Dr. Peter Woitke

Group Leader

T +43 (316) 4120 - 320
Room E.d.6

Research Interests

My research interests are in the field of computational modelling of low-energy astrophysical objects, such as protoplanetary discs, the atmospheres of brown dwarfs, and simulations of dust-driven AGB star winds.

The modelling includes radiative transfer in dust continuum and non-LTE line formation, chemical processes with X-rays, UV-photorates and ice formation, and the gas energy balance with various heating and cooling processes. I am the main programmer of the disc modelling software package ProDiMo. I have also experience in hydrodynamical simulations and dust formation theory.

I am currently involved in GASPS, a large HERSCHEL open time key programme, using about 400 hours of PACS spectroscopy to detect far-IR fine-structure lines of [OI] and [CII], and rotational lines of CO and H2O lines in the (60-180) micron spectral region, the first systematic survey of gas ranging from young gas-rich protoplanetary discs to old gas-poor debris discs. The programme aims at a better understanding of the gas component in protoplanetary disks, its spatial distribution and total mass, its chemical composition and evolution. The ProDiMo code is currently used to analyse, interpret, and harvest the scientific findings of HERSCHEL for the case of circumstellar disks.

I am furthermore the PI of the FP7-SPACE collaborative project DIANA, which conducts a systematic collection and coherent analysis of multi-wavelength observational data from protoplanetary discs, to determine the physical and chemical structure of the discs, and so to answer a number of fundamental questions related to planet formation, for example, how the gas and dust in discs evolve in time, how important the stellar UV and X-ray irradiation is, and how the presence of planets alters the disc structure.

Career Summary

since 10/21Group Leader, Institut für Weltraumforschung, ÖAW, Austria
01/12 - 09/21staff member of St. Andrews University, Scotland, UK
01/11 – 12/11Kepler post-doc at the University of Vienna, Austria
08/10 – 12/10post-doc at the Kapteyn institute, Groningen, The Netherlands
05/10 – 07/10visiting professor at the Institut de Planetologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, CNRS/Universite Joseph Fourier, France
09/07 – 09/10post-doctoral research assistant at the Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Project: Modelling of spectral lines from protoplanetary discs
11/06 – 10/07guest scientist at the School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK
12/03 – 10/06post-doc at Sterrewacht Leiden, The Netherlands, theory group, Project “AstroHydro3D” (NWO): Multi-dimensional radiative hydrodynamics for the dust-driven winds of red giants
09/02 – 11/03parental leave
06/99 – 09/02post-doc at the Centre of Astronomy & Astrophysics, TU Berlin, Germany, Sonderforschungsbereich 555 “Complex nonlinear processes”, Project B8: Self-organised structure formation by radiatively controlled phase transitions
02/97 – 04/99post-doc at the Centre of Astronomy & Astrophysics, TU Berlin, Germany, Project: Shock induced condensation around R Coronae Borealis stars