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Culture, history and society

2020 Clifford Paterson Medal and Prize

Kirk Duroe for the production and delivery of expert technical advice to the government to facilitate improved understanding of performance and operational benefits to be derived from planned upgrades to UK radiation portals.


Kirk Duroe 2020 Clifford Paterson Medal and Prize winner

Kirk Duroe is an outstanding contributor to UK nuclear threat reduction scientific research and development, directly supporting the UK Home Office CONTEST strategy.

His work has enabled UK government decision-makers to implement improvements to the national radiation portal monitoring capability and has fed into strategic planning for future capability.

Since joining the Atomic Weapons Establishment as a physics graduate in 2011, Duroe has established himself as a technical subject-matter expert in the detection of radiological and nuclear materials, leading a wide range of assessment activities to drive the application of technology to combat illicit trafficking of such materials and the detection of materials out of regulatory control.

Through Monte Carlo-based modelling assessments, he has conducted research into several aspects of radiation detection, assessing a range of detector materials, geometries and data analysis techniques.

The modelling data has been consistently validated using a series of controlled laboratory experiments and forms a key basis for the future optimisation of radiation detection for security applications.

For detectors which are currently deployed and future capability, he has led much of the scientific analysis of the detection performance, leading to key improvements in national capability.

This work has been recognised and shared with several US laboratories working in Department of Homeland Security programmes.

In the specific area of isotope analysis, he is one of the company-accredited experts in this field and is a key part of the capability to assess and identify unknown radioactive materials from their radiation emission spectra.

Duroe was the technical lead for several significant trials where he applied a rigorous approach to meet or exceed international standards in radiation detection requirements for portal monitoring systems.

Within these trials he has undertaken the design and set-up of multiple data acquisition systems to enable data fusion across several different detector systems with complex timing intervals.

He has also worked closely with UK government policymakers, industry suppliers and end-users to optimise the field deployment of equipment.

Duroe’s style of communication always bridges the gap between science and operations and energises stakeholders to achieve a common goal.

He has a strong capacity to analyse complex data and technology and articulate recommendations in a clear and concise manner.