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Michael Thouless

Michael Thouless

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Janine Johnson Weins Professor

Individual Home Page


3672 GGB
2350 Hayward, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (734) 763-5289


M.A., Cambridge University, 1985
Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley, 1984
M.S., University of California-Berkeley, 1982
B.A., Cambridge University, 1981

Research Interests

Micromechanics modeling of materials; interfacial fracture mechanics and adhesion; mechanical properties of thin films and coatings; toughening mechanisms in polymers; mechanical properties of structural adhesives.

Research Areas

Biomechanics & Biosystems Engineering, Mechanics & Materials, Mobility Automotive & Transportation

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Faculty Governance Award, Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, 2012
  • Fellow, Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining, 2012
  • Service Excellence Award, College of Engineering, The University of Michigan, 2011
  • Achievement Award, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2010
  • University of Cambridge ScD Degree, 2009
  • Professor of the Term, Pi Tau Sigma, 2009
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2007
  • Professor of the Term, Pi Tau Sigma, 2005
  • Joint work (with Shu Takayama from Biomedical Engineering) on "Fabrication of Reconfigurable Protein Matrices by Cracking," appeared on the cover of Nature Materials, 2005
  • David E. Liddle Research Excellence Award, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, 2004
  • Listed as a "highly-cited researcher" in Materials Science category by ISI, 2003
  • Teaching Incentive Fund Award (ME382), Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, The University of Michigan, 2002
  • Teaching Incentive Fund Award (ME395), Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, The University of Michigan, 2001
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, MEAM, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, 1997
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 1996-2000
  • R. F. Bunshah Award, Metallurgical Division, American Vacuum Society, 1990

Faculty Type

Tenured and Tenure-Track

Related News

ME professor receives Adhesion Society Award for Excellence
Dr. Michael Thouless was selected as the recipient of the 2023 Adhesion Society Award for Excellence for "Exceptional and deep contributions elucidating the mechanics of adhesion.”

$3.4M to turn up the heat at solar-thermal plants
Improved heat-trapping materials for solar thermal energy could help the U.S. meet its goal of cutting solar energy costs in half by 2030.

Michael Thouless named Senior Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows
The Michigan Society of Fellows has named Michael Thouless a Senior Fellow. 

Michael Thouless receives 2021 ASME Nadai Medal
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers awards Michael Thouless the Nadai Medal.

The Academic Council of the Technical University of Denmark confers Thouless with high honor
April 23, 2021, the Academic Council of the Technical University of Denmark will confer upon Michael Thouless the degree “doctor technices honoris causa” which is the highest academic distinction within engineering and technological science in Denmark.

Neil Dasgupta and Michael Thouless receive William N. Findley Award
The U-M ME External Advisory Board has selected the joint paper entitled, "Lithium mechanics: roles of strain rate and temperature and implications for lithium metal batteries," for the 2020 William N. Findley Award. 

Ice-proofing big structures with a “beautiful demonstration of mechanics”
'You're missing a trick,' mechanical engineer tells materials scientist.

ME Faculty Receive CoE Awards
Five ME faculty members received College of Engineering Awards in 2017. These recipients include Shorya Awtar, Margaret Wooldridge, Wei Lu, Michael Thouless, and Miki Banu

Thouless' father awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics
Thouless' father is honored for his contributions to the field of topology

Ceremony and Lecture Honoring Michael Thouless as Janine Johnson Weins Professor of Engineering
This prestigious honor recognizes his seminal research contributions in fracture mechanics of films, coatings and interfaces.

Four ME faculty received named professorships
The recipients are: Michael Thouless, Huei Peng, Steve Ceccio, and Kathleen Sienko

Twelve ME Faculty Recognized for Prestigious Professional Society Awards in 2015

Thouless receives 2015 ASEE Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award
This award recognizes distinguished and outstanding contributions to engineering mechanics education

Thouless Appointed Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
The Board of Regents has chosen Professor Michael Thouless to receive the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, an award granted to five faculty members university-wide each year

ME Faculty Receive CoE Awards
Three ME faculty have been recognized with the 2012 College of Engineering Awards

Thouless recipient of Distinguished Faculty Governance Award
This award recognizes exceptional and distinctive service in faculty governance to the entire University

Thouless elected Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining
The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is a major UK engineering institution whose activities encompass the whole materials cycle

ME Faculty Receive CoE Awards
Seven ME faculty have been honored with 2011 College of Engineering Awards.

Thouless and Hart Receive Department Achievement Awards
They will be recognized at the CoE Faculty Honors Dinner Dance.

Thouless Voted Professor of the Term

Thouless Receives an ScD from the University of Cambridge

Thouless Elected Chair of SACUA