Three new members will join the IOP’s Council

21 July 2015

Three new members will be joining the Institute’s Council in October, having been elected in a ballot of the IOP’s membership.

Three new members will join the IOP’s Council
L-R: Deborah Phelps, Sarah Thompson, Neil Thomson

There were two candidates in the election for vice-president, science and innovation, and Prof. Sarah Thompson was elected. There were eight candidates for the two vacancies for ordinary members on Council, and Deborah Phelps and Neil Thomson were elected. Each will serve for four years from 1 October.

Prof. Sarah Thompson has been head of the Department of Physics at the University of York for four years and her research is in magnetism, which has included non-destructive testing and magnetic recording. She served on the Materials Science and then the Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Teams of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a total of nine years. She delivered the BA Kelvin Lecture, a Royal Society Summer Exhibition and won an IOP Award for the Public Awareness of Physics She was chair of the IOP’s Yorkshire Branch for four years, during which time she established the World of Physics schools event. She has also served two terms on the IOP’s Magnetism Group.

Deborah Phelps is an industrial scientist with more than 10 years’ experience in the energy, medical, and aerospace sectors. Since 2013, in her role as a safety and reliability engineer for Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, she has been helping to certify new jet engines by carrying out numerical risk assessments and failure mode analyses. For the IOP, she has organised eight Physics in the Field events, during which she trained more than 30 volunteer physicists. In 2011 she was elected to the Midlands branch committee as outreach coordinator, and in 2012 was voted in as East Midlands Branch secretary, becoming involved in numerous initiatives to grow the branch. She also founded a small committee with the aim of relaunching the Loughborough centre, which will go ahead later this year.

Neil Thomson graduated from the University of Durham with a first-class honours degree in physics and the Chalmers Memorial Prize in Physics. Subsequently he joined the Central Electricity Generating Board as a research officer specialising in the development of inspection techniques for Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor and Pressurised Water Reactor plant. He has recently been appointed senior technical adviser in EDF-Energy Generation after spending seven years as head R&D and head of engineering. He has more than 35 years of power generation experience, holding senior technical and operational positions. He is a member of the Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board and the IOP’s Nuclear Industry Group. He has recently been appointed vice president to the board of trustees of the Nuclear Institute.