Professor Neil A Chapman

BSc PhD FGS C.Geol

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Emeritus Professor in environmental geology, risk assessment and radioactive waste management

Full contact details

Professor Neil A Chapman
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Neil Chapman is a leading expert in the geological disposal of radioactive wastes, with four decades experience of environmental, strategic and waste management in the international nuclear industry.

He acts as principal advisor and consultant to government organisations and international agencies worldwide, on regulatory and safety issues and on structuring scientific research and strategic development programmes.

Professor Chapman's key scientific achievements include the first UK experimental studies of the effects of high pressures and temperatures on radioactive wastes, pioneering internationally the use of natural geochemical analogues of materials and processes in deep geological repositories, integration of complex geological data into forecasts of far future evolution of deep systems and, most recently, leading high-profile evaluations of the impacts of natural geological hazards on nuclear facilities.

Professor Chapman has a broad working experience encompassing business, academia and government agencies, and has managed both applied research and consulting groups. He is an experienced teacher and communicator, with a keen interest in training and education, as well as an excellent facilitator, acting as chairman of many project teams and advisory groups internationally.

  • 40+ years’ experience in the scientific and strategic aspects of disposal of radioactive wastes, including provision of advice at the highest level to industrial and governmental organisations in many countries: recently Chair of the Technical Advisory Panel for the NDA’s Radioactive Wastes Management Ltd and member of the NDA Research Board
  • Author/co-author of 9 books and over 200 scientific papers, including papers in Nature, Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, New Scientist and numerous other scientific journals.
  • Six years’ experience managing a large, multi-disciplinary government research group engaged in studies on geological aspects of environmental pollution and 26 years’ experience in management and growth of successful international consulting companies in the UK and Switzerland.
  • Participation in and chairmanship of numerous national and international committees and boards concerned with the environmental impact of radioactive waste; technical management of internationally funded projects; acting as visiting IAEA expert overseas; sitting on Research Council (NERC) panels.
  • Chairmanship (2003 - 2010) of the International School of Underground Waste Storage and Disposal, Switzerland, providing training courses for industry, regulators and commercial organisations worldwide (training over 800 scientists and engineers from 44 countries over 8 years).
  • Lecturing or providing evidence to public bodies, including scientific committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords; on-call for the Royal Institution Science Media Centre; Geological Society London Lecture series; numerous media items internationally, including TV and film.

2017 Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield
2013 Council of the Geological Society of London
2011 UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Research Board
2010 James Watt Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers
1998 Natural Environment Research Council, Earth Science and Technology Board
1990 William Smith Fund for Applied Geology (Geological Society of London)
1989 FGS, C Geol UK Chartered Geologist
1974 PhD Geology, University of Edinburgh
1971 BSc Geology, University of Durham