Dr James Young

Dr James Young


After receiving my PhD I worked as a postdoc research associate at the University of Central Florida (Centre for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) investigating nonlinear optical phenomena in II-VI and III-V semiconductors.  Returning to Heriot-Watt University in 1990 I performed research in high power density RF-excited carbon dioxide lasers which led to working with Edinburgh Instruments Ltd and developing their scientific CO and CO2 laser range.  In 1995 I joined the Research and Technology Department of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd at Sellafield where I was tasked with investigating optical methods for remote characterisation of materials.  Joining Applied Photonics Ltd in 1999, I was Technology Manager and responsible for the delivery of contract R&D to a wide range of customers from nuclear and non-nuclear sectors.

I joined the University of Leeds as a Technology Manager working with the UK’s civil nuclear industry and during my time at Leeds I have maintained connections with the nuclear industry and managed research centres sponsored by Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory.  In February 2012 I became School Director of Research and then Deputy Head of School in October 2015, where I assist the Head of School in all aspects of running the School.  I have particular responsibility for management of the School's estate and managing funding for all School-sponsored research students.  Since January 2017 I have also responsibility for delivering a major UoL programme which incorporates the new Sir William Henry Bragg Building, a state-of-the-art £100m development promoting multidisciplinary research in Engineering and Physical Sciences.


  • Deputy Head of School

Research interests

My research interests covers the wastes end of the nuclear fuel cycle and remediation of the UK's legacy wastes which represent a significant multidisciplinary challenge.  


  • PhD, Physics, Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of¬†Optical Bistability in Indium Antimonide
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Physics with¬†Solid State Electronics, Heriot-Watt University
  • Laser Safety Officer

Professional memberships

  • MInstP
  • CPhys

Research groups and institutes

  • Nuclear Leeds
  • Applied Photon Science