Professor Padraig Dunne

School of Physics



Padraig Dunne graduated from UCD with an honours degree in Experimental Physics in 1989, and with a PhD in experimental laser plasma spectroscopy in 1994. He is a professor in the UCD School of Physics. He researches the spectroscopy of laser plasmas and their development as extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray light sources for applications such as lithography and microscopy. Recently he has started to research the astrophysical spectra of kilonovae, which occur when two neutron stars merge. He was a recent recipient of research funding under the 2022 EU Horizons programme, as a PI on an ERC Synergy project, entitled “HEAVYMETAL” which explores the origins of heavy elements in the Universe. The hypothesis of this project is that neutron star mergers are the main site for heavy element formation. He has a strong interest in innovation and in connecting research outputs to impact in society.

He was head of the UCD School of Physics from 2012 to 2016 and graduate school director in the College of Engineering Mathematical & Physical Sciences from 2007 to 2011. In 2013/14 he initiated the University of California Summer Schools in Physics at UCD, which grew to accommodate over 250 students in 2019, and is currently in a new phase of development. Since 2018 he is Academic Lead on the Science Phase III capital redevelopment project at UCD. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics.

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