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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


Time-reversal symmetry violations and entropy production in field theories of polar active matter
ØL Borthne, É Fodor, ME Cates
– New Journal of Physics
A full-chain tube-based constitutive model for living linear polymers
JD Peterson, ME Cates
– Journal of Rheology
Ritz method for transition paths and quasipotentials of rare diffusive events
L Kikuchi, R Singh, ME Cates, R Adhikari
– Physical Review Research
Self-propulsion of active droplets without liquid-crystalline order
R Singh, E Tjhung, ME Cates
– Physical Review Research
Thermodynamic cycles with active matter.
T Ekeh, ME Cates, É Fodor
– Physical Review E
Stealth Entropy Production in Active Field Theories near Ising Critical Points.
F Caballero, ME Cates
– Physical review letters
Inference, prediction and optimization of non-pharmaceutical interventions using compartment models: the PyRoss library
R Adhikari, A Bolitho, F Caballero, ME Cates, J Dolezal, T Ekeh, J Guioth, RL Jack, J Kappler, L Kikuchi, H Kobayashi, YI Li, JD Peterson, P Pietzonka, B Remez, PB Rohrbach, R Singh, G Turk
Non-equilibrium phase separation with reactions: a canonical model and its behaviour
YI Li, ME Cates
– Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Constitutive model for shear-thickening suspensions: Predictions for steady shear with superposed transverse oscillations
JJJ Gillissen, C Ness, JD Peterson, HJ Wilson, ME Cates
– Journal of Rheology
Absorbing-State Transitions in Granular Materials Close to Jamming.
C Ness, ME Cates
– Physical Review Letters
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Research Group

Soft Matter




01223 337912