• Ph.D., Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, 2004
  • M.Sc., Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, 2000
  • B.Sc., Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, 1998

Research Areas and Descriptors

Tribology: friction and wear of engineering surfaces, micro/nano tribology, bionic tribology, tribological instrumentation, contact mechanics


Dr. Varenberg began at Georgia Tech in Fall 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Dr. Varenberg has also previously held a Researcher position in the Evolutionary Biomaterials Group at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research.


Dr. Varenberg is engaged with two major research domains:

• Exploration of the tribological solutions evolved in the biological world. This multinational interdisciplinary research, which involves joint work with biologists, seeks to understand and mimic the behavior of interacting surfaces in the world of animals and plants, while uncovering the biological side of adhesion, friction, lubrication and wear. Research thus far has led to development of two new types of bio-inspired surfaces, which have a strong potential to be imbedded in a variety of products in daily and industrial use.

• Development of green aspects of classical tribology. This multidisciplinary research sets problems at the interface between physics, chemistry, material science and mechanics, and aims at increasing efficiency, integrity and cleanliness of modern surface technologies. Research thus far has resulted in laying a cornerstone of a new family of mechano-chemical surface treatments, which are expected to bring eco-innovation to friction surfaces in transportation, industrial and power-generation sectors.

Distinctions & Awards

  • Hershel and Hilda Rich Technion Innovation Award, 2014
  • Max Planck Society advanced training scholarship, 2004-2006
  • Technion Graduate School award for excellence in research and studies, 2002


M. Varenberg, A. Tsipenyuk, Razor blade assembly with friction surface, Provisional US Patent Application No. 61/899,366, filed on November 4, 2013 (won Hershel and Hilda Rich Technion Innovation Award 2014)

M. Varenberg, G. Ryk, Low friction film and a method of producing the low friction film, Israeli Patent Application No. 228665, filed on October 1, 2013

M. Varenberg, S. Gorb, Adhesive microstructure, International Patent Application WO2013069013 A1, published on May 16, 2013

A. Schilling, S. Gorb, M. Varenberg, Body with a surface structure which enhances the friction behavior, European Patent EP2177350 B1, published on December 5, 2012


Representative Publications

A. Tsipenyuk, M. Varenberg, Use of biomimetic hexagonal surface texture in friction against lubricated skin, J. R. Soc. Interface 11 (2014) 20140113 (highlighted in the magazines Jerusalem Post, Globes, Latest News and National Geographic Israel, radio Voice of Israel, and Israeli TV Channel 2 prime time news

Y. Kligerman, M. Varenberg, Elimination of stick-slip motion in sliding of split or rough surface, Tribol. Lett. 53 (2014) 395-399 (highlighted in the April 2014 issue of the STLE Journal TLT - Tribology & Lubrication Technology)

M. Varenberg, Towards a unified classification of wear, Friction 1 (2013) 333–340 (cover story, mentioned as one of the 5 most viewed articles in 2014)

M. Varenberg, N. Pugno, S. Gorb, Spatulate structures in biological fibrillar adhesion, Soft Matter 6 (2010) 3269-3272 (cover story)

S. Gorb, M. Varenberg, A. Peressadko, J. Tuma, Biomimetic mushroom-shaped fibrillar adhesive microstructure, J. R. Soc. Interface 4 (2007) 271-275

M. Varenberg, I. Etsion, G. Halperin, An improved wedge calibration method for lateral force in atomic force microscopy, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 74 (2003) 3362-3367 (selected for the July 7, 2003 issue of the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology)