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Professor Alan Duffy

Pro Vice-Chancellor Flagship Initiatives
PHD Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Manchester, United Kingdom; Masters of Physics, University of Manchester, United Kingdom


As PVC Flagship Initiatives, Professor Duffy is tasked with driving large and ambitious transdisciplinary research across our flagship research areas by actively engaging with external organisations (including government, industry, NGOs) to identify large-scale opportunities that require university-wide collaboration and the formation of coalitions of universities and partners.

Alan has a background in astrophysics/space, as the inaugural Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute at Swinburne he helped communities and companies solved their challenges on Earth through space, with multidisciplinary teams across the University's domains of excellence in aerospace engineering, data science / AI, astrophysics, and material science. 

His research background is in creating simulated universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like the Milky Way form within vast clouds of dark matter, using SPH and N-Body+SAM techniques. He then tries to find this dark matter as a Chief Investigator of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere, housed in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory. As Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics, he utilises a full range of other observational experiments (including microlensing, gamma-ray emission and galaxy velocity field tracers) to constrain the properties of dark matter.

With a long-standing interest in how to best present these discoveries to academic and general public audiences, Alan has regular segments on ABC Breakfast TV, Ten’s The Project and ABC TripleJ radio as well as in live talks, classroom visits and social media. Visualisations of the model universes can aid significantly in understanding the physics at play in forming a galaxy. Some of these images/videos, created with colleagues from around the world, have been used in a planetarium show shown in 148 theatres worldwide. 

Research interests

Astronomy; Galaxy; Galaxy Formation; Dark Matter; Dark Energy; Big Bang; Cosmology; Radio Telescopes; Black Holes; Supermassive Black Holes; Supernova; Stars; Planets; Asteroids; General Relativity

Fields of Research

  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy - 510103
  • High Energy Astrophysics And Galactic Cosmic Rays - 510106

Further information


Also published as: Duffy, Alan; Duffy, A.; Duffy, A. R.; Duffy, Alan R.
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