Professor Sir Steven CowleyProfessor Sir Steven Cowley, a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy, joins the Faraday Institution Board of Trustees as Chair Elect in May 2024. He retains his positions of director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, roles in which he has served since 2018.

PPPL is one of 10 national science laboratories funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As director of PPPL, Professor Cowley is responsible for managing all aspects of the laboratory, including its performance in science, engineering, operations, project management and strategic planning. He leads PPPL’s scientific and technical programmes in fusion energy science and technology and provides leadership to the U.S. and world fusion energy efforts.

Professor Cowley previously served as president of Corpus Christi College and professor of physics at the University of Oxford.

From 2008 to 2016, he was chief executive officer of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and head of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, which included oversight of the Joint European Torus (JET) and Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) fusion facilities. During his tenure, Steven provided the vision and strategy for and led the fusion research programme for the UK, overseeing more than 1,000 employees and contractors. In parallel, he strengthened relations with other fusion programs in Europe and around the world, and served in key advisory roles for the UK, US and European governments.

Professor Cowley has held numerous advisory roles including membership of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and received a knighthood in 2018 for services to science and the development of nuclear fusion.

Steven holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oxford and a PhD in astrophysical sciences from Princeton.