Professor of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand

A PhD from Columbia University, Bruce Mellado, a Personal Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, is the group leader of the High-energy physics group and the director of the high-throughput electronics lab at the School of Physics. 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 computers 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:

Most highly cited researcher Award of the University of the Witwatersrand (2015)
First Time Inventor Award by the University of the Witwatersrand (2014)
Internationally Acclaimed Researcher by the NRF (2013)
APS-IUSSTF Professorship Award in Physics (2011)

Research interests: Higgs boson physics. Physics beyond the standard model. High throughput electronics. Grid computing.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Honours

Most highly cited researcher Award of the University of the Witwatersrand (2015), First Time Inventor Award by the University of the Witwatersrand (2014), Internationally Acclaimed Researcher by the NRF (2013), APS-IUSSTF Professorship Award in Physics (2011), EMC2 Visiting Fellow, LAL, France (2010 and 2011), CERN Fellowship (2001), Marie Curie Fellowship with Univ. of Oxford (2001)