Professor Steven Cowley

Director of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Culham Laboratory

Steven became Director of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority's Culham Laboratory in September 2008 and Chief Executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority in November 2009. He received his BA from Oxford University and his PhD. from Princeton University. Professor Cowley's post-doctoral work was at Culham laboratory and he returned to Princeton in 1987. He joined the faculty at the University of California Los Angeles in 1993 rising to the rank of Full Professor in 2000. From 2001 to 2003 he lead the plasma physics group at Imperial College London. He remains a part time professor at Imperial College. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Director of the Center for Multi-scale Plasma Dynamics at UCLA. His main research interest is in realising fusion power and has published over 150 papers on: the origin of magnetic fields in the universe, the theory of plasma turbulence and explosive behaviour in both laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.  


Professor Cowley co-chaired the US National Academy's decadal assessment of, and outlook for plasma science. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics and the recipient of the IOP's 2012 Glazebrook Medal for leadership in physics. Currently he is also a member of the Prime Ministers Council on Science and Technology and in May 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.