Professor Phil Allport BSc (Lond), ARCS, DPhil (Oxon), FInstP

Professor Phil Allport

School of Physics and Astronomy
Professor of Particle Physics

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Phil Allport is an expert on radiation-hard detectors for use at hadron colliders and pioneered the use of p-type substrate sensors for such environments. From 2011-2015 he was the Upgrade Coordinator of the ATLAS Experiment on the LHC and a member of the ATLAS Executive Board. He is a leading international advocate of the High-Luminosity LHC (LHC upgrade programme) having been joint organiser of the European Committee for Future Accelerator HL-LHC Experiments Workshops. He has served on a number of national and international committees including chairing the UK Particle Physics Advisory Panel and the Institute of Physics High Energy Particle Physics Group. He is also a founder member of the Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Application consortium, employing HL-LHC detector technology developed with UK industry for medical applications.

Phil gives frequent talks to school students, the media and the general public. He also helps organise school visits to CERN.


  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • DPhil in Particle Physics, University of Oxford, 1986
  • BSc (1st class), London University, 1983
  • Associate of the Royal College of Science, Imperial College, 1983


1978-1980: UK Atomic Energy Authority, Harwell

1980-1983: BSc in Physics at Imperial College, London University

1983-1986: DPhil in Particle Physics at University of Oxford

1986-1989: Research Associate, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

1989-1993: Research Associate, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

1990-1993: Research Fellow, St Edmunds College

1993-2000: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool

2000-2003: Reader, University of Liverpool

2000-2005: Director of Research, Department of Physics, University of Liverpool

2002-2015: Director of the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre

2003-2015: Professor of Physics, University of Liverpool

2005-2011: Head of Particle Physics, University of Liverpool

2010-2011: Research Coordinator, School of Physical Science, University of Liverpool

2011-2015: Upgrade Coordinator of the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

2011-2015: Member of the ATLAS Experiment Executive Board

2015-present: Professor of Physics, University of Birmingham


Particle Physics

Professor Allport was a founder member of the ATLAS collaboration in 1992 and has worked continuously on the experiment since that time holding many positions within the collaboration. ATLAS is one of the most scientifically productive particle physics experiments in the history of the subject. In 2013 the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs “For the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider”.

In March 2011 Professor Allport was elected to be Upgrade Coordinator and then re-elected to this position by the representatives of the 177 institutions on ATLAS in October 2012. In this role he was responsible for helping define the 20 year planning for the experiment. From 2012-2015, the Upgrade Steering Committee developed upgrade strategies for all the major sub-systems of ATLAS and detailed planning has been presented to both the main CERN review committees and international funding agencies. This work is described in two Letters of Intent (CERN-LHCC-2011-012 and CERN-LHCC-2012-022) and four Technical Design Reports (CERN-LHCC-2013-006, CERN-LHCC-2013-007, CERN-LHCC-2013-017 and CERN-LHCC-2013-018). He also co-authored the European Committee for Future Accelerators High Luminosity LHC Experiments Physics and Technology Challenges Reports (ECFA/13/284 and ECFA-15-289). All these documents have been approved by international peer review, and the luminosity upgrade programme for the LHC (HL-LHC) is now receiving strong backing. The main particle physics strategy document for Phil Allport - selected publicationsEurope stated in May 2013: “Europe’s top priority should be the exploitation of the full potential of the LHC, including the high-luminosity upgrade of the machine and detectors”, while the strategy document for the US in May 2014 has: “The HL-LHC is strongly supported and is the first high-priority large-category project in our recommended program”

Professor Allport served in the ATLAS Upgrade Project Office from 2006 and on the Upgrade Steering Committee from 2009 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 the construction of 2300 modules in 14 institutes from 8 countries for the two ATLAS “SCT EndCaps” (with the full EndCap-C array assembled in the Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre). 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. 

Professor Allport 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 and CMS tracker upgrades 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.

Before ATLAS, Professor Allport worked on the DELPHI experiment at LEP, where he was involved in slepton (super-symmetry) searches, studies of strange baryon production and helping to build the original Microvertex Detector. He 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. At Cambridge he was also Fellow of St Edmund’s College. Prior to Cambridge he worked for 3 years on DELPHI at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. 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. Prior to that, he worked at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell on non-destructive testing.

Other activities

  • Non-Core Member of STFC Science Board
  • Chair of the Particle Physics Action Group  (2009-2011)
  • Chair of the Institute of Physics HEPP Group (2008-2011)
  • Chair of the Particle Physics Advisory Panel (2004-2007)
  • Member UK CERN Committee and UK Delegation to CERN Council (2004-2007)