Ben McAllister wins 2022 UWA Aspire Award

EQUS Associate Investigator Dr Ben McAllister will attend an international workshop on dark matter research thanks to the Business Events Aspire Awards and The University of Western Australia.

Business Events Perth, funded by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia, has been running the awards program for 23 years, sponsoring hundreds of local academics and researchers to attend international conference in their discipline, to further their development and profile WA on the international stage.

Image: Professor Tim Colmer (left) presents the UWA Aspire Award to Dr Ben McAllister.

Dr Ben McAllister, a Forrest Prospect Fellow from UWA’s School of Physics, Maths and Computing, is part of the Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems and Dark Matter Particle Physics and one of the key researchers behind The ORGAN Experiment. 
Hosted at UWA’s Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter Laboratory, ORGAN is Australia’s first major contribution to dark matter detection, as scientists search for a tiny particle called an ‘axion’, which could explain the nature of mysterious missing matter, one of the universe’s biggest mysteries.

Dr McAllister said winning the UWA Aspire Award was an honour, and that it would be fantastic to share research being conducted in WA with the international physics community.

“The conference I’m planning to attend is the Patras Workshop on Axions, WIMPs and WISPs, one of the most well-regarded international workshops in the kind of dark matter research we conduct at UWA,” Dr McAllister said.

“If we were to discover the nature of dark matter it would be paradigm shifting and a huge discovery in terms of our understanding of the universe, but it’s not work that any one person does.
“Like any great discovery it’s a collaborative effort, with many researchers both locally and internationally contributing to a grand endeavour. I want to highlight the great team at UWA working on ORGAN, particularly my colleagues Aaron Quiskamp and Michael Tobar.”

UWA Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Colmer said Dr McAllister was doing some really exciting research.

“It’s fantastic that Ben has the opportunity to go to this conference because that’s where you develop some great relationships and interact with other experts who’ve come up with new ideas,” Professor Colmer said.

“We’re delighted to partner with Business Events Perth through the Aspire Awards, enabling our researchers to meet and hear from leaders in their field, build partnerships and develop collaborative networks to share good practice, acquire knowledge and learn about innovation.

“It provides the opportunity to showcase our research strengths and allows our researchers and academics to broaden their networks and horizons, not only to benefit their own research area, but for the wider WA community.”

Major funding support

Australian Research Council

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present.