University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) Wits physicist elected as a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences

Wits physicist, Professor Bruce Mellado has been elected as a Fellow of the African Academy of Science (AAS) in November.

Mellado’s election is based on a series of reviews conducted at various levels following his nomination to the AAS in 2021. The AAS Fellowship recruitment, follows a rigorous evaluation by the AAS Membership Advisory Committees (MACs) in various fields of specialisation. The penultimate step prior to the decision by the Governing Council was the voting by Fellows of the Academy. The recommendations of the MACs and the votes by the Fellows were compiled and submitted to the AAS Governing and Nominations sub-Committee and ultimately the Governing Council for final review and endorsement.

“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,” said the AAS selection committee.

“Among his contributions here is the proposal and demonstration that Higgs boson candidates can be classified according to the presence of hadronic jets. Prof. Mellado is also known for his seminal contributions to the proposal of the Large Hadron Electron Collider as a Higgs boson facility.”

Mellado holds a PhD from Columbia University. He is a Professor at Wits and a Senior Researcher of iThemba LABS; he serves as the Director of the Institute for Collider Particle Physics. Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Institutional Board of the Tile Calorimeter at the ATLAS experiment at the European laboratory CERN.

He was the National Contact Physicist of South Africa at the ATLAS experiment and the co-Chair of the Nuclear Particle and Radiation Division of South African Institute of Physics. He is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the TW Kambule-NSTF Award for Research in 2021 and the Vice-Chancellor Award for Research in 2022. Prof. Mellado is an Internationally acclaimed, B1 rated researcher of the National Research Foundation.  He is also the Co-President of the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence Data Modelling Consortium.

“I am honored and humbled to have been elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. This would have not been possible without the sustained support from the SA-CERN program of the Department of Science and Innovation and the National Foundation, and the support from the University of the Witwatersrand and iThemba LABS,” says Mellado.

Mellado joins other prominent Wits scientists, such as Professors Zeblon Vilakazi, Lynn Morris, Glenda Grey, Thokozani Majozi and Adam Habib as a Fellow of the AAS.