Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

BCH Steele Chair in Energy Materials



+44 (0)20 7594 6730r.grimes




B303cBessemer BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Since 2002 Robin has been Professor of Materials Physics. In 2017 he was appointed Ministry of Defence Nuclear Chief Scientific Adviser. From 2013 - 2018 he was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chief Scientific Adviser (  He joined the Materials Department at Imperial College in 1995 as Governors'' Lecturer.  Prior to this he was Assistant Director of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution.  He spent the year 2000 at Los Alamos National Laboratory as Bernd T. Matthias Scholar.

His primary research interest is the application and development of computer simulation techniques to predict structural and dynamic properties of ceramics and metals.  Topics of particular interest include radiation damage, nuclear fuels, cladding and waste form behaviour and performance (in collaboration with industry and national laboratories), ionic conductivity and defect processes for fuel cell materials, surface structural processes and interfaces between glass and ceramic. 

Since 1984 Robin has authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications.  He is currently a member of the editorial board for Journal of Materials Science. In 2002 he and was awarded the Rosenhain Medal and in 2010 the Griffith Medal of the IOM3.  From 2008 until 2013 he was Director of the Imperial Centre for Nuclear Engineering and from 2010 to 2013 he was Director of the Imperial College Rolls Royce University Technology Centre in Nuclear Engineering.  He was appointed Principal Investigator of the Research Councils Nuclear Champion consortium in 2010.  In 2011 he was Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology for their report on Nuclear Research and Development Capabilities, in 2013 was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, in 2016 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and in 2018 a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Robin has published a paper in Science with Bill Nuttall on Generating the Option of a Two-Stage Nuclear Renaissance (Abstract, Reprint, Full Text) and in Nature with colleagues from Cambridge, Open and Lancaster Universities, concerning proliferation risks of the thoriun nuclear fuel cycle (Vol 492, Pages 31–33, 2012).

For Robin's research group's web pages see:



Kuganathan N, Barron NJ, Grimes RW, 2023, Initial stage of helium clustering in UN and PuN, Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol:583, ISSN:0022-3115

Kuganathan N, Chroneos A, Grimes RW, 2023, Heavy metals in yttrium silicide electride (Y<sub>5</sub>Si<sub>3</sub>:e<SUP>-</SUP>), Journal of Applied Physics, Vol:133, ISSN:0021-8979

Kuganathan N, Chroneos A, Grimes RW, 2023, Vacancy defects in nitrogen doped diamond, Physica B-condensed Matter, Vol:655, ISSN:0921-4526

Kuganathan N, Barron NJ, Grimes RW, 2023, Incorporation of volatile fission products in UN and PuN and comparison to oxides, Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol:576, ISSN:0022-3115

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