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Professor Alan

Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute & Professor at Swinburne University

PHD, Astrophysics


Professor Alan Duffy is a Research Fellow at Swinburne University, Lead Scientist of The Royal Institution of Australia, Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute and a member of the Advisory Board for the National Science and Technology Centre, Questacon. A professional astrophysicist, he creates baby universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies form and to probe the nature of dark matter.

Alan is currently at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University. Before this, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Melbourne and a postdoctoral research associate with ICRAR at the University of Western Australia. Alan obtained his PhD from the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and spent two years as a postgraduate at the Sterrewacht, Leiden Observatory in The Netherlands.

Alan is a member of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere, based at the bottom of an active gold mine in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory in Victoria, Australia.

Every fortnight Alan tries to explain breaking science from UFO sightings to the latest NASA discoveries on his space segment with ABC Radio Melbourne. He is also a regular on Network TEN’s The Project and Nine’s Weekend Today. Most recently Alan presented two episodes of ABC’s Catalyst and was a presenter on Stargazing Live produced by ABC/BBC.

Alan has spoken at hundreds of events, some particularly unusual opportunities include speaking at TEDxSydney in the Sydney Opera House, a Science-Improv night at the Adelaide Fringe, a nation-wide tour with BBC Worldwide/RiAus show The Science of Doctor Who Live and even a Planetarium production on Dark Matter called Dark (now shown in 148 planetariums across 25 countries in 6 languages).

His other writing pursuits include his own column in Australia’s most popular science magazine, Cosmos.

He was named one of Men’s Style Magazine’s Men of Influence, WA Sunday Time Magazine’s Best and Brightest as well as a winner in the National Eureka Award for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research, Victorian State Tall Poppy Award for Science and CommBank’s Australian of the Day.

In his spare time, you can find Alan speaking around the country at various conferences and corporate events. He is in high demand for his simple explanations of complex scientific theories.

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