Michael Tobar

Professor, BSc BE (hons) Monash, PhD W.Aust., FIEEE, MAIP, FAAS, FTSE

  • The University of Western Australia (M013), 35 Stirling Highway, Room B29, Physics Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • M468
    35 Stirling Highway


  • The University of Western Australia (M013), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Received the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth, W.A., Australia, in 1994. He is currently a Professor of Physics with the Department of Physics at the University of Western Australia and leads the QDM LabQuantum Technologies and Dark Matter Research Group       at UWA. His research group is part of two nation-wide Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres of Excellence; the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) funded from 2018-24; and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics (CDM) funded from 2020-27. His research interests encompass the broad discipline of frequency metrology, precision and quantum measurements and low temperature, condensed matter and quantum physics. Over his career he has developed a variety of precision and quantum measurement tools in his laboratory allowing the investigation of many areas of Physics and Engineering. In particular he is interested in developing new precision technologies to undertaking precise tests of fundamental physics and has also adapted such technology to the commercial sector. In the area of fundamental physics his work includes low energy precision searches for dark matter, Lorentz invariance violations and searches for high frequency gravitational waves. He also leads the ORGAN axion Dark Matter detector collaboration co-funded by both Centres. Also, in 2019 his group become an official collaborator of the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX) situated at the University of Washington.

Prof. Tobar has co-authored more than 300 journal publications in these fields of research and has 12 patents. Notably, between 2009 and 2014 He was awarded a Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council, the top nation-wide research fellowship.  Other significant awards include the 2014 Cady Award presented by the IEEE, the 2014 Clunies-Ross award presented by the Australian Academy of Science and Technology, the 2012 Alan Walsh medal presented by the Australian Institute of Physics, the 2010 Western Australian scientist of the year, presented by the WA dept. of Commerce, the 2009, Barry Inglis medal presented by the National Measurement Institute for precision measurement and the 2006 Boas medal presented by the Australian Institute of Physics. Also, during 2007 he was elevated to Fellow of the IEEE, 2008 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineeringand 2012  Fellow ofthe Australian Academy of Science. He also received a citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for inspiring research students to reach their full potential and transform to successful research scientists through participation in ground-breaking research. He was also elected as a voting administration committee (Adcom) member for the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society for a three-year term between 2016 to 2018.

Funding overview

Prof. Tobar's group was funded as the UWA Node in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems;


and as the UWA Node in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics



Prof. Tobar is the Director of the Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter Research Lab at the University of Western Australia. QDM Lab.

He has built up this lab from sustained  funding from the Australian Research Council and other external sources, including significant funding from industry.

Relevent Web Pages:








Previous positions

2009-2014: ARC Laureate Fellow

Teaching overview

3rd Year Electrodynamics


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Research expertise keywords

  • Frequency standards
  • Precision oscillators
  • Standard model extensions
  • Testing fundamental physics
  • Dark matter detection: Weakly Interacting Slim Particles (WISPS)
  • Engineered quantum systems
  • Quantum metrology
  • Axion Dark Matter


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