Dr Michael O'Toole


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Dr Michael O’Toole is a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester. His research is focused on impact-driven innovations using magnetic induction or eddy-current sensors and instrumentation, for example, high sensitivity, advanced multi-frequency, and ‘smart’ metal detectors capable of characterising properties about objects.

This work has led him to develop a number of projects across high profile application domains; from bio-impedance spectroscopy measurements of foods and other tissues, to separating metals in the recycling and resource recovery sectors.

He is a fervent advocate of public engagement and outreach, creating new events and activities, working with community organisations, schools, libraries, and museums.

He regularly supervises Nuffield research placements, and was chair of the Manchester branch of the British Science Association for over five years, participating numerous events, from Cheltenham Science Festival, Discover Engineering days, Engineering Headstart, Infinity Science Festival, Bluedot, and events at the Manchester Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.


Dr O’Toole was awarded his MEng (Hons) degree at the University of Reading (Integrated Engineering) in 2006, and completed his PhD at Loughborough University in 2011.

He has worked on a range of major research projects, working with academic and industrial partners to commission new prototypes for industry trials. Examples include EU Framework 7 projects FRUITGRADING (2012-15), Q-MEAT (2012-14), and SHREDDERSORT (2014-2016) run in collaboration with leading European research laboratories.

In 2016, he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship. This award has allowed him to build a diverse research portfolio, authoring publications in high impact international journals and conferences, and inventor on a new patent. He was appointed lecturer in the department in 2020, lecturing on High Speed and Mixed Signal systems design.   

Areas of expertise

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms


  • non destructive testing (NDT), bioimpedance, magnetic induction, sensors, instrumentation

Related information

Publication highlights

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

Activity: MembershipMembership of professional association

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Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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