Marie Woods

Administrative Assistant II, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research (LIGO Laboratory)
School of Science
Award presented by
Maria Zuber


Our next Excellence Award for Outstanding Contributor goes to one of the pivotal individuals supporting the award-winning work of one of MIT’s Nobel laureates. Her name is Marie Woods, and she is an administrative assistant at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

One of Kavli’s signature projects is a collaboration with CalTech called LIGO—short for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. In February of 2016, the LIGO team played a leading role in a major discovery: the first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. As a result, LIGO founder Rainer Weiss was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.

For Marie, the post-Nobel explosion marked the beginning of months of added demands on her time and talents, including a huge swell of media-related activity and travel coordination. And that’s in addition to keeping a 35-member research group fully supported both here at the lab, and as they make 100+ trips a year to conferences, speaking engagements, and the LIGO observatories.

One of her colleagues put it this way, “We cannot stress enough that Marie Woods is vital to the smooth functioning of our group. She has had an undeniable impact on our productivity. Her professionalism, resourcefulness, and efficiency as well as her cheerful nature and overall helpfulness make her an indispensable member of the LIGO group.”

As we once again celebrate LIGO, this time, Marie, we celebrate you. Congratulations on your Excellence Award.