Photo of Dr Kirsty McKay

Dr Kirsty McKay

Lecturer Electrical Engineering and Electronics


Personal Statement

Over the past 5 years I have been restructuring and strengthening my research portfolio to utilize my knowledge of low-temperature plasma chemistry. In particular I have created a strong relationship with UKAEA in the area of divertor detachment plasma chemistry in a fusion reactor. Fusion is a key to achieving Net Zero.
My second area of my research focuses on plasma agriculture and how atmospheric pressure plasmas can be used to enhance growth and increase yield of high-value crops, while reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and decrease water consumption. This is important for Net Zero and Food Security.
My third area of research focuses on defence technologies, this brings together my current work with DSTL and the work currently being developed alongside the Skills and Training Hub, this is a very industry facing aspect of my research and will help to create next-generation solutions to today's problems. STEM areas of research have significant issues in terms of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, something that is critical to the success of any discipline, and meeting the demand for highly skilled people in the UKs STEM sectors.
I am EDI lead for the Fusion CDT and the S&T Hub in Energy Transfer Technologies. Through these roles I aim to engage with the wider community to address the issues faced around equality and inclusivity in the workplace, to create an diverse and welcoming academic and industrial environment.

Areas of expertise: Low-temperature plasma chemistry, atmospheric pressure plasma discharges, plasma polymerisation and thin-film surface coatings, mass spectrometry, plasma diagnostics (FTIR, OES, IV characterisation), data processing (PCA, multi-dimensional data reduction), computational (Fortran90, C, Matlab). Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.