Our Team

ATOM is managed by a team of volunteers drawn from the science, education and business community in and around Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

Dr Jennifer Turner


Jen is the founder of Bright Sparks Science, a Community Interest Company based in Abingdon, with an objective to make science fun, inspiring, and accessible to all. After completing a PhD in Biomedical Science, she discovered her passion for science outreach and is determined to inspire the next generation of scientists to get hands-on, through school workshops and festivals like ATOM. Jen has been involved with ATOM since 2017 and along with Megan and Jeremy she organises the Family Science Fair.



Abingdon Events Partnership


Abingdon Events Partnership provide event management services, equipment and logistical and health and safety support to ATOM Festival.


David Pennington


Following a career in design and development of electronic systems, mainly for the Royal Navy, Dave retired as Chief Systems Engineer of Ultra Electronics Command and Control Systems. He has lived in Abingdon since 2011. He has been the Treasurer of ATOM Festival for the past five years.



Professor Frank Close OBE FRS


Frank Close lives in Abingdon and is one of the founders of ATOM. He is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a former head of the theoretical physics division at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.


He is the author of several bestselling books including 'Half Life' (the true story of Harwell physicist Bruno Pontecorvo), 'Trinity: The treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History' about the life of Klaus Fuchs and “Elusive”, the story of the Higgs boson which was selected as a science book of 2022 by The Times and Sunday Times, The Guardian, Economist, Nature and Times Literary Supplement.

He has won the Association of British Science Writers award three times, was vice president of the British Association for Advancement of Science and won the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for Science Communication. He is also an experienced eclipse-chaser who has seen over a dozen eclipses - and in 2016 wrote 'Eclipse' published by Oxford University Press.”


Dr Jen Shelton


Jen is a molecular ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology where she runs the National Honey Monitoring Scheme - a citizen science project involving beekeepers and honeybees to monitor the health of our environment. Jen is passionate about communicating science to the public and has previously had a stand at ATOM festival, as well as giving talks at local popular science events and at schools to encourage the next generation into STEM. Jen moved to Abingdon in 2016 and waxes lyrical about this wonderful town, so is very excited to be involved in organising ATOM festival this year and in the future!


Bryan Brown


Bryan Brown is Chair of the Abingdon Abbey Buildings Trust and is very involved in a range of civic and community initiatives. With a long career promoting the value of design to industry and education through his own companies and various design and business organisations, Bryan is passionate about science and technology, and its potential to build civic pride and economic benefits to the town of Abingdon.

James White


James moved to Abingdon in 2008 and became the first Chairman of the Choose Abingdon Partnership, an economic forum,  in October 2009. The ATOM Festival was an initiative of this partnership.

James graduated with an honours degree in mathematics but has spent most of his career in the retail sector where he held a number of directorships including with W.H.Smith, Harrods and Bloor Research where he was Chairman. For the fifteen years before retiring and moving to Abingdon he headed his own company providing leadership development and training services nationally.


His interests include conservation – he is past chairman of Abingdon Green Gym and the Abingdon Natural History Society, and science.


In 2013 He founded the ATOM Festival of Science and Technology in Abingdon and the spin-off – The Atom Society which he still chairs. He also dabbled, rather unsuccessfully, in local politics. Other interests include electric biking and kayaking. 

Jeremy Thomas


Jeremy Thomas is Co-ordinator of the Abingdon Science Partnership and a Physics teacher at Abingdon School. Before becoming a teacher he was involved in ocean wave forecasting research at The Met Office and was a remote sensing scientist at the British Antarctic Survey. He is an IOP Physics Coach, a member of the Education Group of the Association for Science Education and sits on the Education Committee of the Royal Meteorological Society. He has been responsible for organising schools and family events for the Festival since 2017.

Stephen Clarke

Dr Jade Bartolo

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