Commencement Distinguished Guests

Brian MacCraith

Brian MacCraith

Honorary Degree Recipient


Brian MacCraith is president of Dublin City University in Ireland. He is renowned internationally in the areas of optical chemical sensors and biosensors.


Brian MacCraith has been president of Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland since 2010.

He is renowned internationally for his research on optical chemical sensors and biosensors and has been elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy, and Fellowship of the Institute of Physics, SPIE (the international photonics organization), and the Irish Academy of Engineers.

MacCraith was a visiting scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. in 1997, working on Biowarfare Detection. Subsequently, he became founding director of the National Centre for Sensor Research at DCU. The NCSR has more than 200 researchers working on cutting-edge applications of physical, chemical and biological sensors. In 2005, he led the establishment of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU and was appointed as its first director. The BDI is a large-scale, academic-industrial-clinical partnership, focused on the development of next-generation diagnostic devices.

MacCraith received his bachelor’s degree in physics at National University of Ireland, Galway, where he also completed a master’s and doctoral degree in Optical Spectroscopy of Laser Materials. In 1986 he joined the staff of DCU where he has played an active role in teaching physics and research in optical sensors, biomedical diagnostics and nanobiophotonics.

MacCraith also has a strong profile in teaching and learning activities. He has had a substantial involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education, focusing on physics teaching and the gender imbalance in STEM. Currently, he is chairing the STEM Education Review Group for the Irish government.

As president, he is leading a strategy ("Transforming Lives and Societies") to develop DCU as a research-intensive, globally engaged university of enterprise that is focused both on the quality and impact of its graduates and the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. Under his leadership, DCU has been ranked, for the past three years, in the top 50 young universities in the world.