ILCS Picture of the Month


The International Liquid Crystal Society (ILCS) have chosen my image entitled ‘Trapped Transitions’ as their Liquid Crystal Picture of the Month! It will be featured on the ILCS homepage throughout June.

The Jury said: “I find it visually very attractive with the distribution of different spreading lines and the positioning of shapes of different colours. The connection to the microfluidics technology is of course technologically and scientifically very interesting and new to the field.”

You can see other beautiful liquid crystal related images in the ILCS Gallery.

Trapped Transitions

“A polymer channel laser-written in a pi-cell liquid crystal device, inspired by developments in microfluidics technology. The device is relaxing to a topologically discontinuous director state and the transition is confined and unable to penetrate through the topologically discontinuous polymer walls. Scale: the central channel is 45 µm in width.”

Paper published in Nature Communications


Nature Comms

My latest paper “Electrically-tunable positioning of topological defects in liquid crystals” has been published in Nature Communications today!

I have written a “Behind The Paper” post explaining topological defects in liquid crystals to a general audience, which you can find here.

The Department of Engineering Science at Oxford have written a featured news item on the paper.

Defect confinement channel
Topological defect confinement channel created with direct laser writing


IET Award Evening


Today I received an award from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) at a fantastic ceremony at Saville Place in London. The IET awards recognise postgraduate research students from around the world conducting research in engineering-related topics. You can read about the 2019 winners here.

John Sandford O'Neill

I was awarded the Leslie H. Paddle scholarship which was established in 1979 under a bequest from Leslie H. Paddle, the vice-president of the Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers (IERE).

My family
Celebrating with my family

Many thanks to the IET for an excellent evening at Saville Place. It was great to see the global outlook and breadth of the IET awards and scholarships programme.

You can read more about my work and the award in this article hosted by the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford.