David Reitze holds joint positions as the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and as a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. His research focuses on the development of gravitational-wave detectors. He received a B.A. in Physics from Northwestern Univ. and a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Texas of Austin. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society. and was jointly awarded the 2017 US National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery for his leadership role in LIGO. He is a member of the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration that received numerous awards for the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, including the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the Gruber Prize for Cosmology, the Princess Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement, and the American Astronomical Society Bruno Rossi Prize. He served as the Spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration from 2007 until 2011.
Jelena Vuckovic (PhD Caltech 2002) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and by courtesy of Applied Physics at Stanford, where she leads the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab. She is also the director of the Q-FARM: the Stanford-SLAC Quantum Initiative.
Vuckovic has won numerous prizes including the Distinguished Scholarship of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Munich, Germany, the Humboldt Prize, the Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), of the Optical Society of America (OSA), and of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).
RIKEN/University of Michigan