Professor Sheila Rowan CBE FRS

Professor Sheila Rowan is an experimental physicist, and since 2009, Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research in the University of Glasgow in the UK. She received her BSc (1991) and PhD (1995) in the field of gravitational wave instrumentation from the University of Glasgow, and subsequently held research positions split between Stanford University and Glasgow before returning full time to a Faculty position in Glasgow in 2003.

She was awarded a Leverhulme Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2005, appointed to Fellowship of the UK Institute of Physics in 2006, elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008, and awarded Fellowship of the American Physical Society in 2012. She was made an MBE for services to science in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011, and received the Hoyle Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 2016 in recognition of her pioneering research on aspects of the technology of gravitational wave observatories. In 2016 she was seconded (part-time) to be Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government.

Professional position

  • Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Director and Professor of Experimental Physics, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics

    Astrophysics, Gravitation

  • Engineering


  • Other

    Science policy