Professor Alberto Vecchio PhD, FRAS

Professor Alberto Vecchio

School of Physics and Astronomy
Professor of Astrophysics
Director, Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Contact details

44 (0)121 414 6447
+44 (0) 121 414 3722
School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Vecchio is head of Astrophysics and Space Research, and Director of the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

Professor Vecchio’s research interests include general relativity, the astrophysics of compact objects - black holes and neutron stars - and gravitational-wave experiments. His work is primarily centred on gravitational-wave science science and new observations of the Universe using gravitational radiation with ground-based laser interferometers (LIGO, Virgo and GEO 600), Pulsar Timing Arrays and future space based interferometers (LISA). He has published over 200 research papers and is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), the GEO Collaboration, the European and International Pulsar Timing Array collaborations, and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna consortium.


  • PhD in Astronomy, Universita’ di Milano (Italy), 1996
  • Laurea in Physics, Collegio Ghislieri, Universita’ di Pavia (Italy), 1991


After studying theoretical physics as an undergraduate (Laurea) at Collegio Ghislieri and the Universita' di Pavia, Professor Vecchio obtained a Ph.D. in astronomy from the Universita' di Milano in 1996. He held post-doctoral positions at Cardiff University and the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik in Potsdam, where he stayed as a research scientist before joining the University of Birmingham in 2001. During the academic year 2006/07 he was visiting professor at Northwestern University in the USA.

Professor Vecchio research is focused on the use of gravitational radiation to study the universe in a radically new observational window and to test the behaviour of gravity in extreme conditions. His work concerns the astrophysics of compact objects, data analysis techniques, gravitational-wave observations, and he has contributed to the development and construction of instrumentation for Advanced LIGO.



  • Y1 Electromagnetism
  • Y1 Introduction of Particle Physics and Cosmology
  • Y3 General Physics
  • Y4 Astroparticle Cosmology
  • Y4 Projects (Coordinator Astronomy)
  • Y1 and Y3 Tutor

Postgraduate supervision

PhD projects in compact objects, gravitational wave sources and observations.

Visit for full details.

PhD opportunities


  • Gravitational-wave science
  • General relativity
  • Compact objects and black holes
  • Cosmology
  • Statistics 
  • Data analysis

Other activities

  • LSC/GEO Birmingham Group PI
  • Member of European and International Pulsar Timing Array Collaboration [2010 – present]
  • Member of LSC Council [2003 – present]
  • Member of GEO Executive Committee [2007 – present]
  • Member of STFC Education, Training and Careers Committee [2010 – 2014] 
  • Chair of STFC Particle Astrophysics Advisory Panel [2005 – 2007]
  • Member of European Pulsar Timing Array Steering Committee [2010 – present]
  • Chair of UK Space Agency GAIA DPAC Oversight Committee [2007 - present]
  • Member of STFC UK Dark Matter Oversight Committee [2013 - present]


Veitch, J and Vecchio, A (2010), Bayesian coherent analysis of in-spiral gravitational wave signals with a detector network, PRD 81, 062003 

Sesana, A, Vecchio, A, and Colacino, C N (2008), The stochastic gravitational-wave background from massive black hole binary systems: implications for observations with Pulsar Timing Arrays, MNRAS 390, 192 

Vecchio, A (2004), LISA observations of rapidly spinning massive black hole binary systems, PRD 70, 042001

Veiich, J, ..., Vecchio, A. et al "Parameter estimation for compact binaries with ground-based gravitational-wave observations using the LALInference software library"

Physical Review D91, 042003 (2015)

Aasi, J et al. [LIGO and Virgo Collaboration], "Parameter estimation for compact binary coalescence signals with the first generation gravitational-wave detector network" 

Physical Review D 88, 062001 (2013)


General relativity, compact objects, black holes and neutron stars, relativistic astrophysics, statistics; gravitational wave observations with ground and space based laser interferometers (LIGO, GEO, Virgo and LISA) and Pulsar Timing Arrays.

Media experience

Alberto Vecchio was a participant in a press conference at the British Science Festival discussing  research into gravitational wave detection in front of all the national broadsheets' science correspondents. This was followed up by articles in The Independent and The Times, and  BBC Radio 4.

Related media experts

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