Michael Pürrer is a senior research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam-Golm, Germany.

His current work is focussing on deep learning based surrogate models of gravitational waves (GW) emitted from coalescing black hole binaries. These predictive models are the crucial tools to locate and extract evidence and information about the evolution and merger of compact binaries from GW signals buried in noisy LIGO data.

Recently he has studied how inaccuracies in models of gravitational waves from compact binaries will affect our ability to correctly measure the binaries' masses and spins with LIGO, Virgo, Kagra, and EinsteinTelescope and CosmicExplorer detectors.

He has led and presented ground breaking LIGO-Virgo collaboration papers (GWTC-1 catalog of compact binary mergers, Effects of waveform model systematics on the interpretation of GW150914) on behalf of the LIGO-VIRGO Collaboration of which he has been a member since 2013. He has contributed Open source analysis code for about a dozen waveform models in LIGO’s official LSC Algorithm Library Suite while writing a substantial amount of internal analysis code.

He has performed a number of numerical relativity simulations of binary black hole mergers with spectral (SpEC) and finite difference (BAM) codes which have been key to tuning waveform models.

During his PhD at Vienna University in Austria he worked on numerical simulations of critical phenomena in gravitational collapse.

  • Gravitational Wave Modeling
  • Data Analysis
  • Deep Learning
  • Scientific Computing
  • PhD in Theoretical Physics, 2007

    University of Vienna, Austria


Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
Senior Scientist
Jan 2017 – Present Potsdam-Golm, Germany

Responsibilities include:

  • Analyzing LIGO-Virgo data
  • Modelling gravitational waves from compact binaries
  • Mentoring PhD students and young Postdocs
  • Organizing regular internal meetings and administrative duties
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
Junior Scientist
Sep 2015 – Dec 2016 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Work on surrogate models of gravitational waves and parameter estimation of LIGO data.
Cardiff University
Research Associate
Feb 2012 – Aug 2015 Cardiff, United Kingdom
Perform binary black hole numerical simulations and build phenomenological waveform models.

Recent Publications

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(2021). All-sky search in early O3 LIGO data for continuous gravitational-wave signals from unknown neutron stars in binary systems. prd.

Cite DOI

(2021). Search for anisotropic gravitational-wave backgrounds using data from Advanced LIGO's and Advanced Virgo's first three observing runs. arXiv e-prints.


(2021). A Gravitational-wave Measurement of the Hubble Constant Following the Second Observing Run of Advanced LIGO and Virgo. apj.

Cite DOI

(2021). Upper Limits on the Isotropic Gravitational-Wave Background from Advanced LIGO's and Advanced Virgo's Third Observing Run. arXiv e-prints.


(2021). Constraints on cosmic strings using data from the third Advanced LIGO-Virgo observing run. arXiv e-prints.