Professor Mike Adams FREng, CEng, FIChemE, C.Chem, FRSC, CPhys, FInstP

Professor Mike Adams

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Product Engineering and Manufacturing

Contact details

School of Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mike has published over 230 papers in scientific journals and 5 edited books.

He is the recipient of the Donald Julius Groen Prize for outstanding achievements in interfacial engineering and the Tribology Trust Silver Medal for outstanding and sustained achievements in tribology.

He is a member of the editorial boards of seven scientific journals.He has coordinated five major grants from the EU and also led major grants from EPSRC. His interests include process engineering, the applications of in-line sensors, particle technology, tribology, sensory perception and modelling.


  • PhD in Molecular Acoustics
  • GradRSC in Chemistry
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of the institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry


Mike Adams studied for a PhD in molecular acoustics at the University of Essex and subsequently joined Unilever Research where he was a Senior Scientist when he left to take up a professorial position in the School of Chemical Engineering.

His contributions in interfacial engineering and tribology were acknowledge by the awards of the Donald Julius Groen Prize the Tribology Trust Silver Medal. He was one of the pioneers in applying rigorous tribological principles to the fields of powder technology, and skin friction and its influence on tactile perception.

He has also taken an active interest in applying modelling and simulation to a range of material systems involving molecular dynamics, finite element analysis, the fast multipole boundary element and discrete element methods.

Postgraduate supervision

Mike Adams undertakes postgraduate student supervision in the Engineering Doctorate scheme and EU funded projects.


His current research involves understanding the origin, prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, the dispersion and dissolution of hydrocolloids, the wear behaviour of metal coatings.

His recent research includes the development of haptic feedback in virtual reality environments, understanding the plasticisation of polymers at the molecular scale and discrete computational modelling of twin-screw granulation.

Other activities

  • Member of the Executive Editorial Board of Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties (2015-)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Biosurface and Biotribology (2015-)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Powder Technology (2012-)
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Lubricants (2011-)
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Powder Technology (2005-)
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Tribology International (1998-)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IMechE, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering (2005-)


Recent publications


Évora, AS, Zhang, Z, Johnson, SA & Adams, MJ 2024, 'The effects of hydration on the topographical and mechanical properties of corneocytes', Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, vol. 150, 106296.

Évora, AS, Abiakam, N, Zhang, Z, Johnson, SA, Adams, MJ, Bader, DL & Worsley, PR 2023, 'Characterisation of superficial corneocyte properties over category I pressure ulcers: Insights into topographical and maturation changes', Journal of Dermatological Science, vol. 112, no. 2, pp. 63-70.

Evora, A, Abiakam, N, Jayabal, H, R Worsley, P, Zhang, Z, Johnson, S, Adams, M & L Bader, D 2023, 'Characterisation of superficial corneocytes in skin areas of the face exposed to prolonged usage of respirators by healthcare professionals during COVID-19 pandemic', Journal of Tissue Viability, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 305-313.

Évora, AS, Zhang, Z, Johnson, SA & Adams, MJ 2023, 'Characterisation of topographical, biomechanical and maturation properties of corneocytes with respect to anatomical location', Skin Research and Technology, vol. 29, no. 11, e13507.

Torres, DT, Vezzoli, E, Lemaire-Semail, B, Adams, M, Giraud-Audine, C, Giraud, F & Amberg, M 2022, 'Mechanisms of Friction Reduction in Longitudinal Ultrasonic Surface Haptic Devices with Non-Collinear Vibrations and Finger Displacement', IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 8-13.

Sahputra, IH, Alexiadis, A & Adams, MJ 2020, 'A coarse grained model for viscoelastic solids in discrete multiphysics simulations', ChemEngineering, vol. 4, no. 2, 30, pp. 1-15.

Andrews, J, Adams, M & Montenegro-Johnson, T 2020, 'A universal scaling law of mammalian touch', Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 41, eabb6912.

Adams, M, Yuma, S-M, Baek, I-K, Hong, D, Kim, J, Jung, KJ, Kim, S, Eom, K, Jang, JJ, Kim, S, Sattorov, M, Lee, M-G, Kim, S & Park, G-S 2020, 'Fingerprint ridges allow primates to regulate grip', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 50, pp. 31665.

Sahputra, IH, Alexiadis, A & Adams, MJ 2019, 'Effects of Moisture on the Mechanical Properties of Microcrystalline Cellulose and the Mobility of the Water Molecules as Studied by the Hybrid Molecular Mechanics–Molecular Dynamics Simulation Method', Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics, vol. 57, no. 8, pp. 454-464.

Mahmah, O, Adams, M, Omar, C, Gururajan, B & Salman, A 2019, 'Roller compaction: Ribbon splitting and sticking', International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol. 559, pp. 156-172.

Adams, M & Andrews, J 2018, 'A fast multipole boundary element method implemented for wet single particle and wall interactions', Powder Technology.

Sahputra, IH, Alexiadis, A & Adams, M 2018, 'Temperature and configurational effects on the Young’s modulus of poly (methyl methacrylate): a molecular dynamics study comparing the DREIDING, AMBER and OPLS force fields', Molecular Simulation, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 774-780.

Sahputra, IH, Alexiadis, A & Adams, M 2018, 'Temperature dependence of the Young's modulus of polymers calculated using a hybrid molecular mechanics-molecular dynamics method', Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, vol. 30, no. 35, 355901.

Conference contribution

Yum, SM, Baek, IK, Hong, D, Kim, S, Eom, K, Jang, J, Kim, S, Sattorov, M, Lee, MG, Kim, S, Adams, M & Park, GS 2019, Controlled Hydration in Epidermal Ridges Probed by THz Time-Domain Spectroscopy. in IRMMW-THz 2019 - 44th International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves., 8873980, International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves, IRMMW-THz, vol. 2019-September, IEEE Computer Society Press, 44th International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves, IRMMW-THz 2019, Paris, France, 1/09/19.

Review article

Évora, AS, Adams, MJ, Johnson, SA & Zhang, Z 2021, 'Corneocytes: relationship between structural and biomechanical properties', Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 146-161.

View all publications in research portal