Denis has over 25 years experience in working in all aspects of materials science. He was responsible for setting up the Surface Engineering research group at Enterprise Ireland in 1990. He transferred this activity to UCD in 2004. Denis has managed a large number of EU, SFI, EI and industry funded research projects. His specialist areas of interest include the use of plasma treatments for the surface modification of materials. Amongst the applications areas of the deposited coatings are in medical devices, solar energy, food packaging and on engineering components. Denis is an IMI post graduate diploma in business strategy and has worked as a consultant assisting companies to develop their R&D activities. He has published over 110 papers in peer reviewed journals; he has over 50 other publications and 5 patents. He is the Irish representative on the COST Materials, Physical and Nanotechnology (MPNS) technical committee. He is also the chairman of the Irish branch of the Institute of Materials Finishing (IMF). Denis was the recipient of the 2012 UCD Innovation Award.
* Functional coatings - evaluation of how nm thick coatings can influence a diverse range of surface properties including cell adhesion, polymer to polymer or metal adhesion (particularly composites) and coatings for photovoltaic applications. These coatings are deposited by both PVD and PECVD techniques. A particular research focus is on the deposition of coatings using atmospheric plasma systems.
* Tribological coatings - wear resistant and low friction coatings on tools and engineering components. These coatings are deposited by magnetron sputtering.
* Microblast coatings - Deposition of coatings from powder particles entrained in air jets using microblast and CoBlastTM techniques. A particular focus is the low temperature deposition of hydroxyapetite and Teflon coatings onto medical implants.