David Coward

Associate Professor, BSc Murd., PhD W.Aust., Science Director Zadko Telescope

  • The University of Western Australia (M013), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 2.63, Physics Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • 16200 Citations
  • 56 h-Index
20012023
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Personal profile

Biography

His early work on gravitational waves focused on modelling and simulation of gravitational wave background noise. This work evolved in new directions, including the development of a new data analysis algorithm that uses records of the temporal and spatial pattern of rare events in data to predict the occurrence of even rarer events. The methods found novel applications well beyond their original focus, such as predicting the occurrence of very bright gamma ray bursts.

Coward has received a broad mentorship that reflects his refusal to be restricted to a single research niche.

In 2004, Coward took the bold step of branching out into gamma ray burst and optical transient astronomy, receiving mentorship from experts in this field including the highly cited Tsvi Piran. Following this Coward received mentorship from B. Schmidt, UWA ICRA leaders, and a team of leading French astronomers, Boer and Klotz, for the installation and operation of the Zadko Telescope (Australia’s premier facility for gamma ray burst follow-up).
Coward is a member of the LIGO Scientific Community (burst group), and participates in the E.M. follow-up of gravitational wave events as an “advocate” and is named on an MoU for a joint France/Zadko follow-up. He is also named as an investigator on the high-energy detector satellite mission XMM-Newton. In 2013, Coward was invited to collaborate with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Antarctic astronomy. This allowed access to optical data from robotic telescopes (AST3) operating at Dome C Antarctica.

Roles and responsibilities

Research leader:

Science Director Zadko telescope (http://www.zt.science.uwa.edu.au/)

In 2006, Coward commenced work as project manager and lead scientist for managing the construction, installation and commissioning of the UWA Zadko Telescope. Coward led the Australian team that is working in partnership with French astronomers to establish a network of robotic telescopes (Zadko is the Australian node), for multi-messenger astronomy.
The facility plays a niche role in Australian astronomy, as it is the only meter class optical facility in Australia dedicated to automated follow-up imaging of alerts or triggers received from different external instruments/detectors spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Funding overview

Coward and has team has received over $1 Million in funding from the National and State Governments.

Current projects

Coward is a CI on the ARC center of excellence for Gravitational Astronomy (OzGrav)

http://www.ozgrav.org/.

His core project is gravitational wave data analysis and gamma ray bursts

AS Science Director of the Gingin-based Zadko telescope, Coward has enabled many other research projects, including the follow-up of solar system bodies from the Gaia satellite, rare asteroid shape reconstruction using Zadko photometry, coincident optical and radio (MWA) observations of flare stars to name but a few.

Coward is also a contributing member of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/)

Teaching overview

2019 (upcoming)

Course co-ordinator: SCIE1122_SUM_CR

https://www.facebook.com/UWAstudents/videos/2215664298706036

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMGwejnDfuQ

2018

Course co-ordinator: SCIE1122 Our Solar System

2015 -2018:
Electricity (first year)
Special Relativity (first year)

Research interests

Keywords

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Gamma ray bursts
  • Data analysis
  • Gravitational waves
  • Seismic studies

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Projects 2008 2023

Research Output 2001 2019

Search for Multimessenger Sources of Gravitational Waves and High-energy Neutrinos with Advanced LIGO during Its First Observing Run, ANTARES, and IceCube

LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, 10 Jan 2019, In : Astrophysical Journal. 870, 2, 134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
LIGO (observatory)
gravitational waves
neutrinos
astrophysics
outflow
11 Citations

Effects of data quality vetoes on a search for compact binary coalescences in Advanced LIGO's first observing run

LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, 14 Feb 2018, In : Classical and Quantum Gravity. 35, 6, 065010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
LIGO (observatory)
gravitational waves
coalescing
artifacts
sensitivity
15 Citations

First Search for Nontensorial Gravitational Waves from Known Pulsars

LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, 19 Jan 2018, In : Physical Review Letters. 120, 3, 031104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
pulsars
gravitational waves
polarization
tensors
gravitation
22 Citations

GW170817: Implications for the Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background from Compact Binary Coalescences

LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, 28 Feb 2018, In : Physical Review Letters. 120, 9, 091101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

gravitational waves
coalescing
LIGO (observatory)
neutron stars
binary stars
21 Citations

GW170817: Measurements of Neutron Star Radii and Equation of State

LIGO Scientific and VIRGO Collaborations, 15 Oct 2018, In : Physical Review Letters. 121, 16, 161101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
neutron stars
equations of state
radii
LIGO (observatory)
stars

Prizes

France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration

David Coward (Recipient), 2016

Prize/award: Other distinction

radio bursts
space debris
robotics
France
debris

Yachad Scholar

David Coward (Recipient), 14 Feb 2012

Prize/award: Other distinction

Courses

Our Solar System

David Coward

7/01/193/02/19

Teaching unit (UWA): Course

Press / Media

West Australians urged to watch rare blood moon

David Coward

27/07/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

UWA helps NASA observe eclipse of Saturn's moon

David Coward

21/07/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Stars line up to give closer view of Saturn’s moon Titan

David Coward

16/07/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media