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 pioneering research in disturbance and landscape ecology and in modeling of land-use change with its implications for global changes, which have influenced environmental decision making on a worldwide scale.
For forefront studies of the fundamental science of actinide elements, through mendelevium, which employ novel experimental techniques, make systematic comparisons, and emphasize the role of the elements' electronic configurations.
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 significant advancement of welding science and technology through original and definitive research, particularly for contributions to understanding the solidification behavior of the weld pool, phase stability microstructure-property correlations in welds, and continued leadership and outstanding service to the national and international welding research community.
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 fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical solid-state physics that directly relate to experimental programs, including the electronic structure and magnetism of transition and rare-earth metals, metal-electrolyte interfaces, superconductivity, and physical properties of heavy fermion, mixed valent, and fractal 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.