EDF UK R&D Net Zero Heroes: Jordan Murkin
Climate change is one of the most significant challenges we face but we can all make a difference. In the summer of 2020, EDF launched its company purpose ‘Helping Britain achieve Net Zero’ and CEO Simone Rossi set out how all employees can play their part.
We recognise that the work we do makes us all Net Zero Heroes and this is particularly true in R&D.
Head of the Digital Innovation team Jordan Murkin is one of our Net Zero Heroes, find out how his job in R&D is helping Britain achieve Net Zero. Jordan leads a group of talented tech experts, data scientists, and software engineers whose mission is to lead digital change across EDF using cutting-edge digital technologies like computer vision and blockchain to solve complex business challenges across our business units. Working closely with the business, Jordan and the team harness their technical expertise to develop bespoke solutions that drive innovation and support EDF's strategic goals.
How long have you worked at EDF, and how long in R&D?
I joined the digital innovation team at EDF UK R&D Centre in July 2013 as an industrial placement student. I kept my link with EDF throughout my final year project and moved back into the team alongside my PhD, exploring the applications of blockchain within the energy sector with a focus on peer-to-peer electricity trading. Following my PhD, I finally joined the team as a Developer in 2019, from which I progressed into our Lead Developer in 2021 and subsequently took over the helm as head of the team in 2023.
When I joined, the team had just started out and as one of the first members of the team, I was fortunate to be part of its early days and witness first-hand how it grew and developed over time. From its experimental beginnings to its successful development of proofs of concept for Bluelab, and now seeing its position as a fully functional unit that provides valuable long-term industrial applications for the business.
What is your role within EDF UK R&D and how does it help Britain achieve Net Zero?
My primary responsibility is to lead a team of data scientists and software developers to explore how digital technology can transform the energy industry. Alongside this, my focuses are to push us forward in terms of digital and ways of working, identify new digital technologies that could benefit EDF, determine areas where digital can contribute and get our work in R&D in the hands of the business.
To achieve net zero, the transition to digital technologies is crucial. Our team collaborates with other units to share knowledge and expertise, supporting EDF's wider ambitions towards net zero. By developing and implementing digital solutions, we help create a cleaner and more sustainable energy system that optimises operations, improves efficiency, and reduces waste, driving us towards net zero emissions.
What do you like best about working in EDF UK R&D?
The best thing about working in EDF UK R&D is the enthusiasm and passion of the people. The centre has always had a great culture, where people are truly interested in making a difference and driving innovation in the energy industry and it's incredibly motivating to work around people that are always pushing to improve. Everyone is encouraged to contribute their ideas, and there's a real sense of collaboration and teamwork.
What’s your favourite of the projects you’ve worked on in the last year?
One of my favourite projects in the past year was the Defueling Configuration Control Application (DeCCA), a collaboration with our colleagues at Hinkley Point B as part of the Nuclear Waste and Decommissioning Programme. The project was created to develop a tool to assist engineers to manage alarm and signals states during the defueling and decommissioning process.
I was the Lead Developer during this project, getting to design, organise and build the project from start to finish. It has been a great experience working with the Generation business, including a site visit to Hinkley Point B to meet the engineers onsite and get a better understanding of how our tool will benefit their work.
The project itself was a significant challenge as it was the first end-to-end project we have undertaken with the Generation side of the business and even though we have faced some challenges I hope this project lays the groundwork and sets the stage for future collaborations together between our teams.