Mary Ryan is currently Armourers & Brasiers’ Chair in Materials Science, and Vice-Dean for Research in the Faculty of Engineering. She joined Imperial in 1998 from Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US where she was assistant scientist in the Materials-Environment Interactions Group. She graduated from Manchester University with a Joint Honours degree in Mathematics and Physics and was then awarded a PhD in Materials Science carrying out early work with in situ electrochemical STM to study passivation phenomena in alloy systems.
Mary leads a large interdisciplinary group focused on understanding nanoscale materials, and nanoscale interfaces in and between materials and their environments. She has a particular interest in the development of operando approaches and has pioneered nanoscale methods in synchrotron science. Her research spans diverse application areas including: energy materials (batteries, magnetocaloric cooling devices, photovoltaics, fuel cells and catalysis); nanomaterials for bio-sensors and therapies; the mechanisms that lead to human and environmental toxicity associated with nanostructures, and the potential of nanomaterials for environmental remediation. A key aspect of this work is understanding the reactivity and stability of nanostructures in operando in order to maximize efficiency and lifetime of devices and systems.
She was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2015 and is a Fellow IoM3 and of the Institute of Corrosion.