New Honorary Professors join Manchester's nuclear waste expertise

Two new Honorary Professor appointments have been announced that will enhance Manchester's already leading expertise in radioactively contaminated land management and radioactive waste disposal. 

Drs Carolyn Pearce and Simon Norris have been appointed by the University's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Working with both the Department and the University's Dalton Nuclear Institute, these appointments will provide exciting new opportunities for exchange in both research and teaching of radioactively contaminated land and radioactive waste management and disposal. 

Dr Pearce is a Senior Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Director of the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) Energy Frontier Research Center. With her international leadership and expertise in fundamental molecular environmental science and environmental chemistry, Dr Pearce supports vital innovation in the management of radioactively contaminated environments and high radioactive level wastes. 

She said: "Both the US and the UK face challenges in safely and securely dealing with nuclear legacy waste. I am extremely appreciative of this Honorary Professor appointment and the opportunity it presents to collaborate on key technological and environmental research challenges that are critical for more efficient waste retrieval and processing at both the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and Sellafield Ltd." 

Dr Norris is Principal Research Manager at Radioactive Waste Management Ltd. He has a depth of experience in the radioactive waste disposal sector and an international standing in fundamental science and applications of geoscience, and gas and fluid migrations, to the improved understanding and long-term risk assessment of geodisposal of radioactive waste – the planned method of disposal for the UK's higher-activity radioactive waste. 

He said: "I'm delighted with and very grateful for the appointment, and look forward to working further with Manchester colleagues and students. The work we are jointly progressing is of national significance; we need to enhance the related geological disposal scientific knowledge base through continuing collaboration. If beneficial, I would additionally look forward to taking on lecturing and student industrial supervision opportunities." 

The University of Manchester's Professor Katherine Morris, BNFL Chair of Environmental Radioactivity and Director of Radioactive Waste Management's Research Support Office, said: "Both Carolyn and Simon bring a depth of understanding and a range of research capabilities within their respective specialisms which complement those available within the University, and which are in an area of high strategic importance. 

"The UK has more than 60 years' worth of accumulated radioactive wastes and finding robust ways to safely clean-up environmental contamination from legacy facilities and dispose of radioactive wastes is a key objective for researchers both here and around the world. 

"Manchester is a UK leader in nuclear environment and waste research, and hosts the Radioactive Waste Management's Research Support Office, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, to identify and develop vital research to underpin the safe management and disposal of radioactive wastes. 

"We are very pleased to welcome Carolyn and Simon – their appointment will allow us to extend strategic international links and research collaborations, and further enhance our teaching offer and research capability." 

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