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Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Dr John Ash has spent much of his career addressing problems in risk management. The early part of his military experience was gained in the Royal Air Force, where as a Fighter Control officer he directed high performance aircraft using radar. John spent the latter part of his service career in the Royal Navy, where as an oceanographer and submariner he was involved in the collection of data in the Arctic Ocean to support the study of thinning in the polar pack ice. Selected to lead a team of Russian researchers at Cambridge University examining radionuclide pollution in the Northern Seas, John was later assigned to undertake the initial design work for the Navy Department’s environmental management system.
In 1998 he retired from active duty in the rank of Lieutenant Commander to read for a doctorate, examining environmental risk management associated with oil development in the Arctic littoral. He has also held a British Safety Council Fellowship at the Judge Institute of Management Studies (now the Judge Business School) at the University of Cambridge, where the focus of his research was the management of dynamic risk problems in operational environments. John’s peer-reviewed publications explore the implications of new nuclear sources of electricity, and he is the author of a book chapter on the management of fratricide risk in the 21st Century battlespace. More recent papers address climate change and conflict in the Arctic, a subject on which he was called to give evidence to Parliament.
John has lectured at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and also the Joint Services Command and Staff College, on the application of risk management. An Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, he also holds a professional qualification in environmental risk management.


  • –present
    Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute , University of Cambridge