BCS - Spinning the Digital Thread for Fusion

19th May 2022 7:30 pm

How Digital Capability will be central to delivering STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).

STEP is expected to be the first fusion energy plant connected to a national grid and represents the move out of the research phase and the advent of the delivery era for nuclear fusion.

In this talk, Paul will give an overview of the STEP programme, its inherent technical challenges and how effective digital management might solve them.

He will reflect on learnings from other complex technical mega-programmes and how a coordinated approach to the digital aspects will support effective manufacture, commissioning, and in-service operations of STEP.

Good digital management could eventually become as much a source of value as the physical fusion energy plant as the world moves to make fusion a commercial reality. He’ll also cover some of the potential pitfalls and risks in technical mega-programmes which might result from “digital myopia”.

Paul is the Director of the STEP Programme at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). He joined UKAEA from a prestigious career in the Royal Navy, rising from operational tours on sea-going submarines to complex programme leadership, culminating as Director Submarines Acquisition in the rank of Rear Admiral. He was made a Companion of the most honourable Order of the Bath in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

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