Our People

The Environmental Modelling and Radwaste Modelling teams, based at our offices at Harwell Oxford, have around twenty professional scientists and software engineers many of whom are internationally recognised within their discipline. Below we present the members of our teams:

DavidA Dr David Applegate is a computational physicist specialising in groundwater modelling. David has made some significant developments to ConnectFlow. These include implementing a mass conserving particle tracking algorithm, parallelising the finite element equation assembly, parallelising the chemistry calculations and adding parallel linear solvers. These latest developments have allowed ConnectFlow to benefit from the multi-core architecture of modern CPUs. David has also been involved in project work for a number of customers. He helped develop a compartment model of groundwater flows at LLWR as part of the 2011 ESC for LLWR. He also developed a GoldSim model which represented a processing strategy for specific waste streams for Westinghouse Electric Germany GmbH. David was seconded to NDA RWMD for three months as a post closure safety specialist. This gave him experience of the RWMD's generic post closure performance assessment.
PeteA Pete Appleyard completed a Master's degree in Physics and Astrophysics, and has several years' experience in software development, particularly in groundwater modelling applications in Fortran and Java. He has been strongly involved in developing significant software enhancements to Wood's ConnectFlow software, including the creation of a new graphical user interface, as well as in developing and testing several releases of ConnectFlow and also in supporting customers. Pete has also made a significant contribution to several modelling projects for Sellafield, Posiva and SKB.
AndrewH Dr Andrew Hoch is the Team leader of the Radwaste Modelling Team. He is a theoretical physicist with more than 20 years experience working on a range of issues to do with the disposal of radioactive waste (including gas generation and migration, groundwater flow and transport, and corrosion of radioactive waste containers), both for NDA RWMD and for other clients in the UK and overseas. Andrew has worked on a wide variety of projects, many of them to do with gas generation, gas migration and the consequences of gas.
Jaap Hoek Dr Jaap Hoek has 25 years of experience in research, modelling and software development. He has 48 publications in scientific journals and conference proceedings and has extensive expertise in computer modelling of physics and other problems, on state of the art computing platforms using Fortran, C, C++, Java and XML. In recent years the emphasis has been on modelling radionuclide transport in groundwater flow (TDPSA, SKB, Posiva, LLWR). He has been project manager of software development projects and international research projects. His key skills include problem analysis, problem decomposition and determination of logic structures. He works well in a multi-lingual environment (English, Dutch, German, French).
DavidH David Holton is Chief Technologist for Radioactive Waste Management and Disposal, Wood. He has project managed and provided expert input into a wide range of national and international projects, concerned with assessment modelling and radioactivity in the environment. He is the founder of, and manages the iCONNECT club, which involves a wide range of international radioactive waste disposal organisations, concerned with key elements of performance assessment modelling and associated radwaste disposal issues. For example, David was the lead investigator (and PM) for a major assessment for the French radioactive waste agency. He was previously a UK contributor to Task 1, Task 3 and Task 4 of the Äspö Task Force and led the UK's contribution to the Tracer retention and Understanding (TRUE) Experiment. He was invited to participate by SKB in the Task Force (Task 7). He was Project Manager for the performance assessment work for the LLW on-site disposal project in the UK. In this project, multiple post-closure assessments are being performed for the decommissioning waste arising from multiple sites in the UK (Hinkley Point A, Bradwell and Sizewell). He was invited by the International Atomic Energy Agency as part of an international group to contribute to "a Handbook" on problems of radioactive contamination in the environment (author of the chapter on risk assessment). He was recently invited to provide expert support to IAEA in Latvia and the Ukraine on Low Level Waste disposal sites. He was the Project Manager of a comprehensive review of work performed in Finland in support of the radioactive waste disposal at Olkiluoto and Loviisa, in preparation to presentation of the work to government, regulators and external international review, with particular emphasis on key presentational aspects. In the UK, he has a long history in research and assessment related to radioactivity in the geosphere on behalf of UK Nirex Limited and RWMD (co-author of status reports for the DSSC, and in 2012 is co-author of Modelling Roadmap, Radionuclide Transport requirements, and initial insights into the effects of natural transients on a Geological Disposal facility). Currently, he is the Programme Manager for Project Ankhaile, a multi-year Integrated Project Team involving NDA RWMD, Wood and their supply chain looking at issues surrounding disposability of high heat generating wastes.
