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AWE’s Chief Scientist Professor Peter Roberts has received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Peter has been recognised for his outstanding work at AWE over a career spanning more than 40 years, across the fields of plasma physics, nuclear safety and research development.
After learning of his achievement, Peter said: “This is a great honour, and I’m also really pleased that our contribution at AWE is recognised and appreciated in this way.
“I’m also grateful to those who nominated me and those who supported it through the approvals process in MOD and the government.”
Peter is currently AWE’s Chief Scientist, a role he took up in December after impressing colleagues and senior managers alike as Head of Plasma Physics, where he led the commissioning of Orion, the replacement facility for the HELEN laser.
He said: “When I first joined AWE I had no expectation that one day I would get to be the Chief Scientist. It’s a great role and I am pleased that my contribution, together with that of my colleagues, has helped to deliver AWE’s strategy.”
Another recent, prestigious accolade came in 2010 when Peter was awarded the Glazebrook medal by the Institute of Physics for his outstanding leadership in the design, physics and safety of nuclear weapons.
The award is made annually to reward leadership in a physics context, for example, in a national laboratory or large facility environment.
Peter first joined AWE in October 1970, after completing a PhD in Theoretical Physics at London University, “It was the variety and quality of science that first attracted me to AWE and has kept me here ever since,” he said.
Peter’s first role was in the design mathematics department where he was involved with design aspects of the UK underground test programme from the mid-1970s and also the use of lasers to study weapon physics. In 1981 he was promoted to individual merit scientist and in 1984 he became superintendent of physics design.
Following this, in 1988, Peter was promoted to head of design mathematics, with responsibility for the underground test programme, warhead physics design, code development and material property data.
His career has included stints at the Ministry of Defence where he advised on technical aspects to inform defence policy, and time in AWE’s manufacturing directorate, looking at improvements to the design to manufacture process for the warhead.
He said: “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with many dedicated and high quality people in an environment which provides a unique opportunity to contribute to science and technology on a national scale.
Notes to Editors
1. AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent
2. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.
3. For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888.