Research director appointed

By 28 July 2011 Nuclear AMRC news

The Nuclear AMRC is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Mike Burke as Director of Research and Technology.

Burke has more than 30 years experience in materials and manufacturing process research for the power generation industry, most recently as manager of Westinghouse’s Materials Center of Excellence in Pennsylvania, USA.

In his new role, he leads collaborative industry-focused research across the Nuclear AMRC’s facilities in Sheffield and Manchester. He is based at the Nuclear AMRC laboratories within The University of Manchester Dalton Nuclear Institute.

Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, says:
“Mike’s appointment as Research Director is excellent news for the Nuclear AMRC. His appointment will ensure that programmes within the Nuclear AMRC are enhanced by the highest quality nuclear research and innovation, enabling UK industry to establish a leading edge in manufacturing technologies for new nuclear build in the UK and around the world.”

Professor Keith Ridgway OBE, Programme Director for the Nuclear AMRC, says:
“We are delighted to have Mike joining us. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the nuclear industry and he will be a great asset to the team. “

Originally from Lancashire, Mike Burke studied for his PhD at the University of Sheffield, where his thesis was awarded the 1981 Brunton Medal for Metallurgical Research. He spent the next three decades in the US, working for Westinghouse and Siemens on industrial research for nuclear and fossil fuel applications.

Professor Mike Burke says:
“Joining the Nuclear AMRC is an exciting challenge, and an opportunity to be involved with something that’s going to make great progress in industry and in the field of materials research. It’s intellectually stimulating and, for me, it’s a chance to come back to the UK and work in Manchester and Sheffield.”

In his industrial career, Burke has led materials technology teams to develop materials and manufacturing processes for a wide range of applications. Key areas include:
• Robotic adaptive welding systems
• Automated weld pool viewing systems
• Single crystal and DS alloys for gas turbine blades
• Ceramic matrix composites for high efficiency power generation systems.

In his most recent position, Burke was responsible for coordinating materials technologies across Westinghouse’s nuclear power plant operations, and managing R&D facilities including the ‘Hot Cell’ used to test irradiated materials from operational plants. He holds 21 patents.

“My work is about bridging the gap between the guys who want more performance out of their materials, and the manufacturing guys who are going to make that for them,” says Burke.

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