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An alumnus (G87) and former College Lecturer, Director of Studies, Tutor and Title A Fellow (1989–1993) at Churchill College, Donal specialises in the science and application of solution-processed semiconductors. His pivotal work on conjugated polymer LEDs (written up in Science and Technology at Churchill College Cambridge: The First Fifty Years) initiated the field of plastic electronics (see Royal Society Success Stories 2015 “Sparking the Plastic Electronics Revolution”) and his papers have accrued more than 75,000 citations. Donal co-founded Cambridge Display Technology, Molecular Vision, and Solar Press (UK) to develop display, medical diagnostic and solar cell applications of this science and his contributions have been recognised by the award of a CBE and many other honours. These include the RS Brian Mercer and Bakerian Awards, EU Descartes Prize, IET Faraday Medal, European Latsis Award, IOP Faraday Medal, SID Jan Rachman Prize, honorary doctorates from the University of Sheffield and Hong Kong Baptist University, the Jiangsu Province (China) Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Cooperation and many named lectures.
He is currently Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, Professorial Fellow at Jesus College and Professor of Engineering Science and Physics at the University of Oxford. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, where he was previously Vice Provost (Research), Head of Physics and founding Director of the Centre for Plastic Electronics. Alongside these academic roles, Donal is a Trustee of the Rank Prize Funds and Chairman of their Optoelectronics Advisory Committee. Donal is married to Bev and they have three children, Amelia, Conor and Eliza.