Dr James Young


BSc (Hons) "Applied Physics with Solid State Electronics", Heriot-Watt University, 1984

PhD, Physics, "Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Optical Bistability in Indium Antimonide", 1987

After receiving my PhD I worked as a postdoc research associate at the University of Central Florida (Centre for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) investigating nonlinear optical phenomena in II-VI and III-V semiconductors.  Returning to Heriot-Watt University in 1990 I performed research in high power density RF-excited carbon dioxide lasers which led to working with Edinburgh Instruments Ltd and developing their scientific CO and CO2 laser range.  In 1995 I joined the Research and Technology Department of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd at Sellafield where I was tasked with investigating optical methods for remote characterisation of materials.  Joining Applied Photonics Ltd in 1999, I was Technology Manager and responsible for the delivery of contract R&D to a wide range of customers from nuclear and non-nuclear sectors.

I joined the University of Leeds as a Technology Manager working with the UK’s civil nuclear industry and during my time at Leeds I have maintained connections with the nuclear industry and managed research centres sponsored by Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory, and currently manage the Nuclear Fuel Cycle mini-Centre for Doctoral Training and the Sellafield Centre of Expertise in Sludge.  In February 2012 I became School Director of Research and then Deputy Head of School in October 2015, where I assist the Head of School in all aspects of running the School.  I have particular responsibility for management of the School's estate and managing funding for all School-sponsored research students.


  • Deputy Head of School

Research interests

My research interests covers the wastes end of the nuclear fuel cycle and remediation of the UK's legacy wastes which represent a significant multidisciplinary challenge.  


  • PhD Physics
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Physics with Solid State Electronics
  • Laser Safety Officer

Professional memberships

  • MInstP
  • CPhys

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Photon Science
  • Nuclear Leeds
  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery