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Professor Gareth Neighbour

Profile summary

Professional biography

Gareth joined the Open University in 2019. Previously he joined BCU as Head of School of Engineering and the Built Environment in October 2016 from Oxford Brookes where he was the Head of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. He joined Brookes in 2011 from Hull where he had formed the Materials and Process Performance Group and was Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science responsible for Learning and Teaching. Previously he led the internationally recognised Bath Nuclear Materials Group. To date, he has provided independent research and advice to the nuclear and other heavy industries including EDF Energy, the regulator and also the IAEA in Vienna and has a substantial research income to date. He has been instrumental in major projects such as the creation of UTC Swindon, the creation of the IAEA Database on Irradiated Graphite Properties and the formulation of nationwide programmes and standards for foundation degrees in Chemical & Process industries.  Prior to his academic career, during 1992-1996, Gareth worked for UKAEA (trading as AEA Technology) at their Windscale plant where, amongst other things, he managed the integration of various engineering systems. A significant proportion of Gareth's research is interdisciplinary in nature, but often involves 'big data' and levels of complexity as well as the integration of different disciplines and perspectives. His interest ranges from integrated management systems to fracture mechanics and fundamental structure-property relationships of engineering materials. Amongst a general interest in carbon materials, currently, the main thrust is the effectiveness of UK gas-cooled nuclear reactor core designs, particularly materials performance and the functionality of core components to support life extension using various modelling and analytical techniques. Other research interests include nuclear energy and graphite technology in general, post-irradiation evaluation of nuclear materials (inc. fuels), carbon deposition, mechanical properties of porous materials, redundancy in design, BPEO and HAZOP studies. He also has interests in systems theory & waste materials treatment related to design theory and the effect of risk assessment methodology has on environmental and societal decision-making. He is passionate about employer facing education and has extensive experience in programme development and supporting apprenticeship development including various grants from HEFCE.  He is currently the Senior Editor of Carbon and a past Chair of the British Carbon Group.

Research interests

  • Carbon materials
  • Modelling of materials performance
  • Modelling of materials flow in manufacturing
  • Environmental & engineering management
  • Design philosophy and methodologies
  • Pedagogy (Employer facing education)

Teaching interests

  • Engineering
  • Systems
  • Environment
  • Management

Impact and engagement

  • Director, Trustee & Governor of UTC Swindon (2012-2016) - Chaired Design User's Group in the build process and led on the educational planning.

External collaborations

  • Visiting Professor of Engineering and the Built Environment - BCU
  • Senior Editor - Carbon (Elsevier - from 2014) - Impact Factor 8.821 (2019)
  • Chair - Independent Graphite Validation Group (and predecessor body from 2009) - EDF Energy
  • External Examiner at UWE and the University of Northampton
  • Past Chair - British Carbon Group


Automatic code compliance with multi-dimensional data fitting in a BIM context (2018-10)
Patlakas, P.; Livingstone, A.; Hairstans, R. and Neighbour, G.
Advanced Engineering Informatics, 38 (pp. 216-231)

Strategies for ideal indoor environments towards low/zero carbon buildings through a biomimetic approach (2017-09-21)
Cuce, Erdem; Nachan, Zaid; Cuce, Pinar Mert; Sher, Farooq and Neighbour, Gareth
International Journal of Ambient Energy, 40(1) (pp. 86-95)

Case studies of environmental visualization (2017-09-21)
Patlakas, Panagiotis; Koronaios, Georgios; Raslan, Rokia; Neighbour, Gareth and Altan, Hasim
Energies, 10(10) (p 1459)

Using game theory to describe strategy selection for environmental risk and carbon emissions reduction in the green supply chain (2012-11)
Zhao, Rui; Neighbour, Gareth; Han, Jiaojie; McGuire, Michael and Deutz, Pauline
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 25(6) (pp. 927-936)

A software based simulation for cleaner production: a game between manufacturers and government (2012-09-24)
Zhao, Rui; Neighbour, Gareth; McGuire, Michael and Deutz, Pauline
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 26(1) (pp. 59-67)

Determining the future for irradiated graphite disposal (2000-06-01)
Neighbour, G. B.; Wickham, A. J. and Hacker, P. J.
Nuclear Energy, 39(3) (pp. 179-186)

The trouble with mentors (1994-02)
Neighbour, Gareth B.
Physics World, 7(2) (p 19)

Ph D or “loadsamoney”? (1993)
Neighbour, Gareth B.
Physics World, 6(5) (p 72)

Acoustic emission responses from cyclic loading of a nuclear graphite (1992)
Neighbour, Gareth B.; McEnaney, Brian and Phillips, Mike
Carbon, 30(3) (pp. 359-363)

Non-power applications - new missions for nuclear energy to be delivered safely and securely (2020-08-17)
Nuttall, William and Neighbour, Gareth
In: Nian, Victor ed. Advanced Security and Safeguarding in the Nuclear Power Industry (pp. 29-47)
ISBN : 978-0-12-818256-7 | Publisher : Academic Press | Published : 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS, United Kingdom

Non-power applications of nuclear energy (2020-08-04)
Nuttall, William and Neighbour, Gareth
In: Nian, Victor ed. Advanced Security and Safeguarding in the Nuclear Power Industry: State of the Art and Future Challenges
ISBN : 9780128182567 | Publisher : Academic Press

Plant life management (PLiM) practices for gas-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactors: UK experience (2010)
Neighbour, G. B.
In: Tipping, Philip G. ed. Understanding and Mitigating Ageing in Nuclear Power Plants - Materials and Operational Aspects of Plant Life Management (PLiM). Woodhead Publishing series in Energy (pp. 838-875)
ISBN : 9781845695118 | Publisher : Woodhead Publishing | Published : Cambridge

Thoughts and Reflections on the Use of Magnesium (2017-09-01)
Neighbour, Gareth B and Oraifige, I
Neighbour, Gareth and Oraifige, Ilias eds.
ISBN : 978-1904839903 | Publisher : Birmingham City University | Published : Birmingham

Modelling and measuring reactor core graphite properties and performance (2012-12-12)
Neighbour, Gareth B
Neighbour, Gareth ed.
Special Publication
ISBN : 978-1-84973-517-9 | Publisher : Royal Society of Chemistry | Published : London

Creating an Integrated Curriculum for a STEM Discipline (2016-03-17)
Higgison, Douglas and Neighbour, Gareth B
In : Conference Proceeding. New Perspectives in Scienze Education (17-18 Mar 2016, Florence) (pp. 20-26)

Microstructural Processes Leading To Fracture In Nuclear Graphites. (1993-06-01)
Neighbour, Gareth Bryan
PhD thesis University of Bath