Liveryman Dr Tom Davis’ company Oxford Sigma update

Oxford Sigma hosts university students Lauren Mentiply and Alistair Darnton for the
UKAEA Fusion Industry Programme Summer Placement Scheme
19 August 2022, Oxfordshire – Oxford Sigma hosted two undergraduate students from the
University of Birmingham and the University of Oxford as part of the UK Atomic Energy
Authority (UKAEA) Fusion Industry Programme Summer Placement Scheme. The Fusion
Industry Programme (FIP) is a brand-new initiative devised with the aim to accelerate the
growth of the UK’s fusion industry. The FIP Summer Placement Scheme gives undergraduates
an opportunity to gain valuable experience in fusion and influence future career
choices. Lauren Mentiply, studying Physics (International Study) at the University of
Birmingham, and Alistair Darnton, studying Materials Science at the University of Oxford,
worked with the Oxford Sigma team to develop novel material designs and technology for the
fusion industry.
Lauren undertook a project within the R&D team responsible for developing Oxford Sigma’s
fusion energy breeder blanket designs. The project set up a workflow that interfaces with
industry standard neutronic Monte Carlo software codes, meshing, and Computer Aided
Design (CAD) tools. Lauren created CAD models of specific components within the fusion
breeder blanket designs, which are designed to generate fuel for the reactor, and has
undertaken analysis of the neutronics results.
‘Lauren Mentiply has approached her challenge of designing a CAD model of a fusion
breeder blanket module with astuteness and intellectual curiosity. It has been insightful to
observe her progress in developing a working model from a blank slate. Her model is now
being used in neutronics codes and computational fluid dynamics analysis to further Oxford
Sigma’s technology development.’
~ Mark Anderton, Lauren’s supervisor and Nuclear Engineer at Oxford Sigma.
Alistair undertook a project within the R&D team responsible for developing Project Ally,
Oxford Sigma’s fusion breeder blanket patent-pending project. He developed materials
roadmaps for the development of specific components within the breeder design, such as
oxide dispersion strengthened steels. This road mapping exercise directly contributed to the
development of Oxford Sigma’s technology.
‘Alistair Darnton has grappled with the challenges in breeder blankets of fusion energy,
ranging from structural steels exposed to high radiation damage to liquid lithium corrosion. I
have been impressed with his eagerness, ability to absorb dense materials information, and
use this to understand how solutions could be formulated.’
~ Dr Thomas P. Davis, Alistair’s supervisor and President and CTO at Oxford Sigma.
Both Lauren and Alistair will share their experience and achievements at a Placement
Presentation Day held at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in September.
About Oxford Sigma
Oxford Sigma tackles energy security and climate change by accelerating the development of
fusion and advanced nuclear energy. The company’s aim is to develop innovative nuclear
technology to withstand extreme environments, provide nuclear materials expertise, and
advise the advanced nuclear and fusion energy industries in their quest to achieve
commercialisation. Please do get in touch at