Mary O'neill


School of Science and Technology

Staff Group(s)
School Management Team


Prof O’Neill is Dean of the School of Science and Technology. Her role is to provide strategic leadership of the School and to ensure the efficient and effective management of all its resources. It’s also to lead the development and delivery of the School plan to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, student experience and employability as well as research performance.

Career overview

Professor O’Neill has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from University College Cork, Ireland, and a PhD in physics from the University of Strathclyde. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Glasgow and a short spell in industry, she joined the University of Hull, where she was the founding Head of the Department of Physics and Mathematics between 2012 and 2016.  She also led the Organophotonics group, an interdisciplinary team investigating novel organics and nanomaterials for application in photonic and electronic devices.

Research areas

Professor O’Neill’s main research interests are the physics of semiconductors, liquid crystals and nanomaterials, both organic and inorganic, and their application in light-emitting devices. photovoltaics, electronic and photonic devices. Her research aims to understand the physical and semiconducting properties of materials and to design device configurations to best exploit these.

External activity

  • Chair of panel for European Research Council Consolidators Grants 2016, (PE7 Systems and Communication Engineering)
  • Member of steering committee of Head of Physics forum, Institute of Physics, 2014-2016
  • Invited delegate to 4th UK-Korea workshop on Plastic Electronics, Seoul, July 2014
  • Member of international advisory committee for 2nd International Symposium on Self-Organising Molecular Semiconductors, February 2014, Tokyo, Japan
  • Director of St Cuthbert’s Multi-Academy Trust 2014-2016
  • International Liquid Crystal Conference, 2012: Coordinator of the Special Symposium on: Self-organization in optoelectronic materials

Sponsors and collaborators

Organophotonics Group, University of Hull

Prof O’Neill is a founder of the spin-out company, Polar OLED, which develops roll to roll technology for organic light emitting displays.


Microwave oven fabricated hybrid memristor devices for non-volatile memory storage. Verrelli E, Gray RJ, O’Neill M, Kelly SM, and Kemp NT, Materials Research Express, 2014, 4, 04630

Solution-processed bilayer photovoltaic devices with nematic liquid crystals. Al Khalifah MS, Lei C, Myers S, O’Neill M, Kitney SP and S. M. Kelly, Liquid Crystals, 2014, 41, 402-417

The influence of the nematic phase on the phase separation of blended organic semiconductors for photovoltaics. Myers
SA, Al Khalifah MS, Lei C, O’Neill M, Kitney SP and Kelly SM, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2013, 116, 262-269

Organic Semiconductors: Nematic Spiro[cyclopentyl-1,9’]fluorenes. Reddy Billa M, Kassireddy K, Haro M, Al-Kalifah MS, Kelly SM, Kitney SP and O’Neill M, Liq Cryst, 2011, 38, 813-829

Ordered materials for organic electronics and photonics. O’Neill M and Kelly SM, Adv. Mater, 2011, 23, 566–584

One-Step Photoembossing for Submicrometer Surface Relief Structures in Liquid Crystal Semiconductors. Liedtke A, Lei C, O’Neill M, Dyer PE, Kitney SP and Kelly SM, ACS Nano, 2010, 4, 3248–3253

Optical Properties of Light-Emitting Nematic Liquid Crystals: A Joint Experimental and Theoretical Study. Liedtke A, O’Neill M, Kelly SM, Kitney SP, Van Averbeke B, Boudard P, Beljonne D and Cornil J. Phys Chem B, 2010, 114,11975–11982