UK PONI Annual Conference 2022

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This year’s conference offers a next-generation perspective on the state of nuclear issues and how they might evolve amidst an increasingly uncertain security environment.


The Annual Conference is a hallmark of the UK Project on Nuclear Issues, having established itself as the premier UK forum for showcasing the expertise of a new generation working on nuclear issues.

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins

We are delighted to announce that the first confirmed keynote speaker is Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, the United States Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security.

By bringing together emerging and established experts from across the nuclear field, the conference promotes a diverse, informed dialogue on pressing nuclear topics.

It provides attendees a chance to discuss and debate fresh perspectives by engaging with other nuclear specialists from academia, government, industry, and the military.

This year, the conference seeks to address the current state-of-play and possible future trends in the nuclear field through panel presentations from emerging experts on topics like:

  • The nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament landscape
  • The UK nuclear enterprise and the sustainability of nuclear skills
  • Future nuclear technologies
  • The motivations and implications of China’s nuclear modernisation

The conference also features high-profile keynote speakers and opportunities for attendees to attend a small careers fair and make new connections through a lunch and a drinks reception.

UK PONI is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and we encourage attendance by women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities.


08:30 – 09:15 – REGISTRATION

09:20 – 09:30 – WELCOME MESSAGE
Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, RUSI, and Interim Director, UK PONI

09:30 – 10:00 – OPENING KEYNOTE
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, PhD, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, US Department of State

Chair: Professor Malcolm Chalmers
, Deputy Director-General, RUSI, and Interim Director, UK PONI

10:00 – 11:15Panel One: The Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament Landscape
Sara Bundtzen, Research and Policy Associate, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
 ‘(Dis)Information Operations on social media: Implications for nuclear regimes and treaties’

Lucy Millington
, Graduate Physicist, Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
Are nuclear breakout times an effective way of measuring a country’s proliferation risk?

Liv Muldal El Baz
, Postgraduate Student, King’s College London
Strategic stability and the role of space: Challenges and opportunities

Chair: Dr Ana Alecsandru
, Research Fellow, Proliferation and Nuclear Policy, RUSI, and Programme Manager, UK PONI

11:15 – 11:45 – BREAK AND CAREERS FAIR

11:45 – 12:30Panel Two: The UK Nuclear Enterprise and the Sustainability of Nuclear Skills
Ben Goold, Safety Assessment Specialist, AWE
Lacey-Jo Marsland, Safety Assessment Specialist, AWE
The role of nuclear power generation in UK energy resilience

Robbie Lyons
, Consultant, PA Consulting
Getting ready to learn: How to enable the UK nuclear enterprise to deliver progressive cost improvement

Chair: Dr Rob Whittleston
, Director, International Engagement, Security & Non-Proliferation, National Nuclear Laboratory

12:30 – 13:45 – LUNCH AND CAREERS FAIR

13:45 – 14:30 Lunch Keynote
Samantha Job CMG MVO, Director for Defence and International Security, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Chair: Professor Malcolm Chalmers
, Deputy Director-General, RUSI, and Interim Director, UK PONI Director

14:30 – 15:30 – Panel Three: Future Nuclear Technologies
Alex Langton, Graduate Engineer, AWE
Kate Taylor, Operations and Technical Support Assistant, NNL
Nuclear waste: A burden from the past or a fuel for the future?

Joshua Mulholland, Scientist, UK Ministry of Defence
Rhiannon McGrady, Senior Business Analyst, MASS
Unconventional uses for non-conventional weapons: a look into exo-planetary applications for the nuclear stockpile

Chair: Paul Jagger, Director, Maritime Mission Systems, Babcock International Group

15:30 – 15:45BREAK

15:45 – 17:00 – Panel Four: China’s Nuclear Modernisation and Regional Implications
Zuzanna Gwadera, Research Assistant, King’s College London
A window of opportunity for arms control? Evolving Chinese approaches to crisis stability and nuclear escalation

Seungcheol Lee
, Student, University of Edinburgh
Understanding China’s nuclear modernization: Motivations and implications for the global non-proliferation regime

Jamie Withorne
, Affiliate, Oslo Nuclear Project, University of Oslo
Pixelated tigers? Assessing the relationship between OSINT, China, and regional nuclear deterrence

Chair: Dr Sidharth Kaushal
, Research Fellow, Sea Power, Military Sciences, RUSI 

17:00 – 17:10 – CLOSING REMARKS

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, RUSI, and Interim Director, UK PONI

A drinks reception will follow the closing keynote for all attendees who wish to join.

View Keynote and Panel Speakers >

Gold Sponsors

AWE logo
Lockheed Martin
National Nuclear Laboratory logo

Silver Sponsors

Event registration closed.

Date And Time

07-06-22 @ 08:30 to
07-06-22 @ 17:30

Registration End Date




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