PeterJ Dr Peter Jackson is a Chief Hydrogeologist for Wood and is an acknowledged expert on the modelling of groundwater flow and solute transport and performance assessments for radioactive waste disposal facilities, with over 30 years experience. He has a wide and deep understanding of the key issues in performance assessments. Particular areas of his expertise include the treatment of uncertainty and data elicitation, and the treatment of heterogeneity in groundwater flow and transport models. He is also an expert mathematician. He played a key technical role in the recent performance assessment of the LLWR, and in the Nirex 97 and Nirex 95 assessments carried out for Nirex and acted as a senior technical advisor on projects including a safety assessment of the near-surface Pspkszilgy disposal facility in Hungary, and a review of the safety of near-surface ILW disposal in permafrost in the Russian Arctic. He has provided important technical input to groundwater flow and transport modelling undertaken for Andra in France, SKB in Sweden and LLWR Ltd and NDA RWMD in the UK. He has facilitated many of the expert data elicitations recently undertaken for LLWR Ltd and all the elicitations undertaken recently for NDA RWMD. He has a deep understanding of the role of the facilitator and appreciates that his role is not to influence the judgments of the experts, but to help them make these judgments and express the underlying reasoning clearly. His understanding of uncertainty and all aspects of repository performance assessments enables him to help the experts do this. He has carried out a recent review of approaches for dealing with heterogeneity for RWMD. He has recently undertaken groundwater flow modelling in which heterogeneity is explicitly represented for LLWR Ltd. He co-authored a Nirex thematic report on the treatment of heterogeneity. He co-authored an important paper on the representation of a fractured medium by a heterogeneous continuum porous medium model in Water Resources Research journal. He and a colleague developed a powerful new method for conditioning realizations of a heterogeneous model on measurements of groundwater head.
SteveJ Dr Steven Joyce is a Principle Consultant within Wood's Evironment Modelling team. His main focus is on carrying out and managing modelling and software development projects associated with groundwater flow and transport. Applications have included modelling the evolution of groundwater systems associated with fractured crystalline rock at proposed deep geological sites for radioactive waste repositories. This work involved both discrete fracture network models and upscaled equivalent porous medium models. He has over 7 years of groundwater modelling experience. Steven is also the software manager of the ConnectFlow suite of groundwater flow and transport software and has over 20 years of scientific software development experience.
SimonM Dr Simon Myers recently joined Wood's Environmental Modelling team after completing a PhD in Plasma Physics at the University of York. His research involved using and developing mathematical and numerical models for the simulation of the plasma ballooning instability, a type of plasma instability associated with magnetic confinement fusion. Since joining Wood Simon has been working on the development of Wood's ConnectFlow groundwater modelling software. He has also been working with VBA and Excel to assist with the development of toolkits that are built with MS Office software.
BenS Ben Swift has over 16 years experience of working on nuclear waste disposal issues, for organisations both in the UK and overseas. Much of this work has been on projects concerned with waste package issues during all stages of the waste package life-cycle, including storage, transport and after emplacement in a disposal facility. In particular, this has included assessing the behaviour of waste packages, taking into account the evolution of the waste materials, encapsulants and containers, and the interactions between them. Ben has understanding of many of the processes that can affect package behaviour and performance, including corrosion of waste materials and containers under a range of conditions, expansion resulting from corrosion and other processes, wasteform cracking, gas generation and degradation of waste materials to form species that may interact unfavourably with other package components. Ben is an expert in both developing and applying models to understand waste package behaviour. For example, Ben has developed models of gas generation from radioactive waste (MAGGAS and SMOGG), and has applied these models to packages containing a wide range of wastes from ion exchange resins to Magnox fuel element debris, calculating gas generation from both cement- and polymer-encapsulated wastes, pressurisation of sealed waste containers and expansion of waste packages containing metal wastes. Ben has experience of working closely with NDA, as he was also a co-author of the recent NDA Package Evolution Status Report, and is a member of the current Integrated Project Team for carbon-14.
HannahW Dr Hannah Woollard is an applied mathematician with a PhD in fluid mechanics from Nottingham University. Before joining the Environmental Modelling team at Harwell, Hannah worked in reactor physics and shielding areas at Winfrith. This included using and developing the deterministic reactor physics code WIMS and using the Monte Carlo radiation transport code MCBEND. Since joining the Environmental Modelling team at Harwell she has worked on assessments of LLWR, has conducted groundwater flow modelling in support of site investigations at Olkiluoto, Finland and has completed Fortran developments of ConnectFlow. She also has experience in the use of Goldsim and the development of the gas generation tool MAGGAS using Visual Basic.