Congratulations to NNL’s CEO and former AIRTO Chair, Paul Howarth on CBE

NNL’s Chief Executive and former AIRTO Chair, Professor Paul Howarth FREng has been awarded a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his significant contribution and service to the nuclear industry and to UK research and development (R&D).

Professor Paul Howarth FREng CBE

Paul has had a distinguished career working in and for the nuclear sector, building a reputation as one of the leading figures in the UK nuclear sector and around the global industry. Paul was appointed CEO for the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in 2011 following its creation as a public corporation, having been instrumental in its establishment from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL). During his tenure as CEO, NNL has been transformed into a successful business and a true national laboratory, delivering profits to reinvest into nuclear science and technology and critical support to nuclear organisations in the public and private sectors. The organisation has grown in activity from £70m to over £200m per annum, and from 700 to 1700 colleagues, operating globally unique critical nuclear infrastructure valued at over £5bn; generating billions in economic value. NNL is recognised as a key strategic partner of both UK Government and industry.

Paul announced that he will retire from his role as CEO of the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in Spring 2025, and the search is currently underway to identify an appropriate successor.

Paul served AIRTO on the Board of Directors for many years and was Chair from 2017 to 2022. AIRTO is delighted to see Paul recognised by receiving this Honour in recognition of the tremendous impact he has made.

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AIRTO is the Association of Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations. Its membership comprises approximately sixty of the principal organisations operating in the UK’s extensive Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) sector. The IRT sector has a combined turnover of £6.9Bn, employing over 57,000 scientific and technical staff and contributes an estimated £34Bn to UK GDP.

Organisations in this critical sector work with industry, government and academia to promote and implement innovation, and provide technical solutions to challenges and crises for both private and public sector clients in the UK and overseas. Our members cover a very wide range of industries from, for example, agriculture and food, pharma and bio, energy generation and distribution, to manufacturing and the built environment. AIRTO’s members include Independent Research and Technology Organisations, Catapult Centres, Public Research Establishments, National Laboratories, and privately held innovation organisations.

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