Leadership Team

Professor Rob Short FTSE

Director of the Materials Science Institute

Rob has had a career in academia and industry for more than 25 years. During this time, he has published over 200 papers and is an inventor on 10 distinct patents that underpin products sold globally. He studied Chemistry (BSc) and Physical Chemistry (PhD) at the University of Durham (UK) and joined the University of Sheffield in 1988, where he held the Chair of Material and Biomaterial Chemistry from 2001. In 2006, Rob joined the University of South Australia, where he held the positions of Director of a Research Institute, Dean of Research and Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President. At the invitation of the Minister he served on the Australian Research Council's College of Experts 2008-10. In 2013, he was elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is also a fellow of the RSC and IMMM (UK). He joined Lancaster University in 2016 as the Inaugural Director of the Material Science Institute.

View Rob's profile for further information about his research.

Professor Rob Short
Professor Andrew Kennedy

Professor Andrew Kennedy

Deputy Director of the Materials Science Institute

Andrew joined the Department of Engineering at Lancaster in 2017. A graduate of Imperial College and Cambridge University, prior to coming to Lancaster he was an academic in the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham University. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed journal papers, multiple book chapters and holds 2 patents.

The main theme of his research is the development and optimisation of novel manufacturing methods for materials. This activity is underpinned by process development, material characterisation and property measurement, supported in most aspects by numerical modelling. The typical focus for such projects might include material or cost reduction in manufacturing processes, material performance enhancement, process optimisation for multiple constraints, or development of completely new approaches to manufacturing with new materials.

Professor Manus Hayne

Deputy Director of the Materials Science Institute

Professor Hayne studied in Southampton and did a PhD and a postdoc in Exeter, before moving to the European mainland. He briefly worked in Paris, and then at the KU Leuven, Belgium for nearly 10 years, where he investigated semiconductor nanostructures in very high magnetic fields (up to 50 T). In 2006, he joined the Physics Department in Lancaster, where he is currently Director of Research and Deputy Head of Department. His research interests are in the growth and characterisation of compound semiconductor materials, and in their exploitation in the development of novel electronic and optoelectronic devices. He collaborates widely with UK and European universities and international companies. He is holder of several patents and co-founder of Lancaster Material Analysis.

Professor Manus Hayne
Professor Manus Hayne

Dr Benjamin Robinson

Deputy Director of the Materials Science Institute

Ben is a Senior Lecturer in Physics and a Deputy Director of the Lancaster University Materials Science Institute. His research group is focused on experimental quantum nanotechnology, they are particularly interested in exploiting room temperature quantum effects in ultra-thin films comprised of well-ordered organic molecular films, quantum dots and 2D materials. To achieve this, the group have a track record in developing and exploiting novel scanning probe methodologies for nanoscale characterisation of electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. From 2015-2020 Ben held a highly competitive 50th anniversary lectureship in Physics from Lancaster University. He has authored or co-authored on more than 40 peer reviewed journal articles and he is a past winner of Royal Society of Chemistry, Philip Lynn Adams memorial prize.

View Ben's profile for further information about his research interests.

Professor Pedro Rivera Diaz Del Castillo

Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair

Appointed in September 2017, Professor Pedro Rivera is the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair at Lancaster University. From 2009 to 2017 he was Assistant Director of Research at the Steel Technology Centre at University of Cambridge, where he taught and led a research group mainly focusing on ultra-high strength steels, but also working on titanium, magnesium and high entropy alloys. His research has resulted in a variety of novel steel grades leading to three international patents and over 170 articles in international journals (h index = 42). Several modelling approaches have been produced by his group; some of these have been implemented in commercial software. At present, his new group at Lancaster University focuses on ‘Alloy and microstructure design for additive layer manufacturing’.

Professor Andrew Kennedy
Ihtesham

Professor Ihtesham Rehman

Chair in Bioengineering

Ihtesham is Professor of Bioengineering at Lancaster University. Prior to that, he has authored over 250 scientific articles, and has four patents to his name. He has a h-index of 53 with 13576 citataion.

Ihtesham has a diverse research career, spanning over 30 years and has led strong teams in research, teaching and management. He has given over 100 plenary and keynote lectures in the fields of biomaterials / bioengineering / biospectroscopy. In addition to authoring several book chapters, he has also authored a book, Title: Vibrational Spectroscopy for Tissue Analysis, Series in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, CRC Press; A Taylor and Francis Book, ISBN 978-1-439-3608-8, October 2012.

