Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications

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Professor Phil Allport

Prof Phil AllportPhil Allport; Project Co- Investigator University of Liverpool

Phil recently joined the University of Birmingham Department of Physics and Astronomy. The School of Physics and Astronomy’s performance in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system for assessing the quality of research in the UK higher education institutions, has highlighted that 90% of research outputs in the School were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Previously Phil was a professor with the University of Liverpool Experimental Particle Physics Group and Director of the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre. He worked in the 3000 physicist strong ATLAS Collaboration which operates the largest detector at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva. In March 2011 he was elected to be Upgrade Coordinator on ATLAS and re-elected in this role in October 2012. In this role he was responsible for defining the 20 year planning for the experiment and serves on the Executive Board which oversees all aspects of the ATLAS experiment. Over the last two years, the Upgrade Steering Committee (which Phil chairs) has developed upgrade strategies for all the major sub-systems of ATLAS and detailed planning has been presented both internally to ATLAS and externally, to the main CERN committees and international funding agencies. 

Before taking this position, Phil served in the ATLAS Upgrade Project Office from 2006 and on the Upgrade Steering Committee from 2009 (chair from 2011) in the context of Strip Module Integration as part of the R&D on the proposed ATLAS tracker upgrade. Since 2010 he has also been a member of the Inner Tracker Steering Group, where initially he co-represented the strip tracker upgrade programme. He was Group Leader of Liverpool Particle Physics from 2005 to 2011. During construction of the current Inner Detector, he was Strip Tracker Forward Module Convenor from 2003 to 2007 coordinating, with Carlos Lacasta of Valencia, the construction of 2,300 modules in 14 institutes from 8 countries for the ATLAS “SCT EndCaps” (with array assembly in the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre and at NIKHEF). He led the initial prototyping of the first forward silicon sensors for the ATLAS Inner Detector and from 1994 was Sensor Research and Development Coordinator in the ATLAS Silicon Tracker Steering Group. He helped coordinate the technology choices, detailed specifications, placing of orders and the delivery and testing of the final sensors.  

Phil joined the CERN RD48 Collaboration in 1996 and was a founder member in 2001 of the RD50 Collaboration, developing radiation-hard sensors for possible LHC luminosity upgrades. In 2003 he initiated the study of p-type sensors to provide a cost-effective technology for high radiation environments presenting, with Liverpool colleagues, the first results on detectors irradiated at the CERN PS to the doses required for operation at an upgraded LHC. The use of p-type technology is now considered the default for the ATLAS tracker upgrade and is a candidate for use in the pixel region as well. Since this early work, p-type technology has been adopted by and demonstrated in the LHCb Vertex Locator (VeLo) whose modules were also constructed in the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre.

Phil was a founder member of the ATLAS Collaboration and joined the experiment from DELPHI, where he was involved in slepton searches, studies of strange baryon production and helping to build the original Microvertex Detector. He also worked at Cambridge University on the OPAL silicon vertex detector, developing novel double-sided sensor designs, and was a founder member of the RD20 project, looking to see if silicon microstrip technology could survive LHC doses. He holds a DPhil from Oxford University on high energy neutrino scattering and tests of the PCAC theorem and a BSc (First Class) from Imperial College, London. 

In the UK, he helped initiate and then led the 3 year programme on “ATLAS UK Research and Development towards the Replacement Tracker for a High Luminosity LHC Upgrade” with 12 Institutions (2007-2010). At Liverpool, he has been Principal Investigator on grant proposals earning income in excess of £30M. His research activities have also included applications of particle physics technologies in medical physics and related areas, where he also holds a number of grants.

He is a frequent speaker at major international instrumentation conferences and workshops, having also been invited to present several conference summary talks. At Liverpool, he helped to host the 2005 Position Sensitive Detector Conference and the ATLAS Tracker Upgrade Workshop of 2006. The 18th International RD50 Workshop and the ATLAS Planar Pixel Sensor R&D project meeting were hosted at Liverpool during 2011. As Upgrade Coordinator his role has included helping organise ATLAS Upgrade Weeks (with typically over 200 participants) as well as numerous smaller meetings and workshops at CERN.

His publications can be found through which lists 678 preprints and publications, 595 published in peer reviewed journals.

UK Committees:

He has served on many PPARC/STFC committees. He was chair of the PPARC Particle Physics Advisory Panel, the PPARC Technology Panel and the STFC Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics and Theoretical Physics Fellowship Panel. He was member of the UK CERN Committee and in this capacity attended with the UK delegation at CERN Council. He has been a member of the STFC CASE Awards Panel, the CALICE Oversight Committee, the PPARC Particle Physics Experiment Selection Panel, PPARC SLA Review Panel, and the PPARC Particle Physics Committee. 

In 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics and from 2008-2011 was chair of the UK Institute of Physics High Energy Particle Physics Group. He was also chair of the UK Particle Physics Action Group and chaired the PP2020 IoP Knowledge Exchange Group, being co-editor of the study on cross-discipline and societal benefits of UK research in particle physics “Particle Physics, It Matters”. He has coordinated a number of UK particle physics community inputs to funding discussions and has been involved in numerous outreach activities, including several with national and local newspapers and radio, organising visits to CERN both for schools and for VIPs (including several MPs) and meetings with politicians, including giving evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

More information can be found at


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