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Dr Arnold Mckinley


Teaching Fellow

Room 917, Roberts Building, UCL

Address:Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
University College London
Torrington Place
Research Group:Electronic Materials and Devices
Personal Web Page:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 1113 / 51113 (internal)  
Fax:+44 (0)20 7388 9325

Arnold McKinley received his PhD degree from The Australian National University (ANU) in 2014 for his work on the resonances of meta-material split-rings for use as nano-antennas on solar cells. He holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering (1972) and a Master's degree in Engineering-Economic Systems (1973), both from Stanford University. He also holds a Master's degree in Comparative Religions (1989) from the Graduate Theological Union Berkeley.

Dr. McKinley worked at the Institute for Energy Studies at Stanford and in the Center for the Study of Social Policy at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in the 1970s. In the early 1980's he taught at San Diego State University in the departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering. For the next 25 years, he worked on contract and internally for various scientific laboratories and institutions, including Apple Computer, X-Rite technology Center, Minolta Laboratory Systems, and the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education for the National Science Foundation. In 1995 he founded MetaMind Software to develop educational software for engineering and science students.

In 2005, he joined Apparent, where he led program development for "EnergyREView", a browser-based energy monitoring system for renewable energy systems. He later provided the basic mathematics used to explain power factor correction using the company's micro-inverter product on solar modules. He wrote several white papers for the company and holds two patents on the company’s products.

Dr. McKinley designed the Sustainable Energy Minor for the Faculty of Engineering at UCL. The first cohort of undergraduates just completed a 500 page Needs Brief and designed seven energy systems for a rural county in south-western Kenya. The report, entitled “Designing Sustainable Energy Systems for Kakamega County, Kenya”, is available at:

Dr. McKinley is currently working on issues concerned with the integration of renewables on the electricity grid in the US, Australia and Europe. His latest effort is a look at the use of embedded networks and micro-grids to effect load shedding from the main grid in South Australia to solve numerable problems on main grid stability and price of electricity.

Research areas of interest include:

  • Nano-ring structures on Solar Cells for light capture
  • Ring antennas for use in THz communications
  • Issues of Renewable Energy resources, particularly integration of solar photo-voltaics onto the electrical grid

Nano-scaled rings can be used in the microwave region for meta-materials and in the microwave, terahertz (THz), and infrared regions for communications. The THz band is expected to open during the next five years, and these rings structures will make excellent antennas. I am currently looking for a material to use in fabricating nano-rings to enhance light capture in solar cells.

I am actively looking for ways of solving the "Duck Problem", wherein the use of solar PV reduces the need of fossil fuel plant generation during the midday. Shutdown of these plants is costly and is one major reason that utilities hesitate in their support for PV solar and wind. This is a knotty issue in the US, Australia and in some countries in Eastern Europe.

I have interests in battery storage integration and in reactive power production by solar PV micro-inverters.

I am working with students on projects focusing on renewable energy resources for developing countries.

I provide consulting expertise on the use of embedded networks and micro-grids as a mechanism for shedding load on the main grid, stabilizing the power system and lowering the consumer price of electricity.

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Number of publications: 6.





Publications without a recorded date