Skip to main content

Dr Hong Qi

Research Associate
Gravity Exploration Institute

School of Physics and Astronomy

I am a postdoctoral research associate working to investigate gravitational wave inferences in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) community in the Gravity Exploration Institute at Cardiff Univercity. I am also collaborating within the UK-China Gravitational-wave Excellence through Alliance Training (GrEAT) network.

Gravitational waves were the last prediction of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. They were first directly detected in 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The signal was named GW150914, and it was produced by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion years ago. Since then, LSC have detected tens of gravitational wave signals from the merger of compact objects, specifically black holes and neutron stars. An unprecedented signal among them was GW170817 because it was also observed across the electromagnetic spectrum which made it the first multi-messenger observation, and opened the era of multi-messenger astronomy.

My research interests are quite broad, in several areas of gravitional wave astronomy. Currently in particular the fast and accurate gravitational wave inferences and the astrophysics and cosmomolgy therein. LIGO has been detecting gravitational waves at a frequency of roughly once per week in its most recent observating run. More frequent detections are expected in LIGO's future observations and particularly in LISA's observation when it turns on in space in 2030s. Therefore, it is crutial to search for the gravitational waves fast and accurately. 

Currently I am a postdoctoral research associate working closely with Dr. Vivien Raymond and others to investigate gravitational wave inferences in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) community in the Gravity Exploration Institute at Cardiff Univercity. I received my Ph.D. in 2018 for studies in gravitational wave data analysis and astrophysics in the LSC in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My Master's in Astrophysics was obtained in 2011 from the National Astronomical Observatories of China(Beijing).

I was initially from a beautiful coastal city named Weihai in China. It was an interesting coincidence that I moved to study and work in several places whose names start with the sound "wei (威)" in Chinese, such as Wisconsin and Wales. 

Professional memberships

  • UK-China Gravitational-wave Excellence through Alliance Training (GrEAT) network member since 2019
  • Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Consortium member since 2018
  • LIGO Scientific Collaboration full member since 2015
  • American Physical Society since 2014
  • Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) member 2016 - 2018

  • Course Instructor, Fall 2019, An Introduction to General Relativity (co-taught with Prof. Bernard Schutz) at Cardiff University
  • Tutorial Mentor, Spring 2019, Cardiff University undergrad math, physics, and data analysis courses
  • Teaching Assistant, Falls 2012 to 2014, Springs 2013&2017, led in-classroom discussions on General Physics I, II (Non-Calculus Treatment) twiceper week at UW-Milwaukee
  • Teaching Assistant, Summer 2012, led weekly in-classroom discussions on General Physics Laboratory II (Non-CalculusTreatment) at UW-Milwaukee
  • Teaching Assistant, Falls 2011&2017, Springs 2012&2018, led in-classroom discussions on General Physics I, II (Calculus Treatment) twice perweek at UW-Milwaukee

My research interests are particully in the following aspects of gravitational wave astronomy:

  • Fast and accurate gravitational wave inference or parameter estimation;
  • Gravitational wave astrophysics and cosmology

Past projects

Ph.D. students

  • Zu-Cheng Chen (Oct 2019 - Oct 2020), PhD student at Academy of Mathematics and System Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences (main, co-supervise with Dr. Vivien Raymond), CSC exchange program on Building Reduced Order Quadrature Data for Neutron-Star-Black-Hole waveforms and Scenario Studies of Gravitational Waves from NSBHs.
  • Xinchun Hu (Nov 2019), PhD student at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, on the research project Reduced Order Quadrature Data Construction and Parameter Estimation of Super Massive Black Hole Binaries for Static LISA Detector as part of the Birmingham winter school for the UK-China GrEAT network.

Undergraduate research students

  • Alexander Reeves (Since Apr 2020; Jul-Aug 2019), the University of Cambridge Physics undergraduate student on the research project Constraining the Properties of Supermassive Black Holes with Ray-tracing Photos; summer internship research project Relativistic Ray-tracer Code in Python for Kerr Black Holes.
  • Hannah Riley (Jun-Nov 2019), Cardiff University undergraduate, CUROP placement on the research project A Framework of Estimating Black Hole Properties with Ray-tracing Images with a poster exhibition at Cardiff City Hall.