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Faculty of Mathematics

  • 2015-date: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
  • 2007-2022: Royal Society Research Professor
  • 1995-2015: Professor of Natural Philosophy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
  • 1992-1995: University Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1989-1992: University Assistant Lecturer, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1988-1989: Royal Society University Research Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 1985-1995: Junior Research Fellow (1985-1989), Teaching Fellow (1990-1995), Trinity College Cambridge


Mike is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He heads the Soft Matter research group. His current research interests include: flow of colloids, polymers, emulsions, gels and other soft materials; shear-thickening and rheology in dense suspensions; dynamics of soft glasses; flow of liquid crystals; general theories of active matter; cellular locomotion; phase ordering in active and passive systems; statistical mechanics of active particles; and numerous other topics. He currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant called ADNeSP: Active and Driven Systems, Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics.

Prizes and Awards

  • 2021: International Member, US National Academy of Sciences
  • 2019: International Member, US National Academy of Engineering
  • 2016: Bingham Medal, US Society of Rheology
  • 2013: Weissenberg Award, European Society of Rheology
  • 2009: Dirac Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics
  • 2009: Gold Medal, British Society of Rheology
  • 2007: Fellow of the Royal Society (London)
  • 2005: Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1996: Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • 1994: Prix Franco-Britannique (Paris Academy of Sciences)
  • 1991: Maxwell Prize and Medal, Institute of Physics


Interface Roughening in Nonequilibrium Phase-Separated Systems.
M Besse, G Fausti, ME Cates, B Delamotte, C Nardini
– Physical review letters
Rheology of Dense Suspensions under Shear Rotation.
F Blanc, F Peters, JJJ Gillissen, ME Cates, S Bosio, C Benarroche, R Mari
– Phys Rev Lett
Classical Nucleation Theory for Active Fluid Phase Separation.
ME Cates, C Nardini
– Physical Review Letters
Role of initial conditions in one-dimensional diffusive systems: Compressibility, hyperuniformity, and long-term memory.
T Banerjee, RL Jack, ME Cates
– Physical review. E
Power fluctuations in sheared amorphous materials: A minimal model.
T Ekeh, É Fodor, SM Fielding, ME Cates
– Physical review. E
Efficient Bayesian inference of fully stochastic epidemiological models with applications to COVID-19.
YI Li, G Turk, PB Rohrbach, P Pietzonka, J Kappler, R Singh, J Dolezal, T Ekeh, L Kikuchi, JD Peterson, A Bolitho, H Kobayashi, ME Cates, R Adhikari, RL Jack
– Royal Society open science
Capillary Interfacial Tension in Active Phase Separation
G Fausti, E Tjhung, ME Cates, C Nardini
– Physical review letters
Constitutive models for well-entangled living polymers beyond the fast-breaking limit
JD Peterson, ME Cates
– Journal of Rheology
Thermodynamics of Active Field Theories: Energetic Cost of Coupling to Reservoirs
T Markovich, É Fodor, E Tjhung, ME Cates
– Physical Review X
Bayesian inference across multiple models suggests a strong increase in lethality of COVID-19 in late 2020 in the UK
P Pietzonka, E Brorson, W Bankes, ME Cates, RL Jack, R Adhikari
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Research Group

Soft Matter




01223 337912