Professor Dermot O’Hare was born in Newry, Co Down and studied at Balliol College, Oxford University, where he obtained his B.Sc. in 1982 and his D. Phil in 1985, under the direction of Professor M.L.H Green. Subsequently, he was awarded a Royal Commission of 1851 Research Fellowship.
He was a visiting research fellow at CR&D E.I. du Pont deNemours in Wilmington, Delaware in 1986/7 where he worked in the group lead by Prof J.S. Miller on molecular-based magnetic materials. In 1987 he returned to Oxford to a short term lectureship and in 1990 he was appointed to a permanent University position and a Septcentenary Tutorial Fellowship at Balliol College.
In 1996 he was honoured by the Institüt de France, Académie des Sciences as one of the top 50 leading scientists in Europe under 40 yrs. He was the Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Edward Frankland Fellow in 1996/97. In 1997 he was awarded the Exxon European Chemical and Engineering Prize. In 1998 he became Professor.
Professor O'Hare leads a multi-disciplinary research team (34 including PDRA, PhD and MChem researchers). The team works across the broad areas of catalysis and nanomaterials. O'Hare's research is specifically targeted at finding solutions to global issues relating to energy, zero carbon and the circular economy. In 2010 he won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Ludwig Mond award for outstanding research in Inorganic chemistry.
In 2012, following the establishment of a mutually successful relationship with SCG Chemicals Co. Ltd, Dermot was instrumental in creating the SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence for Chemistry (CoE) on which he serves as the Director. This is a unique collaboration between SCG and the University of Oxford with dedicated laboratories in the Department of Chemistry focusing on the research and development in the area of Nanomaterials and catalysis. It has employed forty-five people over 49 projects with total committed funds of over £19 million.
The establishment of the CoE itself has strengthened scientific and commercial ties between the UK and Thailand leading to Professor Dermot O’Hare and SCG's presentation to HRH Princess Sirindhorn at the British Embassy, Bangkok in 2016, which was a tremendous honor. Also in recognition of the creation of the CoE he received an Impact Award from the University of Oxford.
In 2016 he was awarded the RSC Tilden for his creative work on the synthesis, reactivity and advanced characterisation of molecular inorganic compounds and materials spanning organometallic chemistry to framework and layered materials. In 2019 the SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence for Chemistry (CoE) was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Academia-Industry Prize.
Recent highlights from the O’Hare group include, the development of new catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to synthetic fuel, the conversion of biomass to hydrocarbons, the production of layered double hydroxides nanosheets to produce non-toxic recyclable gas barrier packaging film.