New funding secured for gravitational wave research

University of the West of Scotland’s Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging, in partnership with Glasgow, Strathclyde and Lancaster universities, have secured funding from the Science and Technology Funding Council (STFC) for ongoing research in gravitational wave (GW) detection and associated astronomy.


Gravitational wave research is dynamic and fast-moving, with astronomers first witnessing these ripples in space-time a few short years ago. For these detections to occur, it took decades of groundwork from theorists, scientists and engineers. Today, we are now seeing the fruits of that hard work pay off with new observations and new results coming with heartening regularity.

The news comes as STFC has allocated £9.4million to UK universities and institutes for gravitational wave research, with hopes to continue the ground-breaking science, including £5.4 million to the consortium involving UWS ITFSI.


STFC commented “continuing to fund this research is vital in enhancing our understanding of the Universe and STFC is proud of the role it plays in this endeavour”.

UWS is part of the international network of 1400 scientists, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), who made the observation of gravitational waves.

UWS ITFSI involvement will focus on researching next generation optical coating technology, working with colleagues at Glasgow, Strathclyde and Lancaster universities to increase GW detection efficiencies. UWS ITFSI principal investigator will be Prof Des Gibson with Dr Carlos Garcia Nunez as co-investigator, both active members of LIGO LSC.


UWS ITFSI ITFSI has a wide range of InnovateUK, STFC, Royal Society, British Council, Royal Academy of Engineering, Scottish Enterprise and Horizon 2020 funded projects, including seven direct and indirect Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects with industrial partners. ITFSI has a successful masters programme in Advanced Thin Film Technologies and is commercialising research through two company spin-outs: Novosound & Albasense Ltd.