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 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 advances in neutron and gamma-ray dosimetry, the transport of electricity through gases, and the development of laser-based one-atom detection with applications in nuclear physics, solar neutrino research, and oceanic, geologic, and environmental research
For research on the processes involved in the induction of mutations, elucidating the roles and sequences of DNA repair and replication in converting radiation or chemical damage into mutations, and for contributions to the understanding of biological control mechanisms at the cellular level
For work at the forefront of neutron scattering research, for early work on the fundamentals of scattering from ferromagnetic materials, and for significant contributions to understanding the complex magnetic structures and properties of elements and compounds such as the heavy rare-earth metals
For work in magnetic resonance, including the early evaluation of spins and moments of radioactive nuclei and experiments in nuclear quadrupole spectroscopy, and for the application of electron spin resonance to study free radicals trapped in solids and short-lived radicals in pyrolyzed fluids