14 November 2023, Oxford, UK: First Light Fusion (“First Light”), the world’s leading inertial fusion start-up, has appointed its first Head of Procurement as it accelerates plans for the development of its Gain demonstrator, Machine 4 this decade.

The announcement comes shortly after the appointment of First Light’s Chief Technology Officer, Christophe Junillon, who has joined from global engineering firm Atkins, and its first Head of Power Plant, Jorge Fradera, joining from global consultancy IDOM. Following a series of hires over the last year, First Light now has a team of 100 full-time, permanent employees.

Warren Edwards joined First Light in October from General Fusion, the Canadian fusion energy company, where he was Director of Procurement. Warren brings a strong track record of senior procurement experience across the construction, power, manufacturing, and fusion industries. His experience of leading complex engineering and construction contracts will be vital in supporting First Light’s ambitious plans for Machine 4 and a pilot fusion power plant over the coming decade.

At General Fusion, Warren was responsible for establishing and developing a global procurement function with offices across Canada, USA and the UK. Warren managed a team of procurement professions and was responsible for sourcing novel materials and technology – pushing the boundaries of existing technology and engaging with suppliers from all around the world to do so. He was also procurement lead for a £700m Fusion Demonstration Project at Culham in Oxford in partnership with UKAEA and a founding member of the UK Fusion Skills Council, led by the UK government.

As Head of Procurement, Warren will lead on all aspects of procurement relating to the company’s plans to develop its Gain demonstrator, Machine 4. He will also play a leading role in First Light’s plans to develop the first commercial power plant based on its unique amplifier technology and corresponding projectile approach. First Light is pursuing parallel plans for both its Gain demonstrator – Machine 4 – and a pilot power plant, as it seeks to deliver commercial fusion at speed. Machine 4, which will be the world’s largest pulsed power facility, is due for completion this decade, while the pilot plant will be delivered in the 2030s.

Warren Edwards, First Light’s Head of Procurement, commented:I am thrilled to have joined First Light Fusion at what is an incredibly exciting juncture for the company. First Light’s unique inertial fusion approach has incredible potential, and I am excited to be supporting the development of this and getting stuck into the plans for Machine 4 and First Light’s pilot power plant.

“Having worked in the fusion space for a number of years, I am passionate about the opportunities fusion energy presents for solving some of the world’s biggest problems. I look forward to working closely with the team and drawing upon my long career in the procurement profession to help First Light achieve its ambitions in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

Dr Nicholas Hawker, First Light’s Founder & CEO, commented:We are delighted to have Warren join us as First Light’s first Head of Procurement. It is already clear that Warren is a perfect fit for the company and his many years of varied experience will prove an invaluable asset to the rapidly expanding First Light team.

“Warren’s appointment is testament to First Light’s ambition for the coming years, and the incredible momentum behind our vision for a commercially viable clean fusion energy source.”