PhD position in gravitational wave scattering, Christchurch, New Zealand

More info:  external link
Deadline:  2024-01-31

Location:  Christchurch, New Zealand

The Gravity and Cosmology Resesarch Group at the University of Canterbury has a three year PhD position available to work on the project “Shedding new light on fundamental physics through the scattering of gravitational waves”. It is funded by a Marsden grant administered by the Royal Society Te Aparangi (RSNZ) with PI Chris Stevens (University of Canterbury, NZ) and AI Prof. Joerg Frauendiener (University of Otago, NZ).

The project will work toward the fully non-linear, global scattering problem for gravitational waves in asymptotically flat space-times, an open problem in the field. Building upon work of the PI and AI over the last eight or so years, the project has a solid foundation. Friedrich’s conformal field equations will be utilised as a means to incorporate the conformal boundary in a finite manner. The already-developed numerical implementation will be built upon to attack the specific problem of gravitational wave scattering.

You will need to have a MSc. in general relativity or related fields, preferably with experience in programming languages such as Python or C/C++. Prior knowledge of the conformal field equations would be an advantage.

The UC Gravity and Cosmology group resides in both the Schools of Physical and Chemical Sciences | Te Kura Matu and Mathematics and Statistics | Te Kura Pangarau, a thriving community with a legacy spanning 150 years of academic excellence. Our own faculty – Prof. David Wiltshire, Dr Chris Stevens, Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr – interact with UC colleagues in astronomy, particle astrophysics, space physics, geometry, dynamical systems, statistics and data science. Our group currently has seven PhD students, seven masters students, three honours students and an incoming postdoctoral fellow. We are also members of the New Zealand Astrostatistics and General Relativity Working Group. See the external link for our group’s website.

We have access to a brand new dedicated High-Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, which has been optimized for very large numerical relativity simulations using the Einstein Toolkit. In addition, the New Zealand e-Science Infrastructure (NeSI) can be used for larger simulations.

At the University of Canterbury we are committed to accessible higher education, service to the community and the encouragement of talent without barriers of distance, wealth, class, gender or ethnicity. The University explicitly aims to produce graduates and support staff who are engaged with their communities, empowered to act for good and determined to make a difference in the world.

CLOSING DATE: Wednesday, 31st January 2024. Please note, applications may be reviewed as they are received.

APPLICATIONS: may be sent to chris.stevens [AT] as a single PDF containing
* a cover letter
* a research statement of 1-3 pages outlining your background, suitability for the position, noting your expertise and your plans for adapting your skills to the project;
* a CV, including any publications;
* contact details, including email addresses of three referees. We will contact referees of those candidates who best fit the project. Please do not include letters of reference with your application.

INFORMAL ENQUIRIES may be addressed to Dr Chris Stevens, email chris.stevens [AT]