Michael grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and earned a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of New Brunswick, while active in local bands, baseball, student radio, and university arts programming. After summers as an aerial navigator and at the National Research Council’s Biosciences labs in Ottawa, Michael went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario in 1982, winning the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Annual Research Prize.
After two years of post-doctoral training in materials engineering at the University of Toronto, Michael was named an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist and stayed on at the University of Toronto until 1995, co-founding the Centre for Biomaterials and organizing the fifth World Biomaterials Congress. There, Michael won the Annual Teaching Prize from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and was named one of the final 20 candidates for the first Canadian astronaut search with Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, et al. (He withdrew over concerns with the Reagan-era “Star Wars” militarization of the space shuttle program.) In Toronto, Michael played and coached fastball and softball, and continued music work in art rock, bar bands, the 65-piece Mississauga Concert Band, the Brampton Symphony, and many musical theatre shows.
In 1995, Michael came to Dalhousie University during the amalgamation process with TUNS. He won a $1.25M grant from the Whitaker Foundation (2nd in Canada), and built Dalhousie’s School of Biomedical Engineering, serving as its first Director until 2006. As Director, Michael enabled the launch of the Dalhousie chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Later, he served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, won his second teaching prize, and was elated to be awarded SBME’s Community Builder’s prize.
Michael is an international fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE, youngest so-named in Canada) and has served four years as President of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. In his private work, Michael is a consultant to several medical device companies and holds patents on a vascular stent that has seen wide clinical use in Canada and Europe. In Halifax, Michael has remained very active in music, playing with or directing as many as five bands at a given time.
With the arrival of his daughter, Kara'26, Michael served two years on the Board of Directors for the University Children’s Centre and has since gradually grown his involvement in music and science activities at HGS. Kara currently attends Grammar.