Prof Patrick McNally
Funded Investigator

Prof Patrick McNally received his PhD in Electrical Sciences from Brown University, Providence, RI, USA and works in the School of Electronic Engineering in DCU, where he served as Head of School 2012-2015. He is Deputy Editor in-Chief of the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics (Springer Nature). He is a world leader in the field of advanced x-ray diffraction imaging technology, non-destructive radio emission spectroscopy techniques for plasma-related process metrology, and copper halide materials and device development. Prof McNally holds significant IP in the area of photoacoustics metrology and this technology was spun out of DCU leading to the establishment (2010) of a new SME, Sonex Metrology Ltd (of which he was a founding director, and formerly its CTO).

Research Interests (Lay Summary)

In advanced 3D metal printing processes, we are developing new methods to measure the quality of the printed components during the manufacturing process, and after the components have been printed. Our research focuses on the use of non-invasive measurement techniques using customised radio receivers and optical measurements. These analyse the emitted radio and light signals produced by the interaction of high-powered lasers and the metal powders used in the 3D metal printers.

In addition, we use advanced x-ray imaging technologies, known collectively as x-ray diffraction imaging, in order to measure strains and defects inside manufactured components. These defects must be understood and eliminated in order to improve component reliability. This will help improve the yield of the manufactured components, which will lead to much lower generation of environmentally detrimental scrap materials and to more efficient manufacturing.


Materials Structure-Property Analysis, Materials Characterisation, Metrology, Nanotechnology, Reliability Analysis, Sensor Development