PhD position in General Relativity

The Relativity group at the University of Otago, New Zealand invites applications for a PhD position in General Relativity, in particular on the gravitational wave emissions of rotating neutron stars. The position comes with a 3-year scholarship which covers tuition fees as well as an annual stipend of 25000 NZD.

The position is related to a Catalyst:Seeding grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand to J. Frauendiener to work on neutron star mountains and their gravitational wave signals. The project is joint with Prof. Andrew Melatos (University of Melbourne, Australia) and Prof. Susan Scott (Australian National University, Canberra) both members of OzGrav, the Australian Centre of Research Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery.

We are looking for a motivated person with a degree equivalent to MSc or BSc(Hons) in Theoretical or Mathematical Physics. Good mathematical skills are essential. Prior research experience in General Relativity or relativistic astrophysics is desirable.

The starting date of the position is on 1.6.2018. The position will be open until filled.

Please send applications (including CV and certificates) or enquiries to

New Publications

Behavior of asymptotically electro- spacetimes
Vee-Liem Saw, Physical Review D 95, 084038, 2017.
Mass-loss of an isolated gravitating system due to energy carried away by gravitational waves with a cosmological constant
Vee-Liem Saw, Physical Review D 94, 104004, 2016.
Numerical solutions of Einstein’s equations for cosmological spacetimes with spatial topology S3 and symmetry group U(1)
Florian Beyer, Leon Escobar, Jörg Frauendiener, Physical Review D, 93, 043009, 2016.
Constructing vacuum spacetimes by generating manifolds of revolution around a curve
Vee-Liem Saw, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 33, 065006, 2016
A spectral method for half-integer spin fields based on spin-weighted spherical harmonics
Florian Beyer, Boris Daszuta, Jörg Frauendiener, Class. Quantum Grav. 32, 175013
Computational approach to hyperelliptic Riemann surfaces
J. Frauendiener and Christian Klein, Letters in Mathematical Physics, 2015
Helicalised fractals
Vee-Liem Saw and Lock Yue Chew, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 2015

Honourable mention

Congratulations to Vee-Liem Saw for earning an honourable mention in the Aitken student prize competition at the NZ Mathematical Society’s Colloquium. In his talk, “Helicalised fractals“, Vee-Liem formulated the concept of the “helicaliser”, which must also be one of the best new words of 2015!

Vee-Liem is currently a PhD student being supervised by Jörg Frauendiener and Jörg Hennig.
(December 2015)

EINSTEIN 100 years of the theory of general relativity

In collaboration with the Otago Museum we organised an exhibition to commemorate 100 years of General relativity. The official opening is on Saturday 14. November.

Early Career Award for Jörg Hennig

Congratulations to Jörg, a recent recipient of the University’s Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research. Jörg’s research is concerned with cosmological models, properties of black holes and the application of highly-accurate numerical methods to problems in general relativity. Currently, his main goal is a deeper understanding of unusual cosmologies. See Early Career Awards for more detail of his research and this very worthy achievement.

Teaching Award

During his recent trip back home to Malaysia for the Chinese New Year celebration, Vee-Liem Saw dropped by Singapore and picked up his third consecutive Teaching Award at Nanyang Technological University. He served there as a full-time teaching assistant under the Division of Physics and Applied Physics for three years since August 2011, before beginning his PhD study in September 2014 on gravitation here in Otago. A wide range of physics courses from freshman to advanced undergraduate levels had been taught by Vee-Liem, to students of various backgrounds – comprising physics majors, engineering majors, as well as top undergraduates under the CN Yang Scholars Programme.
(February 2015)

NZ Mathematics Society’s Early Career Award 2013

Dr Florian Beyer received the NZ Mathematics Society’s Early Career Award 2013. The award citation reads: “For his contributions to the understanding of the global structure of cosmological solutions of Einstein’s equations using numerical and analytical methods, and, in particular, for the proof of the well-posedness of the singular initial-value-problem for Fuchsian PDEs.”
(December 2013)

NZ Mathematics Society’s Aitken Prize 2013

Chris Stevens, received the NZ Mathematics Society’s Aitken Prize for the best contributed talk by a student at the Mathematics Colloquium in December 2013. Chris’ talk was titled “The Friedrich-Nagy gauge for colliding plane gravitational waves”.
(December 2013)

Fellow of the Royal Society

Jörg Frauendiener has been elected a Royal Society Fellow. See the news story in the Otago Bulletin.
(December 2013)

Supervisor of the year 2013 in the division of sciences

Jörg Frauendiener was selected supervisor of the year 2013 in the division of sciences. The supervisors are nominated and voted for by the students. The awards recognise the supervisors that go above and beyond for their students during their post graduate study. See the news story in the Otago Bulletin.
(September 2013)