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 innovative research in nuclear structure physics, particularly in areas leading to a quantitative understanding of the excitation and decay of the elementary collective modes of nuclei, and for vision and scientific and technical leadership in building the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility into a forefront laboratory for nuclear science.
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 theoretical research on the electronic and vibronic structures and optical properties of defects in ionic crystals, and for work at the forefront of the rapidly developing field of laser annealing of semiconductors, leading to advances in the photovoltaic conversion of solar energy.