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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory
Ray Dolby Centre

The family of the late Ray Dolby has made a further transformational commitment to the University of Cambridge, ensuring the brightest minds in physics will have the resources they need to drive the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

Following their extraordinary gift in 2016 to establish the Ray Dolby Professorship and fund the Ray Dolby Centre at the Cavendish Laboratory (image above), the Dolby family will now support a new fund for teaching and research.

“Great minds have always been drawn to Cambridge, and Ray steadfastly believed that by Cambridge educating the most brilliant and the most curious, those students could and would solve some of the most important unanswered questions of our world,” said Dagmar Dolby.  “We feel passionately about ensuring that Ray’s belief in the power of physics research and teaching at the University continues to be realised.”

“The Dolby Family Fund for Excellence in Physics will transform the Cavendish Laboratory’s ability to enable and expand scientific excellence on an international scale,” she added.  “This additional investment in human talent and intellectual capital will help the University realise the full potential of the Ray Dolby Centre and Ray’s vision. We are delighted to partner with the University of Cambridge and the Cavendish Laboratory to achieve great things through their scientific research and teaching.”

The Dolby Family Fund for Excellence in Physics will enable the University to ensure it is always has the financial resources needed to successfully recruit and retain distinguished academics across the Cavendish Laboratory’s three overarching areas of distinction — Fundamental and Emerging Physics, Biomedical Physics and the Physics of Medicine, and Quantum Systems and Technologies. 

 “We’re already seeing the difference Ray Dolby’s legacy has made as we recruit for the inaugural Ray Dolby Chair,” said Professor Andy Parker, Head of the Department of Physics at Cambridge. “The funding, resources and opportunities the Dolby Family Fund will provide for students, researchers and academics sets the Ray Dolby Centre up for success even before it opens in 2023.”

It is envisaged that the fund will establish six permanently endowed academic chairs, six permanently endowed postdoctoral research fellowships and twelve permanently endowed PhD studentships at the Cavendish Laboratory. It will also create a new annual symposium and provide flexible funding for start-up costs associated with the work of the endowed academic chairs.

Emeritus Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, added: “The Ray Dolby Centre stands to transform the future of physics, not just at Cambridge but around the world. I can think of no better testament to Ray Dolby’s legacy than ensuring the brightest minds in physics, regardless of background, have the support they need to thrive at Cambridge and unlock the discoveries of tomorrow.”


This news was first published on the Development and Alumni Relations Website, University of Cambridge 

Image: Ray Dolby Centre, October 2022

Image Credit: Currie & Brown