and fracture toughness.
Prof Burke said: “Joining the Nuclear AMRC is an exciting challenge, and an opportunity to be involved with something that’s going to make great progress in industry and in the field of materials research.
“It’s intellectually stimulating and, for me, it’s a chance to come back to the UK and work in Manchester and Sheffield.”
Prof Burke believes there are major opportunities for UK companies to become part of the civil nuclear supply chain, but says they must be prepared to compete against established suppliers.
“Through the Nuclear AMRC, we can provide that support, not just for the first set of nuclear plants but for the future. Bring your questions to us,” he said.
Sheffield University professor Keith Ridgeway, who is programme director for the Nuclear AMRC and director of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said: “We are delighted to have Mike joining us. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the nuclear industry and he will be a great asset to the team.”