Michael J. A. Smith

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Cambridge


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Cambridge working on wave propagation through acoustic metamaterials. My research interests primarily focus on the optical, acoustic, and opto-acoustic modelling of structured materials.

I am also interested in the control of wave energy in periodically perforated thin plates and on wave-structure interactions for floating sea ice. Outside of wave theory, I have expertise in theoretical and experimental nonlinear elasticity for industrial applications. I have considerable expertise in the development of numerical solutions for wave propagation problems including boundary element method (BEM) solutions, finite element method (FEM) solutions, and multipole method (lattice sum) solutions.


  • Acoustics
  • Nonlinear elasticity/mechanics
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Opto-acoustic interactions
  • Composite Materials and metamaterials
  • Wave-Structure interactions
  • Wave Theory


  • PhD in Mathematics, 2014

    University of Auckland

  • BSc(Hons) in Applied Mathematics, 2010

    University of Auckland

  • BSc in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 2009

    University of Auckland



Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Cambridge

Jul 2019 – Present Cambridge, UK
Research into acoustic metamaterials and wave propagation problems

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Manchester

May 2017 – Jul 2019 Manchester, UK
Industrial research project on nonlinear elasticity and buckling theory

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Sydney

Sep 2014 – May 2017 Sydney, Australia
Investigating SBS in optoacoustic metamaterials

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Institut Fresnel

Sep 2013 – Sep 2014 Marseille, France
Research into finite-frequency homogenisation of photonic crystals


Phd Thesis

BSc(Hons) Thesis


Finite Element Analysis of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in Integrated Photonic Waveguides

We describe a finite element algorithm for modeling stimulated Brillouin scattering in optical waveguides of arbitrary cross-section. …

Stimulated Brillouin scattering in layered media: nanoscale enhancement of silicon

We report a theoretical study of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in general anisotropic media, incorporating the effects of both …

Compression properties of polymeric syntactic foam composites under cyclic loading

Syntactic foams are composite materials frequently used in applications requiring the properties of low density and high damage …

Modelling hollow thermoplastic syntactic foams under high-strain compressive loading

The mechanical responses of syntactic foams comprising hollow thermoplastic micro-spheres (HTMs) embedded in a polyurethane matrix were …

Violating the Energy-Momentum Proportionality of Photonic Crystals in the Low-Frequency Limit

We theoretically show that the frequency and momentum of a photon are not necessarily proportional to one another at low frequencies in …