Mike is an expert in the design, construction, and operation of large-scale research facilities and a Professor of Photon Science at Stanford University. He is the Director of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a multi-billion-dollar research facility operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy. Before joining LCLS, Mike was the Director for Laser Fusion Energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where he led a fusion power plant design program.

Mike obtained his doctorate in plasma physics from Imperial College, London.