Dr Steve Worm PhD

Dr Steve Worm

School of Physics and Astronomy
Reader, Experimental Particle Physics

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Steve Worm is a particle physicist at the School of Physics and Astronomy.  Dr Worm specialises in searching for new particles and especially dark matter, where he has conducted pioneering research in searches for collider-based particle dark matter.  He is an author on over a thousand research papers and wrote some of the most highly-cited LHC papers searching for dark matter.

Dr Worm is a leading silicon sensor expert, having built detectors for particle physics experiments such as CDF and CMS, and having led R&D collaborations to develop silicon-based particle detection technologies.  He currently works on ATLAS tracking detector construction and R&D on highly pixellated silicon sensors, such as fully-depleted monolithic active pixel sensors, or DMAPS.

Dr Worm has led many efforts to connect science to industrial or other academic sectors, helping to launch the Hartree Centre and the ESA Space Science Centre, and to develop research centres for Imaging, Materials and Detector Systems.

He currently heads the S2I: the Midlands Centre for STFC Business Engagement.


  • Reader, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK 2016–
  • Senior Scientist, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UK 2004–2016
  • EU Intra-European Fellow, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland 2011–2013
  • Programme Manager, STFC, Swindon, UK 2008–2009
  • Assistant Research Professor, Rutgers University, Piscataway, USA 2001–2004
  • Research Staff, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA 1995–2001
  • Ph.D. High Energy Physics, University of Texas, Austin, USA, 1995

  • Department of Education Fellow, University of Texas, Austin, USA 1993–1994


Steve Worm is an academic staff member at the University of Birmingham, having joined in 2016.  Before this he was a Senior Scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, Professor at Rutgers University in the USA, and European Union Marie Curie Fellow at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

Steve led searches for new particles and physics interactions at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiments, having convened the groups responsible for finding new physics beyond that of the Standard Model.  Steve was responsible for the searches for new “exotic” particles such as dark matter, extra dimensions and new long-lived particles (also Supersymmetry and Higgs bosons at CDF).  At the time of his leadership, these were the largest topical physics groups in the field, with about 600 members in the case of CMS.

He is an expert in silicon detector systems, and led the silicon sensor development, procurement and implementation for CDF.  He led silicon pixel sensor R&D for the International Linear Collider with the LCFI collaboration, leading the group that pioneered the development of fully-depleted monolithic pixels with deep p-type implantation.  He continues to develop new CMOS sensors via collaborative efforts in the UK and with the AIDA-2020 collaboration in the EU.

Steve pioneered new techniques at the LHC to search for Dark Matter in the "monojet" search channel, by optimising the analysis techniques with colleagues and writing some of the early and highly-cited papers on the topic.  In the process he helped to create what is now an entirely new area of research, that of generic, collider-based searches for dark matter.  He chairs the International Organising Committee for the Dark Matter @ LHC Workshop series.

Steve is currently searching for dark matter at the LHC and building the next generation of tracking detectors for the upgraded ATLAS experiment.

In addition to the above, Dr Worm has led many efforts to connect science to industrial or other academic sectors, helping to launch the Hartree Centre, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications and the S2I: the Midlands centre for STFC business engagement.


  • Y1 Physics Laboratory
  • Y1 Tutorials
  • Y4 Projects in Particle Physics
  • Graduate Introduction to Particle Physics (MPAGS)

Postgraduate supervision

Ph.D. Advisor for students on ATLAS, CMS, ILC, and CDF experiments, 2001–present. 

Currently seeking students on ATLAS (Dark Matter and other physics beyond the Standard Model) and on Silicon-based detectors for Particle Physics (Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors).


  • Coordinator & WP lead, CMOS sensor testing for the EU AIDA-2020 programme, 2015–present
  • Convener, CMS Exotica Physics Group and Long-Lived Particles Subgroup, 2011–2013
  • Working Group Leader, CLIC Vertex detector subgroup, 2010–2013
  • Project Manager, Budget Holder, and Group Leader, LCFI Collaboration, 2004–2008
  • Spokesman, Fermilab Testbeam Experiments T936 and T932, 2001–2004
  • Convener, CDF Exotic Physics Group, 2000–2002
  • Silicon Sensor Group Lead, CDF Collaboration SVXII, 1997–2001

Other activities

  • Academic Lead, Science to Industry: a Midlands Centre for STFC 2018–
  • Chair, International Organizing Committee Dark Matter @ LHC, 2015–
  • Programme Manager, STFC’s Science and Technology Gateway Centres, 2008–2010
  • Harwell Oxford Science and Innovation Campus Project Team, 2008–2009
  • Imaging Solutions Centre Advisory Board, 2008–2009
  • STFC Detector Systems Centre Advisory Board, 2008–2010
  • STFC Micro and Nano Technology Centre Steering Board, 2008
  • STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel, 2007–2008


Dr. Worm has over a thousand research publications with collaborators from ATLAS, CDF, CMS, LZ and silicon detector R&D.