Apl. Prof. Dr. Benno Willke

Research Group Leader
Laser Development and Advanced LIGO
Laser Interferometry and Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Location Hannover
+49 511 762-2360
3405 107

Main Focus

Curriculum Vitae


2009    Habilitation (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
1992    PhD (Universität Hannover)
   Diplom (Universität Hannover )

Scientific Activities

since 1998      
Senior Scientist (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
  • Coordination and Commissioning of the Gravitational Wave Detector GEO600
  • Subsystem Lead GEO600 and Advanced LIGO Laser System
  • Head of Laser group at Albert Einstein Institute
  • Lectures in Laser-Interferometry, Laser-Stabilization and Experimental Physics
Feodor-Lynen-Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung), Stanford University (USA)
  • Integration of the pre-modecleaner into the LIGO Lasersystem
  • cavity-ring-down spectroscopy, dynamic response of Fabry-Perot Cavities, laser amplification at the quantum limit
Junior Scientist (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
  • Design of the Gravitational Wave Detector GEO600
  • Design and Commissioning of laser laboratories 


since 1997     Council Member der LIGO Science Collaboration
since 2000     GEO Executive Committee
2005-2011     EGO Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee
2005–2008     LIGO Program Advisory Committee


2023    Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize
2017    Bruno Rossi Prize of the American Astronomical Society (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)
    Group Achievement Award of the Royal Astronomical Society (shared with the LIGO team)
    Princess of Asturias Award (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)     
    Gruber Prize (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)  
    Special Breakthrough Prize (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)

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