Behind First Light Fusion is a team of over 100 talented scientists, engineers and technicians – from a range of backgrounds but all united by a passion for realising fusion energy at scale.

In the latest installment of our ‘Meet the Team’ series, we hear from First Light's Chief Operating Officer and former submarine captain Ryan Ramsey about his journey from the Royal Navy to First Light HQ in Oxford, and why he thinks fusion is the future of our clean energy supply.


1. What is your role at First Light Fusion?

I'm First Light's Chief Operating Officer. This means I'm part of the executive team and have a wide range of responsibilities to help support the company’s operations. I do this by supporting the leadership team across everything from facilities to operational support, design, precision manufacture, health and safety, HR and communications.

2. What did you do before FLF and why did you want to join the First Light team?

I’m lucky to have led in many fields, including oil and gas (I've previously been in charge of an oil rig), for National Grid leading construction in the UK, and in interim roles helping to grow smaller companies too.

There are lots of things that attracted me to First Light but one that stands out is how purpose-driven it is as an organisation. We’re all on the same page about what our mission is here – solving fusion power with simplest means possible. It’s a great mission, and it’s a great team.

3. What most excites you about the future of fusion energy?

Harnessing the power of the stars like our sun! How amazing is that. We need a variety of clean baseload energies – not just wind, not just solar, buta combination of everything. Ultimately, fusion could be the clean energy that provides stability when other renewables aren’t available. It’s a huge challenge, and an incredibly important one to solve for future generations.

4. What advice to do you have for someone interested in working in fusion or physics?

If you want to get into fusion, you don’t have to be a physics graduate or have a PhD, there are so many other opportunities to support the sector outside of that. Once you’re in, you’ll naturally learn the physics as you go. When you start to see just how important it is to everything about how our world works, I promise you'll want to learn more!

5. When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?

I immerse myself in my work because I’m so passionate about it, but I do like doing a variety of things outside of it too. I am a trustee for some charities and I also enjoy sailing, which I do most weekends when the weather allows. I am also a published author of two books to date and I balance that with keeping myself fit – the older you get the harder this is! For relaxation, I play the guitar and piano.

6. What is your favourite thing about working at First Light?

Definitely the people. I’m lucky enough to be part of an amazing team from all over the world. We're a team with all manner of unique skillsets, knowledge and capabilties. From shock physics through finance to two stage gas guns and pulsed power, we've got a bit of everything at First Light! You hear so many different languages and there’s always a wide range of great conversations to be had. There’s also our healthy (competitive...) obsession with table tennis..!