Professor Aidan Robson FRSE

Professor of Particle Physics

  • Email:
  • Twitter: @aidanrobson
  • Telephone: +44 141 330 8082 (at CERN +41 22 76 77958)
  • Fax: +44 141 330 5881
  • Secretary: +44 141 330 4702 (Jill Borland)
  • Office: CERN 51/1-014 / Kelvin Building Room 482

I am a particle physicist working on collider experiments at the high energy frontier - running (ATLAS at CERN), future (CLICdp at CERN and SiD for the ILC in Japan), and completed (CDF at Fermilab). My interests are in precision measurements in QCD/electroweak physics and in electroweak symmetry breaking, searching for the Higgs boson and new physics using advanced analysis techniques and now measuring the Higgs boson - see our observation of the decay of the Higgs boson to b-quarks at ATLAS (November 2018) and our latest projections on Higgs coupling sensitivities at CLIC (July 2017), updated for the baseline luminosity scenario (December 2018) and for a longer first stage (January 2020); and on top-quark physics at CLIC (2019). The CLIC inputs and supporting material for the European Strategy for Particle Physics can be found here (December 2018).

I am Spokesperson of the CLICdp collaboration (from January 2018) and co-convener of the ILC Physics Potential and Opportunities group (from January 2021). I have also recently been co-convener of the SiD Optimisation Group. From March 2016 to September 2017 I was Physics Validation co-Coordinator for ATLAS, and from 2015 to 2017 I was chair of the CLICdp Institute Board. In the past I was co-Head of Offline for the CDF experiment, convener of the W/Z working group at CDF, and co-convener of the ATLAS-UK Standard Model working group. Before coming to Glasgow I studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and in Oxford. In 2012 I was elected the youngest Fellow of the Institute of Physics, I was awarded the 2013 Makdougall Brisbane Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in spring 2020 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

I am proud to be one of the first University of Glasgow LGBT Role Models, since September 2019.

Academic Qualifications: MA, MSci (Cambridge), DPhil (Oxford)
Professional Affiliations: SFHEA, CPhys, FInstP, FRSE

Short biography:
2017 Professor, University of Glasgow
2013 Reader, University of Glasgow
2009 Lecturer, University of Glasgow
2007 PPARC (STFC) Fellowship
2005 Research Associate, University of Glasgow
2005 DPhil, University of Oxford
2001 BA, MSci, University of Cambridge

Picture of Aidan Robson
Award of the RSE Makdougall Brisbane Medal, March 2014

CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland

SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK


Full paper listing from Inspire. (Or from ResearcherID, or from Scopus.)

Recent research talks

  • Higgs Pairs Workshop 2022, Dubrovnik, 30 May - 3 June 2022
    Higgs Pairs at e+e- Colliders
  • ILD Strategy Discussions, March 2022
    Experimentation at CLIC
  • 20th Lomonosov Conference on Elementary Particle Physics, 19-25 August 2021
    The CLIC Physics Potential
  • Spanish Network for Future Colliders, 6-7 October 2020
    CLIC Status and Plans
  • Snowmass 2021 Energy Frontier Workshop - Open Questions and New Ideas, 20 July 2020
    The Compact Linear Collider, CLIC
  • XXII Roma Tre Topical Seminar on subnuclear physics, Rome, 29 January 2020
    The CLIC Concept and Programme
  • DESY Particle and Astrophysics Colloquium, Hamburg, 19 November 2019
    Prospects for the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC)
  • EPS-HEP 2019, Gent, 10-17 July 2019
    The CLIC Potential for New Physics (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
  • Nikhef Colloquium, Amsterdam, 28 June 2019
    Prospects for the Compact Linear Collider
  • International Workshop on the CEPC, Oxford, 15-17 April 2019
    Status of CLIC (on behalf of the CLIC and CLICdp collaborations)
  • Linear Collider Community Meeting, Lausanne, 8-9 April 2019
    CLIC Detector and Physics Update (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
  • European Committee on Future Accelerators (ECFA), CERN, 15/16 November 2018
    CLIC (on behalf of the CLIC and CLICdp collaborations)
  • International Workshop on Linear Colliders 2018 (LCWS), Arlington USA, 22-26 October 2018
    CLIC Detector Status and Plans (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
    European Strategy Update for CLIC (on behalf of the CLIC and CLICdp collaborations)
  • Aspen 2018 "The Particle Frontier", Aspen, USA, 25-31 March 2018
    ATLAS Results on Higgs decays to bb and mumu (on behalf of the ATLAS collaboration)
  • Workshop on Top-quark Physics at Linear Colliders, CERN, 7-9 June 2017
    CLIC Overview (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
  • International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders 2016, Morioka, 5-9 December 2016
    SiD Status and Plans (on behalf of the SiD Consortium)
  • DIS16 (24th International Workshop on Deep Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects), Hamburg, 13 April 2016
    The CLIC Physics Potential (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
  • Higgs-Maxwell Workshop, Edinburgh, 17 February 2016
    Future Linear Colliders
  • International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders 2015, Whistler, 2-6 November 2015
    CLIC Detector and Physics (on behalf of the CLICdp collaboration)
  • Particle Physics Advisory Panel community meeting, London, 24-25 September 2015
    Future e+e- colliders
  • 8th FCC-ee Physics Workshop, Paris, 27-29 October 2014
    Higgs Studies Specific to ILC
  • Linear Collider Workshop 2014, Belgrade, 6-10 October 2014
    Higgs Working Group summary talk
  • Linear Collider Workshop 2013, Tokyo, 11-15 November 2013
    Higgs Production in ZZ Fusion at 1.4 TeV (on behalf of the CLIC Detector and Physics Study)
  • Standard Model at LHC 2013, Freiburg, 9-12 April 2013
    Electroweak Summary from the Tevatron (on behalf of the CDF and D0 Collaborations)
  • Hadron Collider Physics HCP11, Paris, 14-18 November 2011
    Diboson Physics at the Tevatron (on behalf of the CDF and D0 Collaborations)
  • TevFest, Manchester, 11 November 2011
    Standard Model Higgs
  • EPS HEP 2011, `International Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics', Grenoble, 21-27 July 2011
    Search for High-mass ZZ Resonances (on behalf of the CDF Collaboration)
  • Aspen 2011, `New Data from the Energy Frontier', Aspen, Colorado, 13-18 February 2011
    Electroweak Physics at the Tevatron (on behalf of the CDF and D0 Collaborations)
  • Institute of Physics HEPP/APP Annual conference, London, 29-31 March 2010
    Latest Collider Results
  • ICHEP 2008, Philadelphia, 30 July-5 August 2008
    Electroweak Cross-sections and Widths (on behalf of the CDF and D0 Collaborations)
  • Higgs-Maxwell Workshop 2008, Edinburgh, 13 February 2008
    Heavy Higgs Boson Searches at the Tevatron
  • DIS 2007, Munich, 15-20 April 2007
    Constraints on PDFs from CDF (on behalf of the CDF Collaboration)

