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Cardiff’s ‘Universal’ expert honoured by Royal Astronomical Society

12 January 2009

Professor Bernard F SchutzProfessor Bernard F Schutz

A leading expert in gravitational wave research has been honoured by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Professor Bernard F Schutz, professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy has been elected as an Honorary Fellow for his distinguished leadership in stellar astronomy and gravitational wave research.

One of the leading international experts in the field of general relativity, Professor Schutz is a member of the Gravitational Physics Group at the School, and managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany.

Professor Schutz said: "I am honoured and delighted to be elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. It underlines the role of gravitational wave research as a major field in future astronomy that complements other astronomical methods. I am now looking forward to the very sophisticated upgrades of the German-British gravitational wave detector GEO600, the American LIGO observatories and the French-Italian Virgo detector in 2009 - and to one of the most exciting near future projects: LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna."

During his career, Professor Schutz has helped to coordinate fruitful collaborations among theoretical and experimental astrophysicists in Europe and in the USA. He was one of the key persons founding the field of gravitational wave astronomy, which, with the operations of the German-British gravitational wave detector GEO600, the American LIGO detectors, the Italian VIRGO detector and with the space project ‘LISA’ in the near future, is now at the forefront of astronomical research.

Professor Bangalore Sathyaprakash, who leads the Gravitational Physics Group at the School of Physics and Astronomy said: "This is a matter of great pride to the School and is a great achievement for Professor Schutz. It is further recognition of his enormous and ongoing contribution to the field of gravitational physics research throughout the world."

A spokesperson for the Royal Astronomical Society said: "We are delighted to honour Bernard F. Schutz for his early pioneering work on rotating stars that led him into the field of gravitational wave research, the prediction of gravitational wave signals and the implementation of new algorithms for detecting the signals using the current generation of gravitational wave observatories. Bernard enjoys an outstanding worldwide reputation because of his scientific work, his publications and his personal engagement for the interests of gravitational physics and its scientists."

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