Professor Paul O'Shea

Chair in Biomedicine

Prof. Paul O'Shea is the director of Research in the Faculty of Health & Medicine at Lancaster University. Following 18 years at the University of Nottingham at which he established the Institute of Biophysics, Imaging & Optical Science, Paul moved to Lancaster in 2019. His research interests are in understanding the physical basis of how the totality of molecular interactions underlie virtually every aspect of cell and molecular physiology. More specifically, these are directed towards the biophysics of membranes and precision & systems medicine particularly utilising spectroscopic and imaging tools. Paul has pioneered the development and implementation of a number of spectroscopic tools for the ultra-sensitive measurement of molecular interactions with living cells and model membrane systems. As well as ligand-protein interactions in soluble proteins systems. As part of these studies and within a broader research program directed at biomolecular interactions, Paul has developed a comprehensive panel of spectroscopic and imaging-based technologies that illuminate molecular interactions with many kinds of biological surfaces using for example, plasmonics, optical scattering techniques and fluorescence. These tools can also aid identification of the spatial location of the molecular interactions on the surface of living cells and with model membrane surfaces.

Professor Paul O'Shea
Ihtesham

Dr Alex Robson

Senior Research Associate & Innovation Fellow

Alex is a Senior Research Associate & Innovation Fellow working on the ERDF Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) programme, based in the Department of Chemistry & Materials Science Institute at Lancaster University. His research concentrates on the development of thin film coatings via plasma polymerisation, with applications in anti-microbial/anti-viral spaces, and the analysis of materials, devices and coatings via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and cross-sectional scanning probe microscopy. His role on the GISMO programme facilities business engagement activities with companies in the Cheshire and Warrington region, aiding businesses with research and development in the surfaces and coatings research space.

View Alex's profile for more information about his research.

Gizem Acar

Gizem was born in Ankara, Turkey. She holds a BSc degree in Physics from Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She attended advanced courses that included high-level optics literature design, computer networks, and digital electronics during her education career. After graduation, she received a 100% merit-based scholarship from Sabanci University (SU) in Istanbul, Turkey, where she completed her thesis for her MSc in Electronics Engineering while working as a teaching assistant. As a member of the SU-MEMS group, she worked on developing portable, low power embedded systems for mHealth applications and cell separation using microfluidics. After graduation, she studied organic optoelectronic devices for biomedical applications at Durham University, UK. She assembled organic light-emitting transistors (OLET) and characterized them for biomedical applications. In July 2021 she joined Lancaster University, UK, where she is working within the EU Innovative Training Network QUANTIMONY (PhD programme) towards her PhD in the Quantum Nanotechnology group (Prof. Manus Hayne). Her research is on telecoms-wavelength GaSb quantum ring single-photon LEDs

Gizem Acar
Dr Odette Dewhurst

Dr Odette Dewhurst

Senior Research Development Manager

Odette joined Lancaster in December 2015 from the University of Leeds, where she had worked for 16 years.

Her research background is in cancer cell biology, although for the past 10 years, she has worked with academics across a range of disciplines; initially working in the area of researcher development and later in the area of research funding development.

Odette has extensive experience of working with academics and clinical academics during the development of research funding applications to UK Research Councils and charities. Her focus here at Lancaster is working to help the University increase its research income by working with individuals and teams during the development of large, collaborative and/or strategically key applications, predominantly across the health, medicine and life science areas. The main funders I focus on include MRC, BBSRC, NIHR and the larger medical charities, particularly the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.

Michael Entwistle

Partnerships and Business Engagement Manager

Mike is a Partnerships and Business Engagement Manager within the Faculty of Science and Technology, working to broker industry partnerships and other research collaborations across the Physical Sciences and Engineering disciplines. Having originally joined the University in 2003 to manage environmental and eco-innovation programmes from the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), he has since worked across a number of Knowledge Exchange initiatives including establishment of Graduate Consultancy capabilities in LEC, the management of a state of the art new build facility for Chemistry and more recently, leading a number of business engagement projects from Lancaster University Management School. Current endeavours focus on building external relationships to exploit contract and collaborative research opportunities, facilitiating consultancy and facilities access requirements and supporting the co-location of companies on the Lancaster campus. Mike has a background in Environmental Management and Protection and is a Practitioner of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (PIEMA).

Michael Entwistle
Dr Odette Dewhurst

Rachel Lyon

Research Institutes Administartor

View Rachel's profile