Tuesday 8 December 2020


Dr. Nicholas Hawker

Co-founder, CEO and CTO of First Light Fusion

Why fusion will save the world sooner than we think

Dr. Nicholas Hawker

Nick began research into fusion in 2007 as part of his Masters Thesis, where he worked at the University of Oxford with Co-founder Yiannis Ventikos, the current head of Mechanical Engineering at University College London. This work continued into a DPhil, where he performed hydrodynamic simulations of shock-driven cavity collapse. This led Nick to investigate inertial confinement fusion for energy generation, a well-established research field that is being pursued in many laboratories worldwide, perhaps most notably in the US at the National Ignition Facility. First Light Fusion is exploring a number of alternative research directions that harness the same fundamental physics, with the prime focus being power generation.

To explore the concept of energy generation via this process, Nick and Yiannis co-founded First Light Fusion Ltd in 2011, as a private company spun-out from the University of Oxford, researching a new approach to fusion power. Nick also spent three years tutoring at Lady Margaret Hall during his studies. After finishing his DPhil in 2012, Nick joined First Light Fusion as CEO and CTO, and continues to oversee the technical vision of the company.