Dr Phillip Urquijo wins 2015 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

Phillip Urquijo, winner 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

Last night, the 2015 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes winners were announced at a gala Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall. The prizes – affectionately referred to as the Oscars of Australian science – were given for outstanding contributions to Australian science. Amongst the 16 prize winners was Dr Phillip Urquijo, awarded the 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science for his leadership on the Belle II project.

“I congratulate Dr Urquijo on his amazing achievements to date and for being a leader in international physics,” Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum said. “His fast track on such a major international project is a great credit to his talents, as this role would usually fall to a more senior scientist,” she said.

Dr Uquijo, at just 33, is the Physics Coordinator of the Belle II experiment based at the KEK laboratory in Japan where he leads an international team of over 600 physicists. The Belle II experiment will use the SuperKEKB particle accelerator to smash electrons into positrons in the search for new physics.

As Physics Coordinator, Urquijo is charged with defining the entire Belle II physics analysis program. He also leads the Australian effort in Belle II, which comprises 22 staff and students from the University of Melbourne, four from the University of Sydney and one from the University of Adelaide.

Urquijo says “It’s an honour to receive this prestigious award, which reflects the interest in Belle II and calibre of its research program – a huge global effort of 650 collaborators. Including my group in Melbourne, which plays key roles supported by the ARC.”

Urquijo has been described as one of the best experimental particle physicists of his generation; his contributions to the field were acknowledged by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) young scientist prize in 2012.

Thu, 27 Aug 2015