Ehman, Jerry R.

Jerry Ehman

Jerry Ehman was a professor at Ohio State University who, in August 1977, while checking through data from the SETI project being carried out at the Ohio State University Radio Observatory (OSURO) came across the now-famous Wow! signal.


Ehman received a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Buffalo (now State University of New York at Buffalo) in 1961, and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan in 1963 and 1969, respectively. In 1967 he was hired by John Kraus, director of the OSURO, to work as a radio astronomer with the Big Ear radio telescope and also as a faculty member in the Ohio State University Department of Electrical Engineering.


At the OSURO, Ehman worked on data analysis for the Ohio Sky Survey. After funding from the National Science Foundation was cancelled and the data analysis group subsequently was disbanded, the Big Ear telescope was converted to narrowband observations. Ehman and several of his colleagues continued on as volunteers. On 15 August 1977 the Wow! signal was detected.