The first endowed chair in the Physics Department, this position was established by a bequest in the late 1990's which became available to the Department in 2009. The inaugural chair holder is Peter Olmsted, who joined the physics department in 2014.
Joseph Ives originally enrolled at Georgetown in the class of 1938, but he served in the military and graduated with a degree in Pure Sciences in 1948. He attended graduate school at Georgetown until 1954, where he served as an instructor in the Department of Physics. He worked in the National Bureau of Standards, at Trace Laboratories, and as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. His family emigrated to the US in 1635 as one of the original settlers of New Haven, Connecticut. His great grandfather was the engineer and architect for the Washington monument. Joseph Ives passed away in 2000. He was survived by his wife of 43 years, Claire Ives, who passed away in 2008.