Dr. James Wade-Zhu

Dr James Wade-Zhu is the Non-metallics Lead at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). In his current role, James leads a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers developing both structural and functional ceramic materials and assessing their performance in simulated fusion environments. He is also a technical manager on UKAEA’s LIBRTI programme. Through his own research activities, James works closely with UK Universities, RTOs, PSREs and other sector leaders to develop new technologies with a view to their transfer into emerging markets in and outside fusion. He is also active in engaging with commercial industries to explore new opportunities to establish material supply chains capable of meeting the needs of fusion and other complimentary sectors.


Prior to joining UKAEA, James was a EUROfusion fellow at the University of Birmingham. Through his fellowship and two post-doctoral positions funded by the National Nuclear Laboratory and EDF Energy, James has over a decade’s worth of experience in the field of ceramic science and engineering, specialising in advanced ceramic and ceramic composites for nuclear applications. His primary research interests are in the microstructural engineering and manufacture of ceramics and the mechanisms that govern their mechanical, functional and irradiation performance. James continues to serve the academic community, lecturing, co-organising international conferences, giving invited talks and providing technical supervision to PhDs.


James is a Member of Institute of Minerals, Materials and Mining and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He also serves on the International Energy Agency working group for nuclear composites and on the advisory board for the Midlands Advanced Ceramics for Industry 4.0.