New appointments to manage delivery of prototype fusion power plants

UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kaveh Pourteymour, Julie Nerney and Dr Luc Bardin as non-executive directors to its Board to support the development of a prototype fusion power plant in the UK.

STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) will be built at West Burton, a former coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire, and aims to demonstrate the feasibility of net energy from fusion, and pave the way for the commercialisation of fusion energy.

These strategic appointments follow the launch of a multi-stage competition to find industry partners – one from the engineering sector and one from the construction sector – to form a public-private alliance led by UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), to deliver the STEP programme.

Professor David Gann, Chairman of UK Industrial Fusion Solutions, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kaveh, Julie and Luc to our Board, alongside Charlotte Valeur and other executive and non-executive members. Their strategic insights will be invaluable as we navigate the delivery of new technology to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of this evolving industry.”

Kaveh is currently Managing Director – Head of Business Partnerships and Projects at global mining group Rio Tinto and joins the UKIFS Board as a digital transformation leader with over 30 years of experience in energy, utilities and manufacturing, as well as complex systems engineering and digital modelling. Throughout his career, Kaveh has successfully implemented cutting-edge solutions to drive business performance delivered through operating models that have diversity and inclusion at their heart.

Julie has been driving significant and sustainable change within organisations for over 30 years, in senior and board roles, having experienced every stage of the organisational lifecycle. She has delivered high profile and complex programmes including the transport lead for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and was appointed a Non-Executive Director of the High Court in February 2023.

Dr Luc Bardin, currently a Non-Executive Director on the UKAEA Group Board, joins on a short-term basis to assist with the transition from UKAEA to UKIFS, where his world-renowned experience in organisational development and strategic partnerships will prove extremely valuable.

Jamie Stapleton will also join the UKIFS Board as an advisor to the Board. Jamie is currently Vice President, Digital Innovation and Synergies at Hitachi Energy.

The new appointments join another independent non-executive director, Charlotte Valeur, an investment banker and an experienced FTSE Chair and non-executive director. Her long board experience spans a range of sectors and industries and includes IPOs, M&A and restructuring. She is an internationally recognised authority and professor on corporate governance and leadership and the author of Effective Directors, Questions to Ask.

UKIFS will be responsible for delivering STEP from the end of this year. The programme aims to create future opportunities for suppliers, from whole plant integrators to critical systems manufacturers, who can design and deliver future plants across the world, while also delivering benefits to communities surrounding West Burton.

Fusion can be seen as the opposite of fission – combining lighter atoms rather than splitting heavier ones. It relies on the same processes that power the sun and stars, and has the potential to provide safe, sustainable, low-carbon energy for generations to come.

For more information about the STEP programme, please visit:

Julia Nerney

Kaveh Pourteymour


Role Name
Chair Professor David Gann CBE
UKIFS CEO and Senior Owner responsible for STEP Paul Methven CB
UKAEA Group CEO Professor Sir Ian Chapman
Non-executive director Professor Charlotte Valour
Non-executive director John Stapleton
Non-executive director Julia Nerney
Non-executive director Kaveh Pourteymour
Non-Executive Director UKAEA Dr. Luc Bardin
Management consultant Jamie Stapleton