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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Professor Michael Petty, BSc PhD DSc FInstP FIET

Personal web page

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Engineering
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42419
Room number: E498 (Christopherson)

(email at


Michael Petty is now retired, but holds an Emeritus Professorship within the Department of Engineering. He no longer supervises research students.

Michael Petty's higher education was at Sussex University (BSc and DSc) and Imperial College (PhD Electronic Materials.) He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Mike has been at Durham University since 1976 progressing to Professor in 1994 then Chairman of the School of Engineering in 1997 (until 2000). He was the Chairman of St Mary's College Council from 2002 until 2009 and was the Sir James Knott Foundation Fellow in 2001.

Mike's research group established an international reputation in the area of ultra-thin and nano-scale organic films and the exploitation of their optical, electro-optical and biological properties. His current interests include the development of molecular and nanoscale materials for unconventional computing applications. Mike has lectured worldwide and published 400 papers/books/patents in these subjects.

He was the UK editor of the journal Materials Science and Engineering C until 2007 and a was a founding Board Member of the Institute of Nanotechnology. Mike was also formerly President of the International Society for Molecular Electronics and BioComputing. He was also a non-Executive Director of the North East Regional Centre of Excellence for Nanotechnology, Micro & Photonic Systems (Cenamps) until 2007.

Professor Petty was appointed in 2000 by the MoD to advise on Nanotechnology and was a Member of the Office of Science & Technology Advisory Group on Nanotechnology Applications that reported to Lord Sainsbury in June 2002.

Research Interests

  • Evolutionary computing
  • Gas and ion sensors
  • Molecular electronics
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Organic thin films

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

Journal Article

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