Explanations for non-particle physicists

Getting to know the Higgs particle: new discoveries! Qubit newsletter [October 2018]

A first LHC sighting of the Higgs boson in its favourite decay ATLAS Physics Briefings [July 2017]

ZZ resonance search Fermilab Today "Result of the Week" [January 2012]
Higgs search Fermilab Today "Result of the Week" [July 2010]
First bounds on the Higgs boson from hadron colliders Physical Review "Viewpoint" [February 2010]
Higgs search Fermilab Today "Result of the Week" [April 2007]
Inclusive W and Z cross-sections Fermilab Today "Result of the Week" [April 2004]

Selected publications

International postgraduate lecturing

  • EU ERASMUS Hadron Collider Physics School, Goettingen, July 2012 (Experimental QCD)

External committees

  • STFC Rutherford Fellowships Panel member, 2015-17
  • CLICdp collaboration Institute Board chair, 2015-17
  • STFC Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP) member, Jan 2012 - Dec 2013

Organising committees

  • International Linear Collider Workshop LCWS15, Canada
  • SUSSP International Summer School 2012, Hadron Collider Physics, St Andrews
  • Institute of Physics Nuclear and Particle Physics Divisional Conference, NPPD 2011
  • Young Experimentalists and Theorists Institute, YETI06, Durham

I am Outreach Champion for the School of Physics and Astronomy and previously a member of the University's Public Engagement Strategy Group and the advisory panel for the Institute of Physics Outreach and Public Engagement Network. I run the Glasgow Particle Physics Masterclass, which has been experienced by more than 1250 pupils since I started the current series in 2009. I have given many Saturday Morning masterclasses in the RSE series as well as talks to school groups and events at the Glasgow Science Festival and Glasgow Science Centre, and evening classes in physics for the Open Programme. Recently I have been particularly emphasising CPD for Scottish physics teachers. With Science Connects I am rolling out a Cloud Chamber workshop for Scottish schools; over five years I have run a competition that has sent in total more than 50 school pupils and nine teachers to CERN for three days; and I regularly give tours of CERN to visiting groups.

I was thrilled to be shortlisted for one of the 2016 STEM Inspiration Awards at the House of Lords.

Here is a selection of my one-off activities, beyond the ongoing programme described above:

October 2013 Higgs Nobel Prize coverage:

  • Newsnight, 8 October 2013
Picture of Aidan Robson

July 2012 Higgs discovery media coverage:

  • Newsnight and Reporting Scotland, 4 July 2012
Picture of Aidan Robson
  • Sunday Herald, 8 July 2012, 'How Scotland Found the God Particle' [online] [scanned]


I was awarded Senior Fellowship of the University of Glasgow's Recognising Excellence in Teaching scheme in June 2015 and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I was shortlisted for the SRC award Best Teacher in Science and Engineering 2015-16.

