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General Trustee: Dr Peter Thompson FREng CEng FInstP FRSC

Term of office: October 2022-September 2026


A headshot of Institute of Physics Council member Dr Peter Thompson smiling

Peter is Chief Executive of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s national metrology institute (NMI), widely regarded as one of the leading NMIs in the world.

Peter joined NPL as CEO in 2015 and has overseen the laboratory’s development and growth in recent years aligned to the UK’s National Challenges. This has included providing strategic leadership and oversight of NPL-led programmes including the Cancer Research UK Rosetta Cancer Grand Challenge, the National Timing Centre programme, the Quantum Programme, the Measurement for Recovery programme and the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Initiative.

He holds a number of international advisory positions, including on the International Advisory Board of the National Institute of Metrology of China, as well as advising nationally on areas such as the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Peter brings a passion for diversity and inclusion in science and engineering and a focus on maximising impact for end users. His previous roles include strategic advisor to the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief Scientific Adviser, Board Member and Deputy Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and Head of the Counter-Terrorism, Science and Technology Centre, MoD.

Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the recipient of two MoD Chief Scientific Advisor Commendations and the US National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation.