2021 Phillips Award: Heather M Beaumont

For her exemplary leadership of the Nuclear Industry Group over the last five years and sustained collaboration with a number of international, national and regional Institute of Physics activities.


Heather M Beaumont 2021 IOP Phillips Award winner

Under Heather M Beaumont’s leadership, the Institute of Physics (IOP) Nuclear Industry Group has become a vibrant community that has significantly increased its engaged audience, enhanced the IOP’s impact through supporting a number of public consultations and hosted an international Topical Research Meeting in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beaumont shifted the events programme to online webinars to keep the community connected and engaged in the discipline. This included a joint group webinar series on women physicists in the nuclear industry, and advanced modular reactors; both of which significantly improved levels of engagement and public dialogue.

Beaumont has played a crucial role in supporting the IOP’s impact agenda by coordinating inputs from across industry and academia to support the IOP’s working group on Euratom in response to Brexit (2019) as well as supporting the IOP’s submission to the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-committee inquiry into Brexit and energy security (2017).

Both contributions have highlighted the value of representing members’ views and driving focus and attention towards matters of importance to the physics community within the nuclear industry.

During her tenure as chair, she oversaw a successful Topical Research Meeting which attracted international participants and speakers.

The international conference was delivered in collaboration with the IAEA and celebrated the success of physics-based research in driving innovation and value across the nuclear industry. This event was considered a success for the IOP and the nuclear sector.

As well as leading the IOP Nuclear Industry Group, Beaumont has played a key role in the wider IOP. She has helped shape the inaugural Physics in the Spotlight event and supported the formation of the Group Officers Forum Steering Committee. She has also supported a range of local and regional activities and committees including the Manchester and District Branch and the Women in Physics Group.

She also maintains a role as an IOP Chartership panel member.

Beaumont was an undergraduate student at the University of Liverpool, and after graduating, began a career within a technical consultancy business in the nuclear sector. She is now head of profession for physics, waste and environment at Jacobs, and responsible for managing functional capability within the physics discipline.