A Donation by the Family of LIGO Co-founder Ron Drever Establishes a Scholarship in his Name

The family of late Ronald W.P. Drever, one of the co-founders of the LIGO project and a key contributor to the field of gravitational-wave research, has donated £500,000 to the University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy, the University has announced.

Drever, who passed away in March 2017 at the age of 85, was one of the key players in establishing the LIGO project. In the 1970's, Drever, along with MIT's Rainer Weiss and Caltech's Kip S. Thorne, was one of the three leaders of the project that later became the LIGO Laboratory. This work earned Weiss and Thorne the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Barry C. Barish, who later joined LIGO as its PI and then as LIGO director. Drever contributed a number of key ideas to the design of the LIGO detectors, the work that led to a glorious success in September 2015, when LIGO made the 1st direct observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger.

Drever graduated from University of Glasgow in 1951 and received his PhD from the University in 1959. After joining the University as a researcher a few years later, he went on to establish in 1970 its gravitational-wave research group. He joined Caltech faculty in 1984 and remained Caltech Professor of Physics, Emeritus until his passing.

According to the announcement, "The first Professor Ronald Drever Scholarship in Physics and Astronomy is expected to be presented to a postgraduate student next year."

Full announcement

Image credit: Ronald Drever photograph: Wikipedia; illustration: LIGO Lab

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