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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 recently completed 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


From bulk to microphase separation in scalar active matter: a perturbative renormalization group analysis
F Caballero, C Nardini, ME Cates
– Journal of Statistical Mechanics Theory and Experiment
Cluster Phases and Bubbly Phase Separation in Active Fluids: Reversal of the Ostwald Process
E Tjhung, C Nardini, ME Cates
– Physical Review X
Dynamic Vorticity Banding in Discontinuously Shear Thickening Suspensions.
RN Chacko, R Mari, ME Cates, SM Fielding
– Physical Review Letters
Self-Assembly-Mediated Release of Peptide Nanoparticles through Jets Across Microdroplet Interfaces
A Levin, TCT Michaels, TO Mason, T Müller, L Adler-Abramovich, L Mahadevan, ME Cates, E Gazit, TPJ Knowles
– ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Shear reversal in dense suspensions: The challenge to fabric evolution models from simulation data
RN Chacko, R Mari, SM Fielding, ME Cates
– Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Mixtures of Blue Phase Liquid Crystal with Simple Liquids: Elastic Emulsions and Cubic Fluid Cylinders.
JS Lintuvuori, K Stratford, ME Cates, D Marenduzzo
– Phys Rev Lett
Strong Coupling in Conserved Surface Roughening: A New Universality Class?
F Caballero, C Nardini, F van Wijland, ME Cates
– Physical review letters
Generalized thermodynamics of motility-induced phase separation: Phase equilibria, Laplace pressure, and change of ensembles
AP Solon, J Stenhammar, ME Cates, Y Kafri, J Tailleur
– New Journal of Physics
Extracting maximum power from active colloidal heat engines
D Martin, C Nardini, ME Cates, Fodor
– EPL (Europhysics Letters)
Shaken and stirred: Random organization reduces viscosity and dissipation in granular suspensions
C Ness, R Mari, ME Cates
– Science advances
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Research Group

Soft Matter




01223 337912