Dr Ion's background is in materials science/metallurgy. She has extensive working knowledge of the nuclear fuel cycle, in particular fuel manufacture and reprocessing and recycle technologies. She represents the UK on a number of international review and oversight committees.
Dr Ion was 1993 winner of the UK’s Hinton Medal for outstanding contribution in nuclear engineering. A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Materials and the Institute of Nuclear Engineers. Dr Ion is also a member of various international and national bodies including the IAEA’s Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Energy (SAGNE). In 2002, Dr Ion was awarded the OBE for services to the nuclear industry. She is President of the British Nuclear Energy Society and a Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
In February 2004 Dr Ion was invited to become a member of the Council of Science and Technology (CST). The CST's remit is to advise the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales on strategic issues that cut across the responsibilities of individual government departments. CST organises its work around five broad themes (research, science and society, education, science and government, and technology innovation) and takes a medium to longer term approach.
Dr Ion is also a member of The Council for Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of Manchester University.
Dr Ion has held a number of non-executive directorships associated with technology-based businesses and consultancies.
Royal Academy of Engineers
"As Britain’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the country’s most eminent engineers from all disciplines to promote excellence in the science, art and practice of engineering. Our strategic priorities are to enhance the UK’s engineering capabilities; to celebrate excellence and inspire the next generation; and to lead debate by guiding informed thinking and influencing public policy."
The Academy’s work programmes are driven by three strategic priorities, each of which provides a key contribution to a strong and vibrant engineering sector and to the health and wealth of society.
Enhancing national capabilities
As a priority, we encourage, support and facilitate links between academia and industry. Through targeted national and international programmes, we enhance – and reflect abroad – the UK’s performance in the application of science, technology transfer, and the promotion and exploitation of innovation. We support high quality engineering research, encourage an interdisciplinary ethos, facilitate international exchange and provide a means of determining and disseminating best practice. In particular, our activities focus on complex and multidisciplinary areas of rapid development.
Recognising excellence and inspiring the next generation
Excellence breeds excellence. We celebrate engineering excellence and use it to inspire, support and challenge tomorrow’s engineering leaders. We focus our initiatives to develop excellence and, through creative and collaborative activity, we demonstrate to the young, and those who influence them, the relevance of engineering to society.
Using the leadership and expertise of our Fellowship, we guide informed thinking; influence public policy making; provide a forum for the mutual exchange of ideas; and pursue effective engagement with society on matters within our competence. The Academy advocates progressive, forward-looking solutions based on impartial advice and quality foundations, and works to enhance appreciation of the positive role of engineering and its contribution to the economic strength of the nation.