Dalton Nuclear Institute Appoints Zara Hodgson as New Director

Zara750w - NNl graduate head shots. Warrington.
Zara750w - NNl graduate head shots. Warrington.
The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Zara Hodgson as its new Director, effective from 15 February 2024.

Zara takes over the reins from Professor Francis Livens who has been at the Institute’s helm since January 2016, and from Professor Clint Sharrad, who has held the role of Acting Director since April last year.

Prior to joining the University, Zara was seconded from the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL)to the Nuclear Innovation & Research Office (NIRO) as a Senior Technical Advisor. From 2020 to 2024, Zara was embedded full-time - via NIRO - in the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) where she led on nuclear fuel supply and capability policy.

At NNL, Zara was Universities Champion, leading on all NNL’s engagement with academia in research, teaching, outreach and partnered delivery. This role spanned a portfolio of over 100 projects, representing a UK investment in cutting edge science, engineering and training in excess of £10 million.

Concurrently, she was the Technical Lead for NNL’s activities in pyroprocessing technology (molten salts) within the DESNZ Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme. She has expertise in strategic engineering design and technical feasibility studies in the areas of spent fuel and nuclear materials management.

Zara commented:
"With the bicentennial celebrations of the University of Manchester’s foundation underway and the publication of HMG’s Civil Nuclear Roadmap to 2050 framing UK nuclear ambitions, I’m so excited to be joining the Dalton Nuclear Institute team as its new Director!"

Zara will now lead the Institute, with support from Clint, who is now appointed Deputy Director. Clint, a graduate of the University of Queensland in Australia, will continue his role of Professor of Nuclear Engineering at The University of Manchester alongside his position in the Dalton Institute.

Clint commented:
"There are so many opportunities emerging across the nuclear landscape especially in the areas of new nuclear build, process development and waste management. Dalton colleagues are closely linked into these interests and the talented students and researchers passing through our doors are ideally placed to experience long and exciting careers in the sector, should they wish to."

Francis Livens added:
"Whilst it’s been a huge privilege for me to lead the Dalton Nuclear Institute, it’s now time for new leadership to take over, and I’m delighted to pass the baton to Zara and Clint. I’m focusing more on my external roles as Chair of NIRAB and as a Non Executive Director of the NDA, and really looking forward to supporting the new team."

We warmly welcome Zara and Clint to their new roles.