Research Associate, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 748582
Research Topic: Research Associate on the EPSRC Funded Project “Sustainability and Proliferation Resistance Assessment of Open Cycle Thorium-Fuelled Nuclear Energy”
Research Interest Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Physics, Life-Cycle Assessment, Computational Modelling, Science Communication, Health Physics
Background Stephen F. Ashley, born in 1982 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, is a newly appointed Research Associate within the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Stephen completed his undergraduate studies at Staffordshire University and obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics in 2003. He then undertook his Ph.D. studies in nuclear structure physics, under the supervision of Professor P.H. Regan, at the University of Surrey and submitted and defended his thesis in 2007. His Ph.D. work centred round determining the lifetimes of excited nuclear states within the nanosecond to picosecond range.
In February 2007, Stephen worked as a temporary research scientist in the neutron metrology group at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK, and worked on characterising industrial neutron area survey meters. From March 2008, he was employed as a post-doctoral research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY, USA. During his time there, he assisted with experiments that utilised inelastic neutron scattering to probe the low-lying, low-spin excited states in atomic nuclei. He also helped with the characterisation novel neutron detectors. From September 2009, Stephen worked as a research scholar within the Institute of Nuclear Physics at NCSR Demokritos, Athens, Greece. His research focussed on nuclear structure measurements using low-energy proton and alpha beams and gamma-ray spectroscopy.
Stephen is now funded under an EPSRC grant entitled “Sustainability and Proliferation Resistance Assessment of Open Cycle Thorium-Fuelled Nuclear Energy” which will run until May 2013. His work will look into life-cycle analyses of components relating to extracting and using thorium fuel, reactor designs and fuel core and cycle simulations and undertake knowledge transfer exchange with the National Nuclear Laboratory, Risley UK, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai India. His interests also include the public engagement of science and technology, and has recently registered as a STEM ambassador.