Joseph Giaime Named 2023 AAAS Fellow

Professor Joseph Giaime
Professor Joseph Giaime

LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Professor Joseph Giaime has been honored with the rank of "Fellow" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world's largest scientific organization.

Giaime, LSU Distinguished Research Master and Observatory Head, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in Livingston, La., was named for his distinguished contributions to the field of gravitational wave research and multi-messenger astronomy.

“Prof. Giaime has been a leader in developing and implementing new technologies that greatly improved the LIGO sensitivity,” said Russell B. Long Professor and Department Chair Jeffery Blackmon. “His stewardship of LIGO-Livingston through key upgrades resulted in the detection of gravitational waves, a Nobel-prize winning discovery, and has ushered in a new area of gravitational wave astronomy.”

Through a collaboration with Caltech, he leads the Livingston Observatory, which houses one of the two LIGO detectors and consists of two four-kilometer perpendicular arms stretching out into the flat, green landscape. LIGO is operated by Caltech and MIT for the National Science Foundation; its scientific mission is carried out by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, together with the Virgo and KAGRA collaborations.

Giaime was part of the team that made the first detection of gravitational waves back in 2015, after decades of work, truly astronomical investments, and bordering-on-romantic scientific hope that it one day would be possible and overall worth the wait.

Joining LSU’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1999, Giaime received his Ph.D. in 1995 from MIT, where his research focused on laser interferometer design and vibration isolation systems for interferometric gravitational wave detectors. LSU’s investment in gravitational-wave detection spans more than half a century, among the longest of the institutions now involved in LIGO science; LSU faculty, students and scholars have had leading roles in the development of several generations of gravitational wave detectors.

Giaime was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2009 for his contributions to gravitational wave physics, in particular key aspects of LIGO.  He is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the International Society on General Relativity & Gravitation (ISGRG), and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. The tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874 to recognize members for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Read more about LSU Distinguished Research Master Joseph Giaime here

About AAAS

AAAS is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals; AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe. Membership is open to anyone who shares AAAS’ goals and belief that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help solve many of the challenges the world faces today. For more information about AAAS, visit



Mimi LaValle

LSU Physics & Astronomy