Professor Michael Sumption


photo of Michael Sumption Ohio State

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

MSE Undergraduate Studies Chair

Director, Center for Superconducting and Magnetic Materials

Director, Superconducting Technology Center



  • BS, Physics, Ohio State
  • MS, Physics, Ohio University
  • PhD, Physics, Ohio University (Condensed Matter, Experimental)

Areas of interest

  • Electronic materials
  • Energy applications
  • Superconductors

Research and expertise

Most of my work is on superconducting materials, typically wires, for beam steering of particle beams in high energy physics particle accelerators. I also explore the use of these wires for medical imaging MRI systems. Some other applications have included NASA applications (motors) and energy applications (fault current limiters), science applications (undulators and wigglers).

I have also worked on thin films (mostly superconducting); with carbon nanotubes and graphene for the development of high conductivity composite materials; and on magnetic materials.

Approach to supporting and improving diversity and inclusion

I think that it is important to make sure people have a decent shot at what they want to do. I believe that we can all learn, and learn deeply, and that the overarching goal of the faculty is to help the students achieve the understanding and skills they need to be great at their future profession.

What you might not know about Michael

I wasn't such a great student my first two years in high school. I went to what was at that time called a vocational school my last two years of high school and learned "electronics" or what was really "TV repair". 

While my TV repair career (a career that is now extinct) lasted only three months, it got me interested in electronic materials, which led me to physics and Ohio State. I had to start with taking every remedial math class Ohio State offered but eventually completed all the standard requirements for the degree. 

I found my way into materials by way of an internship at Battelle during my PhD studies. It was during this internship where I got involved in materials for beam steering magnets.