Michael P. Allen




Dr. Michael Allen
Visiting Fellow, University of Bristol
Emeritus Professor, University of Warwick



Michael Allen obtained his first degree (1976) and doctorate (1979) in Chemistry at the University of Oxford. After post-doctoral positions at UCLA and Oxford, he was appointed Lecturer, Reader, and finally Professor in Physics at the University of Bristol during the period 1985–2001. He left Bristol to become founding Director of the Center for Scientific Computing in Warwick in 2001. Upon his retirement in 2014, he returned to Bristol as a Visiting Fellow, while retaining Emeritus Professor status at Warwick.

Professor Allen was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Forschungspreis in 1999, visiting the Johannes Gutenberg University, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, in Mainz. He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Physics since 2003. He is presently the Chair of the Liquids and Complex Fluids Group of the IOP. Previously he chaired the Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the UK Collaborative Computational Project for simulation of condensed matter (CCP5), and the Collaborative Computational Projects Steering Panel (CCPSP).

Professor Allen’s research focuses on the molecular simulation of soft condensed matter, especially liquid crystals, and frequently involves the development of new simulation techniques, or the improvement of existing ones. He made the first simulation measurements of a range of liquid crystalline properties, such as the Frank elastic constants, the helical twisting power of chiral dopants, surface anchoring coefficients, and the surface tension of the nematic-isotropic interface. In addition, he has studied the stability of a range of liquid crystalline phases, the structure of disclination defects, and the dynamics of director fluctuations, using large-scale parallel simulation programs.

He also has a long-standing commitment to education and training in the field: he was co-organiser (with Dominic Tildesley and Julian Clarke) of the CCP5 School Methods in Molecular Simulation, from its inception in 1994 until 2001, and has lectured in many summer schools and advanced study institutes over the past 30 years. He is well known as the co-author, with Dominic Tildesley, of one of the seminal texts in the area, Computer Simulation of Liquids (OUP, 1987).

Abstract – Michael P Allen

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