Dr Patricia Schmidt

Dr Patricia Schmidt

School of Physics and Astronomy
Associate Professor

Contact details

Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Schmidt is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Her research focuses on the theoretical and numerical modelling of gravitational waves from colliding black holes and neutron stars, as well as the interpretation of gravitational-wave observations.


  • PhD in Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, 2014
  • Diploma (Mag. rer. nat.) in Physics, University of Vienna, 2010
  • Bachelor (Bakk. rer. nat.) in Astronomy, University of Vienna, 2009


After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Astronomy and a diploma degree in Physics from the University of Vienna, Austria, Patricia was awarded a DOC f-Forte fellowship by the Austrian Academy of Sciences to pursue a PhD in gravitational waves.

She obtained her PhD from Cardiff University in 2014, after which she took up a joint postdoctoral appointment between the LIGO Laboratory and the Theoretical Astrophysics Including Relativity group at the California Institute of Technology, USA later that year.

After two years at Caltech, Patricia joined Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In 2018 she was awarded a prestigious VENI fellowship by the Dutch Research Council before being appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Birmingham in 2019.

Patricia is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2010 -- the team that discovered the very first gravitational-wave signal in 2015.


  • Y1 Introduction to Particle Physics & Astronomy
  • Y3/Y4 Observational Cosmology
  • Y4 Project Supervision
  • Y4 Project Theme Leader (Astrophysics)
  • MPAGS Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

Postgraduate supervision

Supervision of research PhD students in gravitational waves and related subjects.


Research interests

  • Gravitational-wave observations
  • Modelling of compact binaries
  • Measuring the neutron star equation of state
  • Spin precession in binary black holes
  • Parameter inference of gravitational-wave sources

Other activities

  • Co-chair of the Parameter Estimation technical working group of the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Collaboration [2020 -- present]
  • Co-chair of the Waveforms Division of the Observational Science Board of the Einstein Telescope Collaboration [2021 -- present]
  • Member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Council [2020 -- present]
  • Member of the Cosmic Explorer Consortium
  • Member of the LISA Consortium
  • Member of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the School of Physics & Astronomy [2019 -- present]
  • Secretary of the IOP Gravitational Physics Group [Sept 2019 -- Sept 2023]


Selected publications

  • Zhang, T., Yang, H., Martynov, D., Schmidt, P. and Miao, H. (2023), Gravitational-Wave Detector for Postmerger Neutron Stars: Beyond the Quantum Loss Limit of the Fabry-Perot-Michelson Interferometer, Phys.Rev.X 13 (2023) 2, 021019
  • Bonino, A., Gamba, R., Schmidt, P. et al. (2023), Inferring eccentricity evolution from observations of coalescing binary black holes, Phys.Rev.D 107 (2023) 6, 064024
  • Thomas, L. M., Pratten, G. and Schmidt, P. (2022), Accelerating multimodal gravitational waveforms from precessing compact binaries with artificial neural networks, Phys.Rev.D 106 (2022) 10, 104029
  • Pratten, G., Schmidt, P. and Williams, N. (2022), Impact of Dynamical Tides on the Reconstruction of the Neutron Star Equation of State, Phys.Rev.Lett. 129 (2022) 8, 081102
  • Thomas, L. M, Schmidt, P. and Pratten, G. (2021), New effective precession spin for modeling multimodal gravitational waveforms in the strong-field regime, Phys.Rev.D 103 (2021) 8, 083022
  • Pratten, G, Schmidt, P. et al. (2020), Measuring precession in asymmetric compact binaries, Phys.Rev.Res. 2 (2020) 4, 043096
  • Pratten, G., Schmidt, P. and Hinderer, T. (2020), Gravitational-Wave Asteroseismology with Fundamental Modes from Compact Binary Inspirals, Nature Commun. 11 (2020) 1, 2553
  • Schmidt, P. and Hinderer, T. (2019), Frequency domain model of f-mode dynamic tides in gravitational waveforms from compact binary inspirals, Phys.Rev.D 100 (2019) 2, 021501
  • LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Scientific Collaboration (2019), GWTC-1: A Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog of Compact Binary Mergers Observed by LIGO and Virgo during the First and Second Observing Runs, Phys.Rev.X 9 (2019) 3, 031040
  • Schmidt, P., Ohme, F. and Hannam, M. (2015), Towards models of gravitational waveforms from generic binaries II: Modelling precession effects with a single effective precession parameter, Phys.Rev.D 91 (2015) 2, 024043
  • Hannam, M., Schmidt, P., et al. (2014), Simple Model of Complete Precessing Black-Hole-Binary Gravitational Waveforms, Phys.Rev.Lett. 113 (2014) 15, 151101

View all publications in research portal