Dr. Phillip Urquijo from the University of Melbourne and one of the young researchers of the Belle II international experiment group has won the 2015 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science, awarded by the Australian Museum.

The prizes -- affectionately referred to as the Oscars of Australian science -- are given for outstanding contributions to Australian science.

Dr. Urquijo, at just 33, is the Physics Coordinator of the Belle II experiment based at the KEK laboratory in Japan where he leads an international team of over 600 physicists.

As Physics Coordinator, Urquijo is charged with defining the entire Belle II physics analysis program. He also leads the Australian effort in Belle II, which comprises 22 staff and students from the University of Melbourne, four from the University of Sydney and one from the University of Adelaide.

Urquijo says “It’s an honour to receive this prestigious award, which reflects the interest in Belle II and calibre of its research program -- a huge global effort of 650 collaborators. Including my group in Melbourne, which plays key roles supported by the ARC.”

Urquijo has been described as one of the best experimental particle physicists of his generation; his contributions to the field were acknowledged by an International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) young scientist prize in 2012.

Prof. Tom Browder, the spokesperson of the Belle II experiment from the University of Hawaii, says "We are very proud of Phil's accomplishments and his physics leadership on Belle II, a next-generation and very international flavor physics experiment at KEK."