Mike Finnis was born in Margate in Kent and received his first degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in theoretical physics, followed by a PhD in the Theory of Condensed Matter at the Cavendish Laboratory. He then worked for 14 years at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, before an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship took him to Germany, first to the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin for two years, followed by five years in Stuttgart as a group leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung. In 1995, together with Prof. Ruth Lynden-Bell, he founded the Atomistic Simulation Group, now called the Atomistic Simulation Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. Since 2006 he has held a joint appointment between the Departments of Materials and Physics at Imperial College London, where he was a co-founder of the Thomas Young Centre – London Centre for Theory and Simulation of Materials. His longest-standing research interest has been the nature of the interatomic forces in materials, and their implications for thermodynamic and mechanical properties.
Professor, Department of Materials, Imperial College London Professor, Department of Physics, Imperial College London