After working as a Research Fellow sponsored by Rolls Royce researching into the structural integrity of jet-engine turbine flanges in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nottingham, 1980 to 1983, Professor Marsden joined the UKAEA (later to become AEA Technology). After initially working on the development of fast reactors he became Head of Nuclear Graphite Technology in 1991 and led a key-team involved in safety assessments, life extension and decommissioning of graphite moderated reactors (including AGR, Magnox, HTR and RBMK Nuclear Power Plant). In September 2001, he founded the Nuclear Graphite Research Group (NGRG) in the School of Engineering at the University of Manchester as a Senior Research Fellow. In May 2004 he was granted the title of Professorial Fellow. The NGRG is now an international centre of excellence in nuclear graphite technology. Professor Marsden is also head of the MACE Nuclear Research Group within the School of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering, the University of Manchester and is responsible for the development of undergraduate courses in Nuclear systems and an undergraduate degree Mechanical engineering with Nuclear (BEng and MEng).
Professor Marsden is also:
Member of the Graphite Technical Advisory Committee (A HSE(NSD) independent advisory committee),
Official UK representative on the International Working Group for Gas-cooled Reactors
Member of an IAEA Co-ordinated Research Programme on Irradiation Creep in Graphite
Previously positions held by Professor Marsden include: chairman of an international group brought together by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to produce a Technical Document on characterisation, treatment and conditioning of radioactive graphite from the decommissioning of nuclear power plant (published 2006), membership of the Windscale Pile Technical Committee, membership of the Graphite Core Data and Methods Committee, membership of the Wigner Energy Subgroup (NIREX), a member of the 1995 Ignalina RBMK 1500 Safety Analysis Group, Chairman of the RBMK Safety Review Phase 2, Task Group 7 (TASIS), membership of the IAEA programme on the safety of VVER and RBMK nuclear power plants, membership (Task Group Leader) of the TACIS Project RBMK Channel Lifetime Assessment and Experiment Support. During 1996 Professor Marsden was a guest Research Fellow at the Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), Japan, jointly funded by the Japanese Government and UK HSE(NSD).