Bio Photo of Howard R Wilson

Howard R Wilson

Lead, Fusion Pilot Plant R&D

Howard Wilson joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in August 2023 as Fusion Pilot Plant R&D Lead. Howard will oversee the development of ORNL's fusion physics and technology R&D program in support of delivering a compact and economical fusion pilot plant.

Howard received his PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of Cambridge in 1988, before establishing a career in fusion energy as a theoretical plasma physicist at the UK Atomic Energy Authority. In 2005 he moved to University of York, appointed as full Professor to establish a fusion research and training program in the UK academic community. In 2011 he won funding to establish the York Plasma Institute, serving as its first Director (until 2019) to bring together research and education across fusion energy, low temperature plasmas and laser plasma interactions. Howard has also served as UK Atomic Energy Authority fusion Program Research Director, and led the establishment of the UK’s STEP fusion pilot plant program, as its interim Director.

He is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics, and awards include a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2011 and the APS John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research in 2013. Research interests include theory of pedestal and edge localized mode physics; turbulence and transport, and core plasma stability. His expertise also includes the design of fusion devices, either as volume neutron sources or for power, especially those based on the spherical tokamak concept.