National Physical Laboratory

Defence & Security People

NPL's reputation relies on great people and exceptional scientists.

For over 100 years we have employed physicists, mathematicians, engineers, and more recently, chemists and biologists working on measurement science and the many wider areas that this leads to.

Executive Team

Short biographies of NPL's senior management team.

This includes Brian Bowsher, NPL's Managing Director.

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NPL Fellows

Biographies of NPL's Senior Science Fellows, Fellows, Emeritus Senior Fellows and Senior Fellows.

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Business Leaders

Meet the business leaders of NPL.

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NPL Directors

Since its creation in 1899, NPL has been led by a number of notable individuals. You can see biographies of all 20 directors.

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Some of our notable scientists

  • John Pethica, NPL's Chief Scientific Adviser, has become Physical Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society, replacing Sir Martin Taylor.
  • Michael de Podesta was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his outstanding commitment and passion for science communication. Michael was one of the first Science Ambassadors at NPL, going out to schools and the community to bring science to life. Michael is now a key Science Ambassador mentor, giving many NPL staff the confidence to go out to schools and colleges and promote science. Michael's work on the redefinition of the kelvin, through an improved determination of the Boltzmann constant using an acoustic thermometer, was recently featured in Nature.
  • Richard Brown has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and was also the winner of the RSC's SAC Silver Medal. As part of this he delivered a lecture entitled 'Environmental analytical measurements: from the laboratory to the field' at Pfizer's European Headquarters for R&D.
  • Graham Machin, one of the world's top temperature measurement scientists, contributed to and co-edited a major two-volume work entitled 'Radiometric temperature measurement'. Graham has a great passion for his subject and for good measurement practice in general and was recently made a visiting professor at the University of Glamorgan in addition to his visiting professorship at the University of Valladolid, Spain.
  • Since joining in 1991, Ian Gilmore has helped turn NPL into a world leading surface and nanoanalysis research group. Ian was recently made a Fellow of the AVS, a large society and symposium in the US, in recognition of his international leadership in surface and nanoanalysis and pioneering research in the analysis of organic molecules at surfaces.

Supporting our staff

We recognise that people are the most important part of any organisation and as such we try to support our staff in the best way possible.

NPL's Continuous Professional Development Scheme

NPL’s Continuous Professional Development Scheme has been recognised by the Institute of Physics (IOP) as a scheme that demonstrates best practice in the training of physicists

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

We maintain a high level of health and safety on site and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has consistently commended our health and safety record.


NPL actively supports staff who wish to volunteer for community work. Staff who engage in work such as School Governors, Scout Leadership and St John Ambulance can request up to five days time off for volunteering per year.

Two Ticks Disability

Jobcentre Plus has approved NPL to be a user of the Two Ticks Disability Symbol. This means that NPL is committed to employing disabled people and will look to continuously support and develop the careers of any disabled members of staff.