A robust increase in scientific research and development could be the spark that ignites the U.S. economy. The detection of gravity waves, the lifecycle of a star, and the consequences of colliding black holes. The discoveries of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)—which earned three American researchers the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics and was realized with technology and expertise from partners like Parsons—highlight more than the boundlessness of American scientific prowess.
In an Op-Ed in Engineering News-Record, Chuck Harrington, Chairman and CEO of Parsons, reasons that increased and sustained scientific research supported by public and private agencies, as well as the federal government, for massive projects like LIGO is the first step in producing new consumer products and an economic boom. They put scientists, engineers, and supporting industries to work.
“Between supportive government agencies, strong backing from academia and a private sector willing to make necessary investments, the United States is primed to see the kind of job-creating tech boom we haven’t seen in decades,” Harrington explains.
Parsons, a technology-driven engineering and professional services firm, makes marvels like LIGO possible, and we’re honored to have provided design and construction management for LIGO facilities (including 4-km-long laser tubes to detect gravitational waves, and used a building information modeling process to help Caltech and MIT scientists visualize and engineer the facilities). With continued and increasing public and private funding of research and development, Harrington affirms, industries supporting massive scientific endeavors can jumpstart the economy while also propelling life-changing discoveries.