Since 2001, Mike Simpson has been a group leader for the Nanofabrication Research Laboratory and theme leader in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. His research focus includes noise biology, nano-enabled synthetic biology and controlled synthesis and directed assembly of carbon nanostructures.
For significant contributions and leadership in the processing and properties of materials, particularly intermetallic alloys, which have led to his reputation as one of the world's leading scientists in these areas.
For basic studies in the fracture of and toughening mechanisms in ceramics and ceramic composites, in the establishment of the relationships between microstructure and composition and mechanical behavior, and in the development of advanced ceramic materials.
For contributions to understanding plasma turbulence and the nonlinear properties of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, especially their role in explaining the behavior of magnetically confined plasmas, and for development of new magnetic confinement concepts that overcome these limitations.
For ideas and techniques which have opened new frontiers in chemical research and now play major roles in the study, understanding, and use of photoionization and photoelectron spectroscopy in studies of "hot atom" chemistry and work with multiply charged molecular ions.
For pioneering work on energy conservation, including development of energy demand models, data bases, and analyses of energy use trends, which has contributed to federal and state energy policies and programs and to demand-side planning by electric utilities.