UK PONI Annual Conference 2019

Now its ninth year, the UK PONI Annual Conference is the premier national forum for the nuclear policy community to consider salient issues in the field and promote the emergence of a new generation of expertise in academia, industry, government, and the military

calendarclock - (BST)
location61 Whitehall


The 2019 Annual Conference will gather established and emerging experts from academia, industry, government and the military to share insights and debate on a broad range of civil and military topics, including UK nuclear deterrence discourse, trends and risks in South Asia and AI and strategic stability.

The agenda comprises panel presentations submitted by emerging experts, high-level keynote speakers, and a conference dinner.

At this year’s conference we will feature a special presentation about the Project on Nuclear Gaming from researchers at the University of California, Berkley. UK PONI members will be able to register to play the game at a pre-conference event on Wednesday 12 June.  

Speakers include:

Morning Keynote: Nicole Kett, Director, Resources and Policy, Defence Nuclear Organisation, MoD

Evening Keynote: Dr Lars-Erik Lundin, Senior Fellow, Institute of Security and Development Policy Sweden and Distinguished Associate Fellow at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Andrew Reddie, Graduate Researcher, Project on Nuclear Gaming, University of California, Berkley

Main Image Credit HMS Vigilant alongside Faslane Naval Base, Courtesy of MOD

Watch the recording of the sessions

UK Project on Nuclear Issues 2019 Annual Conference


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    Registration and Welcome Coffee - Library

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    Opening remarks

    Tom Plant, Director UK PONI

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    Morning Keynote - Duke of Wellington Hall

    Chair: Tom Plant, Director UK PONI

    Speaker: Nicole Kett, Director, Resources and Policy, Defence Nuclear Organisation, Ministry of Defence

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    Session One: UK Nuclear Policy and Practice

    Chair: Dr Susan Martin, Centre for Science and Security Studies King’s College London


    Thomas Roberts, Systems Engineer Marine & Technology, Babcock
    'More Than A Mission: The impact of a support solution on submarine availability, cost and safety.'

    Sophie McCormack, MA Student, Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter
    'British political understanding of the term ‘nuclear deterrence’'

    Jana Wattenberg, PhD Candidate, Aberystwyth University
    'The UK and the Ban Treaty'

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    Morning Coffee - Library

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    Session Two: Emerging Issues in Deterrence and Arms Control

    Chair: Dr Beyza Unal, Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House

    Speakers: Jamie Kwong, PhD Candidate, King’s College London
    'A troubling forecast: climate change and the future of nuclear deterrence'

    Jennifer Edwards, Graduate Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin UK
    'Deterrence goes orbital'

    Madison A. Estes, Associate Research Analyst, Center for Naval Analyses
    'New Futures for Nuclear Arms Control: Examining a Framework and Possibilities with Hypersonic Weapons'

    Dr James Johnson, Postdoctoral Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies
    'The impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability, Escalation and Nuclear Security'

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    Lunch - Library

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    Lunchtime activity – Project on Nuclear Gaming

    Sam Dudin, Research Fellow, RUSI
    Andrew Reddie, University of California, Berkley

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    Session Three: South Asia: trends and risks

    Chair: Nicholas Taylor, Senior Principal Analyst, Defence and Science Technology Laboratory


    Dr Salma Shaheen, Graduate Teaching Assistant, King’s College London
    'The Role of Media in Escalation and De-escalation of Crisis'

    Syed Adnan, Visiting PhD Candidate, University of Leicester
    'Tactical nuclear weapons and their role in India-Pakistan relations'

    Sam Guthrie, Strategic Environment Analyst, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
    'AI and Nuclear Deterrence: A pathway to crisis for India and Pakistan'

    Shounak Set, Marie-Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow, King’s College London
    'Enduring trajectory versus emerging trends: nuclear South Asia revisited'

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    Afternoon Coffee - Library

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    Session Four: nuclear economies and geographies

    Chair: Jack Gritt, President Women in Nuclear UK


    Geoffrey Chapman, PhD Candidate, King’s College London
    'Britain's Weapons Establishment and Tacit Knowledge: selling skills'

    Stephen Beckett, Optimisation Engineer, Rolls-Royce Submarines
    'Nuclear in a changing UK'

    Thomas Davis, PhD Researcher and Clarendon Scholar, University of Oxford
    'Could the global transition to Generation IV nuclear reactors strengthen Russia’s growing sphere of influence?'

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    Closing Remarks

    Speaker: Tom Plant, Director, UK PONI

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    Drinks Reception – Library

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    Dinner – Duke of Wellington Hall

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    Dinner Keynote

    Chair: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General RUSI

    Speaker: Lars-Erik Lundin, Senior Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Policy Sweden

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