Applied scientist Michael P. Brenner named Simons Investigator

2 min read

The Simons Foundation has appointed Michael P. Brenner, Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), a Simons Investigator. Now in its inaugural year, the program offers an appointment of five years with a grant of $100,000 for research support per year, with the possibility of renewal for five additional years. A distinguished panel of scientists in physics chose Brenner for the award.

Brenner, who was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during 2011-12, also serves as the area dean for Applied Mathematics at SEAS. Along with colleague David Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, he is a co-creator of the famed “Science and Cooking” general education course. Brenner received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1994, and came to Harvard in 2001 after six years as a faculty member in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Over the past decade, Brenner has focused primarily on theoretical modeling in physical sciences and engineering. His research has examined the breaking of fluid droplets; sonoluminescence, the production of light from very high-pressure gas bubbles in liquid; the sedimentation of small particles; and electrospinning, a materials technique for producing small fibers. In addition to his appointment at SEAS, Brenner is a Kavli Scholar at the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science & Technology at Harvard University, a faculty associate at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and a participant in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Harvard.