Professor of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand

A PhD from Columbia University, Bruce Mellado, a Full Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, is the Director of the Institute for Collider Particle Physics and holds a B1 rating by the South African National Research Foundation. Prof. Mellado is the National Contact Physicist of South Africa at the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Currently he holds a dual appointment with iThemba LABS of the NRF.

Prof. Mellado is an expert on the Higgs boson – a sub-atomic particle that is thought to give matter its mass – and was a leading participant in its discovery that was announced in 2012 and led to the Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded in 2013 to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs. He has attained and continue to have a number of positions of leadership internationally and to organise conferences and workshops. The upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider and the study of the Higgs boson particle require a magnitude increase of data flows. It is for this reason that Prof. Mellado is passionate about the Massive Affordable Computing (MAC) project. The MAC project is connected to the research needs of particle physics and that is to find a technological way to solve the problem of Big Data. We have to do that in a way that is affordable to the country and that can generate spin-offs that will help us to develop cheap solutions for South Africa.

He introduced the classification of the Higgs boson according to the multiplicity of quarks and gluons. This methodology has become standard in Higgs boson searches and played an important role in the announcement of the discovery. Several of his papers have been cited by the ATLAS experiment at CERN, including novel ideas that were used for the discovery of the particle. Prof. Mellado has also been invited by the CERN Director of Research and Computing to become a member of the LHeC Coordination Group – a future accelerator and detector facility at CERN to collide electrons head-on with the protons and heavy ions of the LHC.

Prof Mellado is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, the most important of which are:

Finalist TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Research and its outputs (2017 and 2018)
Finalist NSTF Innovation Award (2018)
First Time Inventor Award by the University of the Witwatersrand (2014)
Internationally Acclaimed Researcher by the NRF (2013 and 2018)
American Physical Society -IUSSTF Professorship Award in Physics (2011)
CERN Fellowship (2001)

Research interests: Higgs boson physics. Physics beyond the standard model. High throughput electronics, Big Data, grid computing.


  • –present
    Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Professor of Physics
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation


Finalist TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Research and its outputs (2017 and 2018), Finalist NSTF Innovation Award (2018), Most highly cited researcher Award (2015-2017), First Time Inventor Award (2014), Internationally Acclaimed Researcher by the NRF (2013 and 2018), APS-IUSSTF Professorship Award in Physics (2011), EMC2 Visiting Fellow, LAL, France (2010/2011), CERN Fellowship (2001), Marie Curie Fellowship with Univ. of Oxford (2001)