Prof Patrick McNally

Death of Prof Patrick McNally

The death has been announced of Prof Patrick McNally, from Dublin City University’s School of Electronic Engineering

Prof McNally died unexpectedly on December 29th. He joined the School of Electronic Engineering in 1991. His impact on the School was profound and he served as Head of School from 2012 to 2015. Within his field of Plasma and Nanomaterials, Prof McNally was a recognised world leader in radio emission spectroscopy for plasma processing, advanced x-ray diffraction imaging technology and non-destructive nanomaterials characterisation. His work in spectroscopy has been licensed to major multinational companies and used in semiconductors fabs worldwide. He was a funded investigator in SFI's I-FORM Research Centre, held leadership roles in DCU's APT and NCPST centres.

Speaking about Prof McNally, Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said

“We in the DCU community are deeply saddened by the death of Prof Patrick McNally. As Head of the School of Electronic Engineering and as a senior researcher and lecturer, Patrick made a huge contribution to the University over the course of more than three decades.

He will be remembered as a world-leading researcher whose work in the field of spectroscopy had an international impact on semiconductor technology. Most of all, we will remember him as a valued colleague, an exceptional teacher and a generous friend who lived the DCU values and gave so much to the University.”

Dr Jennifer Bruton, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing said

“Beyond his academic brilliance, Paddy was a wonderful, very pragmatic, witty, and generous teacher, researcher, colleague and friend who always put people first. He so enjoyed engaging in all sorts of wonderful (oftentimes mischievous) conversations with students, researchers, and staff and could often be spotted in the early morning in the Helix doing just this.

His loss will be felt by so many within the School of Electronic Engineering, the School of Physical Sciences, the Faculty, and research groups and centres, as well as his collaborators and friends across academia and industry. I will miss him dearly.”

Dr Noel Murphy, Head of School, School of Electronic Engineering said

“Paddy was a research leader of national and international importance, and a gifted teacher and communicator. He was particularly noted for his work on materials processing science and engineering, with ground-breaking developments in semiconductor and nanomaterials characterisation, and on novel forms of spectroscopic sensing methods applied to quality control for laser-based material processing and integrated circuit fabrication. As one of his international research collaborators put it, he was a lively minded, stimulating, generous, warm and genuine friend - sentiments that I know are echoed by his colleagues and students alike.

He provided both formal leadership as Head of School and as Full Professor of Electronic Engineering, and informal leadership and mentorship to colleagues both inside the School of Electronic Engineering and also beyond it. We will greatly miss his unfailing sense of self-deprecating humour and equally unfailing wisdom.” 

Prof McNally was Founding Director and CTO of Sonex Metrology Ltd, a company dedicated to non-destructive silicon wafer metrology, and was the developer of Radio Emission Spectroscopy. He held nine patents in plasma and metrology technologies, and has published more than 300 journal articles and conference proceedings.

Details of Prof McNally’s funeral arrangements are available here.