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Dr Michelle MacLean

Senior Lecturer

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Personal statement

I’m a Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Electronic & Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. 

My research is concerned with microbial infection control, and the development of novel disinfection and sterilisation technologies for public health applications, with particular focus on healthcare-associated infections (HAI) – the most frequent adverse event in health-care delivery worldwide, with hundreds of millions of patients affected annually.  

My major research focus has been on the fundamental antimicrobial effects of violet-blue light and it's development as a cutting-edge decontamination technology for a range of infection control applications.

I have a highly interdisciplinary background, with a BSc in Immunology and Microbiology (2002), and a PhD focused on the interdisciplinary development of UV and visible-light for sterilisation and infection control applications (2006), which I conducted at The Robertson Trust Laboratory for Electronic Sterilisation Technologies (ROLEST), at Strathclyde.  After completion of my PhD I continued my research at ROLEST where I worked as a Research Fellow.  In 2014, I was appointed as a Lecturer through a Strathclyde Chancellors Fellowship, and I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017.  I have more than 70 publications, including journals, conference proceedings and presentations at scientific and medical conferences, and also have a growing IP portfolio.


Universal decontamination of hospital surfaces in an occupied inpatient room with a continuous 405 nm light source
Bache S.E., MacLean M., Gettinby G., Anderson J.G., MacGregor S.J., Taggart I.
Journal of Hospital Infection Vol 98, pp. 67-73, (2018)
Review of the comparative susceptibility of microbial species to photoinactivation using 380-480 nm violet-blue light
Tomb Rachael M, White Tracy A, Coia John E, Anderson John G, MacGregor Scott J, Maclean Michelle
Photochemistry and Photobiology, (2017)
Assessment of the potential for resistance to antimicrobial violet-blue light in staphylococcus aureus
Tomb Rachael M., MacLean Michelle, Coia John E., MacGregor Scott J., Anderson John G.
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control Vol 6, (2017)
New proof-of-concept in viral inactivation : virucidal efficacy of 405 nm light against feline calicivirus as a model for norovirus decontamination
Tomb Rachael M., Maclean Michelle, Coia John E., Graham Elizabeth, McDonald Michael, Atreya Chintamani D., MacGregor Scott J., Anderson John G.
Food and Environmental Virology Vol 9, pp. 159-167, (2017)
Development of an antimicrobial blended white LED system containing pulsed 405-nm LEDs for decontamination applications
Gillespie Jonathan B., MacLean Michelle, Wilson Mark P., Given Martin J., MacGregor Scott J.
Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XProceedings of SPIE Vol 10056, (2017)
Efficacy of Pulsed 405-nm LEDs for antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation : effects of intensity, frequency, and duty cycle
Gillespie Jonathan B., MacLean Michelle, Given Martin J., Wilson Mark P., Judd Martin D., Timoshkin Igor V., MacGregor Scott J.
Photomedicine and Laser Surgery Vol 35, pp. 150-156, (2017)

more publications


I teach on a variety of modules in the Biomedical Engineering Department:

BE919 Research Methodology

BE428 Research Methods in Biomedical Engineering

BE207 Human Cell Biology 2

BE915 Medical Science for Engineering (Haematology and Immunology lectures)

BE101 Biomedical Engineering (sterilisation of devices lecture)

BE901 Regenerative Medicine & Tissue Engineering (sterilisation and decontamination lecture)

I also supervise a range of interdisciplinary students (EEE, BME, SIPBS) for their undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

Research interests

I am based in The Robertson Trust Laboratory for Electronic Sterilisation Technologies (ROLEST), in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, and my research is focused on the development of novel disinfection and infection control intervention technologies for public health applications, including prevention of healthcare and food/waterborne infections.

The majority of my research to date has focused on investigations into the fundamental antimicrobial effects of 405 nm high-intensity narrow-spectrum (HINS) light.  Research has focused on determining antimicrobial sensitivity, wavelength sensitivity and the mechanism of inactivation.  Much work has been focused on establishing the effects of this antimicrobial light against key pathogens including MRSA and Clostridium difficile, and I am involved in the investigation and development of this light technology for a range of disinfection applications. 

One such example of this is the development of the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System (EDS), a novel visible light system for continuous disinfection of occupied environments such as hospital isolation rooms.  This research project was awarded the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Research Project of the Year’ in 2011.   

I am also involved in the development of a number of other electro-technologies for development towards disinfection and sterilisation applications, including ultraviolet light, pulsed electric fields, oxidative corona and plasma technologies, and ozone.

Professional activities

PhD External Examiner
External Examiner

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Dougall, Laura
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator) Timoshkin, Igor (Co-investigator) Dougall, Laura (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 01-Apr-2019
Impact Acceleration Account - University Of Strathclyde 2012 / R120526-240
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2012 - 31-Mar-2017
Impact Acceleration Account - University of Strathclyde 2017 / R170483-110
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2017 - 31-Mar-2020
Impact Acceleration Account - University of Strathclyde 2017 / R170483-109
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2017 - 31-Mar-2020
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant - DTA, University of Strathclyde | Moorhead, Sian
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator) MacGregor, Scott (Co-investigator) Moorhead, Sian (Research Co-investigator)
The inactivation of highly resilient Clostridium difficile spores using 405 nm light and the investigation into mechanisms to enhance spore susceptability.
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 28-Sep-2017
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant - DTA, University of Strathclyde | Gillespie, Jonathan Bernard
MacLean, Michelle (Principal Investigator) Given, M (Co-investigator) Gillespie, Jonathan Bernard (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 01-Apr-2017

more projects


Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Royal College Building

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