My Research …

I have been actively engaged in research at The University of Manchester for over 20 years. I am currently a member of the Nano Engineering & Spintronic Technologies research group.

My research focuses on the use of magnetic thin films in applications such as spintronic devices, and magnetic and optical recording systems. I have been involved in the patterning of magnetic thin films for applications such as bit patterned magnetic recording systems and have built systems for characterising magnetic samples using the magneto-optical Kerr effect and electrical techniques.

My PhD (a long time ago now) focused on modelling the readout process from the scanning laser microscope, which is similar to the process of data readout from optical storage systems such as DVD and Blu-ray. Hence, the model was used by companies such as Phillips and GEC-Plessey Semiconductor to help design read channel designs for use in commercial optical disk drives.

I was of the first researchers to investigate the issues associated with the recovery of stored data in bit patterned media; once seen as a potential solution to the storage capacity limitations of hard disk drives. This work involved the development of a 2D model of the magnetic readout process to accurately reflect the 2D nature of the patterned storage material, which was used in conjunction with a detailed read channel model to understand how to efficiently recover data from such systems.

I also have an interest in other fields, for example I have been involved in robotics research and more recently the investigation of the use of behaviour techniques to improve patient outcomes in Congenital Hyperinsulinism (CHI) and Type 1 Diabetes.

In addition, I have a strong record of engagement with industry having being the academic lead/supervisor on four Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, two of which have run with the same local SME, Titan Products, the first was to develop the first BACnet enabled products in the UK and the second, more recent, to look at the use of wireless protocols (specifically Zigbee) in BACnet/BMS systems.

Current Research

I currently have a 3-year EPSRC funded project, working in conjunction with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, to investigate THz spintronics, where we are interested in understanding and optimising the emission of THz radiation from spintronic structures when exposed to femtosecond pulses of laser light.