Dr Michele (Shelly) Conroy

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Dr. Conroy is a Royal Society University Research Fellow PI specialising in high resolution in-situ TEM. She holds a PhD in nano-optoelectronics from Tyndall National Institute and worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a permanent staff scientist before joining UL



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Dr. Conroy was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship PI grant to investigate ‘Improper Ferroelectric Domain Wall Engineering for Dynamic Electronics’. Dr Conroy’s research group at Imperial College London will focus on thin film growth of boracites and in-situ biasing 4DSTEM analysis of the charged topologies at the sub-atomic scale. The project is in collaboration with the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SuperSTEM the EPSRC National Research Facility for Advanced Electron Microscopy.

In 2019 Dr. Conroy was awarded an SFI Industry Research Fellowship with Analog Devices titled ‘Dynamic Atomic Interface Characterisation for Improved Performance of Electrical and Magnetic Devices’. Shelly is investigating changes in physical structure and polarisation by differential phase contrast STEM of materials and devices while applying bias and heat.

Dr. Conroy is also working on the NSF/SFI funded US Ireland ‘conducting domain walls for novel nano-electronics’ project within Prof. Ursel Bangert’s (PI on grant) group. She is investigating ferroelectric domain wall structure at the atomic scale within the recently installed FEI Titan Themis TEM, along with utilizing in-situ heating and biasing TEM stages to investigate the dynamic changes at these boundaries. This project is in collaboration with Prof Marty Gregg’s group at Queens University at Belfast and Prof Alexei Gruverman’s group at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr Conroy was a postdoctoral researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory within the DOE Nuclear Processing Science Initiative. Here she focused her research on high resolution and in-situ electron microscopy techniques including STEM EDS, EELS, thermal annealing, liquid cell and cryo. She was converted to permanent staff scientist (2017) within the Energy and Environment Directorate.

BSc Chemistry (Hons) 2006-2011

  • SFI UREKA summer internship at Tyndall National Institute, Prof Martyn Pemble -Synthetic photonic crystals based upon opaline systems
  • FYP at ERI,University College Cork, Prof Mick Morris -The formation of surface stable anion vacancy states at CeO2 ultra-small crystallite dimensions, XPS, SEM. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cplett.2012.03.103)

PhD Optoelectronics 2012-2015

  • SFI INSPIRE scholarship at Tyndall National Institute, Prof Justin Holmes and Prof Peter Parbrook-growth and ion/electron microscopy characterization of nano-structured III-N materials for optoelectronic devices
  • PhD research internship at KAUST in Prof Boon Ooi’s GaN Photonics Laboratory

Chair/Organizer of Conference Symposium:

  • M&M 2021- ‘Investigating Phase Transitions in Functional Materials and Devices by In Situ/Operando TEM’
  • MRS 2019 Fall Meeting-‘In Situ/Operando Studies of Dynamic Processes in Ferroelectric, Magnetic and Multiferroic Materials’
  • MMC 2019 ‘Trials and Tribulations of Electron and Light Beam Induced Radiation Effects’
  • MSI 2019 Symposium-Physical Probe and Open Access Microscopy
  • ACS 2017 Spring Meeting-Geochemistry Division

Research Award Highlights:

Microscopy Society of America Postdoctoral Researcher Award (2020)
M&M 2020 paper “Probing the Dynamics of Topologically Protected Charged Ferroelectric Domain Walls with the Electron Beam at the Atomic Scale”
Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship (2019)
Awarded funding for 2 years to investigate ferromagnetic domain walls via STEM DPC
IFSM Young Scientist Assembly (2018)
Chosen to attend the IFSM young scientist assembly before IMC, conference registration awarded
Institute of Physics (2018)
Electron Microscopy Group travel grant for IMC
National Security Directorate US (2016)
Outstanding performance award.
INSPIRE PhD Scholarship, 4 years funding (2011-2015)
PhD was based between Tyndall National Institute, School of Engineering and Department of Chemistry at University College Cork.
Electrochemical Society Conference Travel Grant (2013)
Awarded the student travel grant under the Electronics and Photonics Division to present research results on nano-patterning of III-N materials at the 223rd ECS conference in Toronto, Canada.
Institute of Chemistry Ireland Student Poster Prize (2013)
Awarded the poster prize at the 65th Irish University Chemistry Research Colloquium at Trinity College Dublin.
AMBER Ireland Launch Conference (2013)
Awarded the 1st place presentation award at the AMBER launch conference.

Regular Journal Reviewer for:

RSC (Nanoscale, CrystEngComm), IEEE, OSA, MRS, Ultramicroscopy