Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
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Ian Funnell appointed as new Chair of the National Nuclear Laboratory

Ian Funnell succeeds Sir Andrew Mathews as Chair of the National Nuclear Laboratory from 26 January 2022.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that Ian Funnell has been appointed as the organisation’s new Chair, succeeding Sir Andrew Mathews, whose second term as Chair ends on 25 January 2022.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said:

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) plays a key role in the UK and global nuclear industry. It provides the technical knowledge and capability to ensure that the country’s civil nuclear energy programmes are delivered safely and in a cost-effective way.

I am delighted by Ian’s appointment as the new Chair of NNL. Ian is ideally suited to provide NNL with the leadership to build its capabilities and deliver on its mission.

I would also like to thank Sir Andrew Mathews for his 8 years of service (including 6 as Chair) to NNL and all the work he has done during his tenure to transform NNL into the organisation it is today.

Ian Funnell said:

I am honoured to accept this role. I have been fortunate to work in some very innovative companies in the UK and internationally, in sectors such as energy, automation, engineering and digital.

I will use that experience to support NNL’s work as it deals with some of the world’s most complex challenges. It is an organisation with a clear vision and strong strategy. I relish the chance to take its mission forward.

Sir Andrew Mathews said:

It has been both a great privilege and a joy to be the Chair of the NNL for the last 6 years and to have spent nearly 8 years on the board. I am delighted that I leave the business in such safe hands, and wish Ian well as he helps to take forward NNL’s new and exciting strategy; harnessing Nuclear Science to Benefit Society with a focus on clean energy, medical and health, environmental restoration and security. I will miss working with such a strong team and a hugely talented group of people and wish them every success in the future.

Paul Howarth, NNL CEO, said:

I’m delighted that Ian is joining NNL as Chair. This is a really exciting time for the organisation and I believe that Ian’s experience will be invaluable in helping NNL as it looks to fulfil its purpose. I’d also like to recognise Sir Andrew’s contribution and thank him for the role he has played during his involvement with NNL over 8 years. I’ve very much enjoyed working with Sir Andrew. He’s helped enormously to shape the organisation and support myself, and the whole of NNL, on this journey.

Ian Funnell is currently Chief Executive Officer for Hitachi Energy UK Limited, for the UK and Ireland businesses. Ian spent nearly 2 decades at ABB in a number of different roles, including 5 years as Chief Executive Officer of ABB UK Ltd.

Ian is also a mentor for the global high potential female talent programme and an Ambassador for the Women’s Leadership Association – indicators of his demonstrably strong commitment to sponsoring diversity and inclusion.

He has extensive experience in a non-executive capacity, and is currently Chair, CBI North West Region; Commissioner, Covid Recovery Commission; Board Member, Energy Revolution Advisory Group, Innovate UK; and Board Member, Energy Futures Lab, Imperial College.

He is a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

NNL is the UK’s national laboratory responsible for nuclear fission R&D and occupies a unique position in the nuclear innovation environment, taking science from inactive laboratory-scale demonstration to prototype deployment with real nuclear materials. It is the custodian of unique world-leading nuclear skills, facilities and equipment vital to the UK and aims to support policy and provide long term sustainable value for the UK in 4 Focus Areas:

  • Clean Energy
  • Environmental Restoration
  • Health and Nuclear Medicine
  • Nuclear Security and Non-Proliferation

Ian Funnell’s term is 26 January 2022 to 25 January 2025.

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