Mitchell Kenney graduated from the University of Birmingham (UoB) in 2011 with an MSci in Physics with Nanotechnology (2:1). He continued on to study a PhD in Metasurfaces in the Metamaterial Research Centre (MRC) also at UoB, headed by Prof. Shuang Zhang. This focussed on the use of phase and amplitude control to manipulate electromagnetic waves using metasurfaces, where he graduated July 2016. These works resulted in 3 highly-cited and prestigious papers with Mitchell as joint first author, published in Nature Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials.
Mitchell took up a Research Assistant post at the University of Glasgow in Oct 2015 under Prof. David Cumming, joining the Microsystems Technology Group in the School of Engineering. This position aimed to use his metasurface expertise on the development of novel devices for sensing in the EPSRC SuperCamera project (EP/J018678/1), which proposed to combine Visible, Infrared, and Terahertz imaging modalities into a single module. This work culminated in the development of ultrahigh and broadband absorption of THz waves using novel fractal metasurfaces. The findings were published in ACS Photonics (where it was chosen as the cover issue), and Optics Express. In August 2018 he was promoted to Research Associate.
Following this work, he then helped to secure funding (QuantIC, £245,000) to approach the task of designing, fabricating and using metasurfaces lenses for Infrared imaging applications for defence. This was done in collaboration with industrial partners Leonardo, Gooch and Housego, and the UK ATC. Following this, a grant to support and continue this venture into space applications, provided by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) worth £75,000, allowed him to fabricate the UK's largest and most efficient near infrared metalens (10 mm diameter, 73% focussing efficiency). These works were then modified to produce large area Mid Infrared metalenses until COVID lockdown led to the project being halted.
Mitchell secured a proleptic-lecturer position at UoG joint with the UESTC (Chengdu, China), due to start April 2020. He was also awarded a prestigious Nottingham Research Fellowship (NRF) at the University of Nottingham, which he chose to follow over the lectureship. This 3-year Tenure-track Fellowship, started in May 2020, and awarded £75,000 of research expenses for him to carry out his proposal on "Next-generation ultrathin optics: Developing multifunctional metasurfaces for fibre-based technologies", aimed at transferring the multimodal imaging capabilities of metasurfaces into healthcare and life-science based applications and research. He aims to use his knowledge of metasurface optics to engage in collaborative projects working closely with colleagues associated with the School of Life Sciences.
Mitchell is a member of the Optics and Photonics Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham.
Mitchell's main areas of expertise are in high-efficiency metasurfaces, including absorbers, holography and lensing.