Academic and Research staff

Prof. Helen Gleeson OBE FInstP

Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Leeds

Visiting academic at University of Manchester.


I am an experimental physicist, primarily involved in understanding structure and order in liquid crystal and other self-assembled systems. I took up the Cavendish Chair of Physics at the University of Leeds on January 1st 2015.  Click here to find out more about my research interests, or contact me via e-mail.


Prof. Cliff Jones FREng FInstP, CPhys, FRSA


I work on novel soft matter systems with an emphasis on their interaction with patterned surfaces. I joined the group from industry, previously being the Founder and CTO of ZBD Displays, and before that Technical Leader for the world-renowned Displays Group at DERA Malvern. My contributions to physics and entrepreneurial successes have resulted in many international prizes, including the Charles Vernon Boys Medal and Innovation Prize from the Institute of Physics, The Hilsum Medal from the British Liquid Crystal Society, and 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year for Science and Technology from Ernst and Young.

Dr. Ingo Dierking

Senior Lecturer




My research interests span soft matter systems, including liquid crystals, polymer stabilised systems and defects. Click here to find out more, or contact me via e-mail.


Dr. Mamatha Nagaraj

Brunel Fellow (Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851)



My research focuses on bent core liquid-crystals and liquid-crystal and nano material composite systems for photonic applications.

Dr. Sarabjot Kaur

Senior Researcher, University of Leeds



I have worked with Helen Gleeson on several projects, including a multidisciplinary, multi-institution project on thermotropic biaxial nematic liquid crystals. I am especially interested in their dielectric and electro-optic properties and have significant experience of dielectric studies in a variety of liquid crystal systems. I have also worked on projects that use of liquid crystals for non-display applications including sensors and switchable contact lenses.

Dr. Vitaly Panov

Research Associate



I am working with Helen Gleeson on Novel Electro-Optic & Photonic Behaviours in Liquid Crystals. I’m studying bent-core materials and mesogenic dimers. I am also designing novel automated experiments for materials characterization such as high-voltage dielectric and optical contrast spectroscopy.  


Dr. James Bailey

Research Associate



I am working with Cliff Jones on novel nano-replication techniques for optoelectronic and photonics devices based on liquid crystals and other soft matter systems. We are particularly interested in the interaction between colloidal and dispersed particles in liquid crystals with structured surfaces. My project combines the design of novel substrates to produce specific photonic effects in devices, new materials and taking fundamental research to proof of concept devices.


Visiting Academics

Professor David Dunmur


I am a chemical physicist and have worked at the Universities of Sheffield, where I was Head of Department from 1993-1996, and Southampton where I was Research Professor. I received the G W Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society in 1999.  My interests include dielectric properties of liquid crystals.  I recently co-authored Soap, Science and Flat Screen TVs, a history of liquid crystals.

Prof. Ishtiaque Syed


I am an Associate Professor of Physics from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently I am investigating some novel U-shaped liquid crystalline materials and working on switchable liquid crystal lenses with Prof Gleeson under Commonwealth Academic Fellowship program

Dr Kiyoaki Usami

Associate Professor from Osaka Sangyo University, Japan



My  research interest is a surface alignment of liquid crystals. I am currently working on photo-induced alignment of liquid crystal molecules by using polyimides containing azobenzene in the backbone structure and perfluoropolymers. Click here to find out more about my recent research, or contact me via e-mail. Dr Usami returned to Japan in April 2012, but we are looking forward to his future visits to Manchester.



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