Gregory MacDougall

Research Assistant Professor


Gregory MacDougall

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
408 Seitz Materials Research Lab


Professor Gregory MacDougall received a bachelor's degree in mathematical physics from Simon Fraser University in 2002 and a Ph.D. in physics from McMaster University in 2008. His doctoral research focused on exploring the magnetic properties of unconventional superconductors using techniques such as \muSR, magnetometry and neutron scattering. Professor MacDougall went on to work in the Quantum Condensed Matter Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There he used primarily neutron scattering facilities at the Spallation Neutron Source and the High-Flux Isotope Reactor to explore material properties of frustrated antiferromagnets, high-temperature superconductors and thin-film multiferroics. Throughout his research career, Professor MacDougall has maintained a healthy interest in the growth of large single crystals of novel compounds.

Research Interests

  • spin-orbital and spin-lattice coupling
  • orbital order
  • magnetic frustration
  • superconductivity
  • magnetic fluctuations
  • emergent magnetism

Research Statement

Professor MacDougall's research involves the exploration of emergent magnetic properties of novel materials using probes such as neutron scattering and muon spin rotation (muSR). His work at UIUC additionally includes the synthesis of novel compounds and the growth of large single crystals.

Problems of current interest include orbital order, the effects of magnetic frustration, the interplay between magnetism and superconductivity in correlated materials, and the coupling between spin, charge and lattice degrees-of-freedom in condensed matter systems.

Projects in this group are varied, but will likely include aspects of materials development, crystal growth and characterization, and the execution of neutron scattering or muSR experiments at national laboratories.


  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research (2017)
  • Center for Advanced Study Fellow (2017-2018)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award (09/01/2015)
  • Gordon Battelle Award for Scientific Discovery (01/31/2011)

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Spring 2016PHYS 225
Spring 2015PHYS 225

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • Accolades

Professor Nigel Goldenfeld is the recipient of the 2017 Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award, conferred on faculty members who have received national or international acclaim for contributions to their fields through exemplary research and impactful teaching.

Asst. Professor Gregory MacDougall is a recipient of the 2017 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. This award is presented annually to recognize the best research to emerge from the U. of I. College of Engineering’s 15 academic units.

  • Accolades

Assistant Professor Gregory MacDougall of Physics Illinois has been selected for a prestigious NSF CAREER Award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award of the National Science Foundation is conferred annually in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars by integrating outstanding research with excellent education. Receipt of this honor also reflects great promise for a lifetime of leadership within recipients’ respective fields.

MacDougall is an experimental condensed matter physicist, specializing in synthesizing novel compounds and growing large single crystals in his two labs at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. In his research, MacDougall explores the fundamental properties of these novel materials. Using advanced probe techniques available at national laboratories, such as neutron scattering and muon spin rotation (muSR), his group observes and characterizes emergent phenomena.