Professor Giles Hammond is an innovative physicist who played a pivotal role in the recent detection of gravitational waves from binary black hole and neutron star mergers. He led the work on the fused silica mirror suspensions that were a critical factor in enabling the detection. This breakthrough led to Giles being co-awarded the RSE President’s Medal in 2016 and the 2017 Bruno Rossi Prize. He also leads an activity to develop MEMS gravity sensors which have applications in oil & gas monitoring, defence and security and environmental monitoring. Giles was a founding member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland and served on the facilitating group from 2013 to 2016. He is an enthusiastic ambassador for physics through his outreach work.