How Digital Capability will be central to delivering STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).

Watch the video



New types of sustainable energy generation are required to tackle global warming and the climate emergency. The STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) is an ambitious programme to design and construct a prototype fusion energy plant, which aims to demonstrate the subsequent commercial viability of the technology.

STEP is expected to be the first fusion energy plant connected to a national grid and represents the move out of the research phase and the advent of the delivery era for nuclear fusion.

In this talk, Paul will give an overview of the STEP programme, its inherent technical challenges and how effective digital management might solve them.

He will reflect on learnings from other complex technical mega-programmes and how a coordinated approach to the digital aspects will support effective manufacture, commissioning, and in-service operations of STEP.

Good digital management could eventually become as much a source of value as the physical fusion energy plant as the world moves to make fusion a commercial reality. He’ll also cover some of the potential pitfalls and risks in technical mega-programmes which might result from “digital myopia”.

About the speaker

Paul is the Director of the STEP Programme at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). He joined UKAEA from a prestigious career in the Royal Navy, rising from operational tours on sea-going submarines to complex programme leadership, culminating as Director Submarines Acquisition in the rank of Rear Admiral. He was made a Companion of the most honourable Order of the Bath in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

Our events are for adults aged 16 years and over.

BCS is a membership organisation. If you enjoy this event, please consider joining BCS. You’ll be very welcome. You’ll receive access to many exclusive career development tools, an introduction to a thriving professional community and also help us Make IT Good For Society. Join BCS today.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event, please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.


BCS is following government guidelines and we would ask attendees to continue to also follow these guidelines. Please go to for more information, advice, and instructions.

This event is brought to you by: BCS Oxfordshire branch

Hybrid event: Spinning the Digital Thread for Fusion
Date and time
Thursday 19 May, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
University of Oxford
Department of Computing Science
6 Keble Road
United Kingdom
This event is sold out