In the late 70s, I worked in Rai Weiss’ lab on the COBE satellite FIRAS interferometer that measured the Planck Spectrum, and then moved to the interferometric detection of gravitational waves in the early 80s. I spent a few years at Max Planck in Garching, Germany and the CNRS in Paris, France, developing specific technologies for gravitational wave detection, then returned to MIT in ’89. I led the Advanced LIGO Project. The team delivered detectors in March 2015 which, after commissioning and observing, enabled the first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015. I served as the Spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration from 2017-2019 (MIT News). My current focus is the coordination of efforts for next generation ground-based detectors, and technical and organizational aspects of the LISA space-based detector mission. Participation in the Gravitational-Wave International Committee gives an overview of these activities as well as Pulsar Timing Arrays as low-frequency detectors.
I work on instrumentation to enable the observation of gravitational radiation via precision measurement techniques.