• Room 01.015 - New Physics

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

1992 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Seagate Technology / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Data Storage (2017-2027)

Elected Fellow (FInstP) of Institute of Physics (IOP) 2005


Director, EPSRC - SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage (2014-27)

Member, Scottish Science Advisory Council (2019-23)

Senior Advisory Panel, Institute of Physics Publishing, Journal of Physics: Materials (2018 - 21 )

Member IOP Awards Committee (2017-21)

Member IOP Heads of Physics Steering Committee (2016-20)

Head of School, School of Mathematics & Physics (2015-20)

Member IOP Audit & Risk Committee (2013-17) 

Member IOP Magnetism Group (2013-17)

Member IOP Governing Council (2009-13)

Chair of the Nations & Branches of IOP (2009-11)

Chair of IOP in Ireland (2008-10)

Visiting Professor at Sogang University, Korea (2008-10)

Director, Centre for Nanostructured Media (2005-10)


Level 4 MSci Projects Supervisor

Research Interests

Advanced materials for data storage, nanoscale & nanostructured functional materials.

Research Statement

Current research is directed towards the development and evaluation of advanced materials for data storage technology in partnership with Seagate Technology. Topics being investigated include; rare earth magnetism, rare-earth-ferromagnetic coupling phenomena, synthetic magnetic multilayers and palsmonic materials to facilitate heat assisted magnetic recording sponsored by industry. I lead a team of 3 PDRAs and 7 PhDs.

This is recognised through the award in 2017 of a Seagate Technlogy / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair.

In 2010 along with Seagate Technology we established the ANSIN advanced materials hub, established in 2010 throught their investment of £7.5M of state of the art equipment and a £250K business development fund. Also established was a £1.7M programme engaging ten researchers on new materials and processes for read/write heads used in data storage in support of the R&D at Seagate Technology's manufacturing site in Springtown, Derry. This has also catalysed wider advanced materials research within the School.

2014 saw the awared of £3M from EPSRC for the  EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration & Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) in collaboration with colleagues in physics and electronic engineering at the Univerity of Glasgow. £8.1m of inital support saw recruitment of cohorts of ten PhDs, each year, for five years. Twelve industry partners are involved. 

2019 sees the renewal of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Inetgration & Advanced Data Storage (PIADS 2.0) through £4.2M from EPSRC and an further £5.3M support from over a dozen industry partners and the Universities. PIADS 2.0 will recruit 13 EngD, 21 industry aligned PhDs and 16 academic led PhDs from 2019/20 in cohorts of ten. Significantly, PIADS 2.0 now also includes the SFI Irish Photonic Integration Centre within the CDT as they recruit 5 PhDs p.a. - paving the way for collaboraive doctoral cohort research between Ireland, NI & Scotland. 

2021 saw the award of a UKRI Strength in Places Fund programme - Smart Nano NI - that further enstends and builds the partnership between Seagate Technology and QUB along with a group of other NI industry and research and skills partners to develop and ecosyetem for the advanced manufacturing of new nano photonic devices.


Co-founder, and ex-Director, Causeway Sensors Ltd.

A spin-out company specialising in nanostructured surfaces for a range of theraputic applications



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