2021--: P2 Solid State Physics
2018--: P4 Supervisions
2017--: P5 Statistical Mechanics
2017-18: P2 Supervisions
2017-18: P1 Laboratories
2012-16: P2 Electricity and Magnetism
2012-16: P2 Full-class tutorials
2012-16: P2 Supervisions
2011-16: P1 Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Matter
2011-16: P2 Laboratories
2015-16: P3 Numerical Methods Laboratories
2011-15: P4 Atomic Systems
2011-13: P3 Supervisions
2011-12: P1 Tutorials
2009-12: IBLS2 Physical Principles of Biological Processes, Bioenergetics
2009-- : SUPA Particle Physics Discussion Classes
2009-10: P3 Computing Laboratory
2007-10: EE1 Thermal Physics
2006-10: P1X/Y Laboratories

Lecture demonstrations developed for P2 Electricity and Magnetism 2014-16:
Lecture Demonstrations Aidan Robson


Current research students:
2019--: Johnny Friend (PhD, ATLAS)
2018--: Laurynas Mince (PhD, ATLAS [2nd supervisor])
2017--: Catriona McAllister (PhD, Physics Education [2nd supervisor])

Many of my former students have continued in research; here are some of their first destinations:

N. Edwards (PhD 2013), Research Associate (Edinburgh)
D. Smith (MSci 2013), PhD in particle physics (Bristol)
G. Murdoch (MSci 2014), PhD in nuclear physics (Glasgow)
G. Macauley (BSc 2015), PhD in MCMP (Glasgow)
T. Ravenscroft (PhD 2015), programmer at high-tech firm (London)
G. Strong (MSc by research, 2015), PhD in particle physics (Lisbon)
L. Mince (BSc 2016), PhD in particle physics (McGill)
F. Hayes (BSc 2016), PhD in gravitational wave astronomy (Glasgow)
N. Warrack (BSc 2016), PhD in particle physics (Glasgow)
P. Mullen (PhD 2017), programming in industry (Edinburgh)
J. Jamieson (MSci 2017), PhD in particle physics (Glasgow)
M. Williams (MSci 2017), PhD in particle physics (CERN/Glasgow)
M. Williams (PhD 2021), Detector Engineer at ESRF, Grenoble
D. Spiteri (PhD 2021), temporary Research Associate (Glasgow)

Current responsibilities
CLICdp Collaboration Spokesperson (CERN)
ILC International Development Team: WG3 Physics Potential and Opportunities co-convener
ECFA Physics, Experiments, and Detectors at Higgs Factories: International Advisory Committee
FCT (Portugal) Stimulus of Scientific Employment Individual Support Call, Physical Sciences Panel chair
Institute of Particle Physics Phenomenology (University of Durham) Steering Committee
STFC CMS-UK Upgrade Oversight Committee
UK delegation to the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA)
Higgs Conference 22 (Pisa), IAC and Programme Committee
ECFA Higgs Workshop 22 (Hamburg), Preparatory Group
University of Edinburgh external examiner: Nuclear and Particle Physics Programmes
University of Glasgow Honours Physics Exam Committee chair
University of Glasgow Experimental Particle Physics Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor

I also provide information for our UG students about Physics Summer Research Opportunities [internal]

Past responsibilities:
2019-21: STFC Public Engagement Spark Award Panel
2021: University of Glasgow Inclusive Online Assessment Working Group
2021: International Workshop on Future Linear Colliders LCWS21 Organising Committee
March 2016 - Sept 2017: ATLAS Experiment (CERN) Physics Validation Co-coordinator
2016-17: SiD Consortium (ILC) Optimisation group co-convener
2015-17: CLICdp Collaboration (CERN) Institute Board chair
2015-17: STFC Rutherford Fellowships Panel member
2015-19: University of Glasgow Public Engagement Strategy Group member
2015-18: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy Recruitment & Retention Committee chair
2014-19: Institute of Physics 'Outreach and Public Engagement Network' Advisory Group member
2014-17: University of Glasgow 'Recognising Excellence in Teaching' Steering Group member
2014-20: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy Adviser of Studies
2012-17: University of Glasgow Senate elected member
2012-16: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: Physics 2 Class Head
2012-16: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: Non-Honours Exam Committee member
2011-16: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: Honours Exam Committee Moderator
2015: International Linear Collider Workshop LCWS15 Organising Committee, Canada
2014 & 2015: International Linear Collider Workshop Higgs/Electroweak WG co-convener
2013-14: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: External accreditation of physics degrees, committee chair
2012-14: ATLAS-UK: Standard Model working group co-convener
2012 & 2013: STFC: Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP) member
2009-13: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: Staff-Student Liaison Committees Secretary
2009-13: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: Teaching Committee member
2011-12: SUSSP International Summer School 2012 (Hadron Collider Physics) Organising committee member
2009-12: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: IBLS2 Course coordinator
2010-11: CDF: Associate Head then co-Head of Offline
2010-11: Institute of Physics Nuclear and Particle Physics Divisional Conference Organising committee member
2009-10: University of Glasgow Physics & Astronomy: P3 Computing Laboratory coordinator
2005-08: CDF: W/Z group co-convener
2005: CDF: Offline Operations Manager