Prof. John McInerney  

Professor of Physics & Head of Department


Department of Physics
University College

IRIS Research profile

Tel: (+353-21)490 23 27
Fax: (+353-21)427 69 49


  • Ph.D. in Physics, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland, 1985
  • B.Sc. in Experimental Physics and Mathematical Science, National University of Ireland, Univ. Coll. Cork, 1980

Current Position

  • Professor and Head of the Department of Physics, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, 1992-.
  • Adjunct Professor of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, USA 1993-.
  • Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, University of New Mexico, USA, 1993-
    Centre Director, Optronics Ireland, 1996-.
    Director, Institute for Nonlinear Science at UCC, Ireland
    Head of Optroelectronics Research Group, UCC, Ireland

Research Interests

  • Semiconductor laser physics and technology: dynamics of lasers and nonlinear optical systems, optical switching and bistability; laser stabilisation and frequency/phase locking; modulation- and reflection-induced instabilities and chaos in semiconductor lasers; ultrafast optical and electronic processes in semiconductors including many-body effects and non-equilibrium carrier distributions; surface-emmitting semiconductor lasers and microcavities; diode laser based remote sensing by coherent optical backscatter; medical and engineering applications of lasers.

Other Professional Experience

  • 1995- present: Research Director, Plasma Ireland Ltd, a private venture in optoelectronics and plasma processing
  • 1989-93: Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA
  • 1989-1991: Chairman of Optoelectronics Programs, University of New Mexico
  • 1987-93: Proprietor of Optoelectronics Consultant Services, a consultancy and technology transfer company registered in the State of New Mexico
  • 1986-89: Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of New Mexico
  • 1984-86: STL Research Fellow in Optoelectronics, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University
  • 1982-84: Research Assistant in Physics Department, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1981-82: Research Engineer at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL), Harlow, England

Academic Honours and Awards

  • Regents Lecturer (one of 10 at the University of New Mexico), 1990-93.
  • Recipient of University of New Mexico College of Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award for 1990
  • Fellow of Cambridge University Philosophical Society, elected 1985
  • Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge University, 1984-87
  • Postgraduate Research Scholarship at Trinity College, Dublin, 1982-84
  • College Scholar, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, 1976-80

Professional Societies and Activities

Member of the Institute of Physics (UK), the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Lasers and Electro-Optics Society. Reviewer for electronics Letters, Journal of Quantum Electronics, Optics Letters Photonics Technology Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review, Journal of the Optical Society of America, Optical engineering, Optics Communications. Member of program committee for Nonlinear Dynamics of Optical Systems topical meetings and of Laser Diode Modeling and Simulation (1997-) and Vertical Cavity Semiconductor Laser (1980) conferences, SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering, program chair for semiconductor laser committee, 1994 Conference on lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO Europe ’94). Proposal review for US National Science foundation and Department of Defence, NATO, Forbairt (Ireland) and several private foundations. Irish Natl Delegate to EU COST Working Group on Technology-Driven Physics, 1994-. Member of RIA Irish National Committee for Physics, 1996-.


Over 200 refereed publications in semiconductor optoelectronics and laser physics. Over 50 postgraduate student theses supervised. A book on semiconductor laser physics is under contract with Cambridge University Press.