LSU professor to receive the Presidential award for discovery

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LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Professor Gabriela González will receive the Presidential Award for Discovery from the Office of Research & Economic Development.

She is an experimental physicist with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, who contributed to the detection of gravitational waves in 2015 predicted by Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Her research and work as the former spokesperson for the 1,000-member international LIGO Scientific Collaboration opened a new window of discovery to the cosmos. This milestone discovery was recognized as the 2016 Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine.

“Dr. González epitomizes the very best in groundbreaking research and international leadership. We are honored to have her as a colleague at LSU, and want to recognize her worldwide achievement with the Presidential Award for Discovery,” said Vice President of Research & Economic Development Kalliat T. Valsaraj.

The Presidential Award for Discovery is given by the Office of Research & Economic Development, or ORED, to individual faculty in recognition of outstanding singular achievements in research, scholarship or creative activity that have received the highest professional recognition from their peers.

As an experimental physicist, González’s current research involves the reduction and characterization of noise to enhance the laser interferometers’ sensitivity to detect gravitational waves, calibrate the detectors and analyze data.

She has been recognized as one of the “Ten People Who Mattered” by the scientific journal Nature; a recipient of the 2017 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery; a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Scientist of the Year by Great Minds in STEM.

González joined the faculty at LSU in 2001. She will receive the Presidential Award for Discovery at the Distinguished Faculty Awards ceremony at Lod Cook Alumni Center on May 3.

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