Curriculum Vitae


Dr Raphael Hirschi

Born in Switzerland (CH)



2000 – 2004

PhD:  “Massive rotating stars: the road to supernova explosion”, University of Geneva Observatory, (CH): I gained insight into stellar evolution and in particular the modelling of massive rotating stars until the pre-supernova stage, working under the supervision of world leaders in the field, Profs Maeder and Meynet

1998 – 1999

Masters: “Oxygen burning in massive stars”, EPFL, Lausanne, CH

1994 – 1998

Diplôme d'Ingénieur Physicien (4-year bachelor), EPFL, Lausanne, CH

1996 – 1997

Erasmus Exchange Student, University of Nottingham (UK): I discovered a new educational system and gained insight into the synergy that can be obtained by combining the strengths of the two different approaches to education (UK & CH)

1991 – 1994

Maturité Fédérale, Gymnase du Bugnon, Lausanne, CH



Since March 13

Reader in Astrophysics, Keele University (UK)

Since Nov 10

Lecturer in Astrophysics, Keele University (UK)

Since 2008

Visiting Scientist at Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, Japan

May 07 – Oct 09

RCUK Academic Fellow, Keele University, UK: I gained key insights into 3D hydrodynamics simulations of convective boundary mixing and the evolution of AGB stars by working with Falk Herwig (now Prof Ass. at Uni Victoria, Canada)


Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Basel, CH: I gained key insight into nuclear physics and supernovae explosions by working in the group of Prof F.-K. Thielemann (APS Bethe Prize, 2008), expert in nuclear physics and supernova simulations and in particular creator of the world leading “REACLIB” reaction rate database.

1999 – 2000

Industrial Trainee: “Satellite motion control”, Mitsubishi R&D center, Osaka, Japan: I gained  insight into a new culture and different approaches used in the industry (vs academia).

Summer 1998

Industrial Project: “Wire saw technology”, HCT SA, Cheseaux, CH

Major Collaborations (follow website link on left for full details)


Chair of COST Action: “Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos” (Network of 50+ scientists from 29 European countries)



PI of this ERC starting grant project, Stellar HYdrodynamics Nucleosynthesis and Evolution (collaborators in 9 institutions)



Co-founder and PI for several years in the pasr, Nuclear Astrophysics collaboration, (20+ institutions world-wide)                                                  



Chair of BRIDGCE: UK-wide network established to BRIdge the Disciplines related to the Galactic Chemical Evolution (13 UK institutions).

PhD Supervision

Since 2011

Research institute postgraduate committee member representing physics/astrophysics

Since 2008

Lead Supervisor for PhD Students: Laura Scott (2016-2020), Jacqueline den Hartogh (2014-2017), Andrea Cristini (-2017), Sam Jones (-2013), Michael Bennett (-2011)

Since 2007

Keele supervisor for PhD Student Norhasliza binti Yusof (Keele/UM, Malaysia, 2007-2011), Urs Friscknecht (Keele/Basel, CH, Profs Thielemann and Rauscher being the Basel supervisors, 2007-2011)


Teaching & Outreach

Since 2014

Module leader for Physics of Fluids (PHY-30030): New module that I designed.


Post-graduate diploma: “Teaching and Learning in Higher Education”

Since 2010

Module leader: Nature of Matter (PHY-10024, since 2011), Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHY-20009, 2011-2013), Electricity and Magnetism (PHY10021/10023, 2010-2012)

Since 2009

Delivery of lectures on “stars” and “planets” at Science Learning Centre's weekend training events for school teachers.


Module leader for school teachers enhancement programmes (SASP, SKE): Mechanics (SASP and SKE) + delivery of lectures for Molecular Theory module (SASP).

Since 2000

Various outreach talks at work and schools, including stardome sessions.



International Astronomical Union (IAU), Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), Institute of Physics (IoP), Swiss Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics, IAU Working Group on Massive Stars (Division IV: Stars)


Fellowships & Prizes


RCUK Academic Fellowship, Keele University, UK


Plantamour-Prévost Prize, University of Geneva, CH                                                  


Mathematics Prize, Gymnase du Bugnon, CH



French (mother tongue), English (fluent), German (advanced), Japanese (average)


UNIX/Linux (system administration), Fortran, Python (advanced user), … .



Proposal outcome Dec 2017

PI of BRIDGCE STFC consortium proposal (2 PDRAs + staff time requested). PI of one project and co-I of other project.


Chair (and main proposer) of ChETEC COST Action (Euro 576k for 4 years for networking activities: ). 4-year programme to boost cooperation of research in Nuclear Astrophysics  


Host for SNF Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship: 18 months funding for Postdoc Dr Umberto Battino (value around £80k)


PI of ERC starting grant for SHYNE project (EURO 1.4 million for 2 Postdoc +2PhD+1000-cpu cluster). 5-year project to develop a software tool suite that will efficiently connect nuclear, astrophysics and hydrodynamics.




Eurogenenesis Eurocore (ESF) programme: Associate Partner in MASCHE CRP (first UK partner): “Origin of the elements” (funding for networking events)


PI of International Joint Project with Prof Thomas Rauscher, Basel, on comprehensive uncertainty studies of reaction rates (£10k)


Scientist in Charge for Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship Awarded to Dr Takuma Suda, Japan (£118k): “OBSI-FSU: Joining worlds apart: Observations and Simulations of the First Stars in the Universe”


Theme PI in Astrophysics Group Rolling Grant (Total £1.5 million for group, 25% of personal time awarded for my theme) to work on project “SENF: Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis in the First stars”

Since 2008

Co-I of Astrophysics  STFC Doctoral Training Grant (Total £200-300k per two year period)



Since 2015

RAC member for the Nuclear Physics panel of DiRAC.

May 2015

LOC member, Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics VII, York, UK

June 2014

SOC member, IAU symposium 307, “New windows on massive stars”, Geneva (CH)

June 2013

SOC member, Massive Stars: From Alpha to Omega, Rhodes, Greece

March 2009

Organiser & Editor 39th Saas-Fee Advanced course: "Magnetic Fields of Stars: from the Sun to Compact Objects", Les Diablerets, CH

Since 2008

Referee for Peer Reviewed Journals (e.g. Astrophysical Journal, MNRAS, A&A)

Since 2008

Referee for Observing Proposals (e.g. ESO observing panel D, Gemini Telescope) and grant proposals (e.g. STFC/UK, DFG/Germany)

Since 2005


Webmaster + newsletter co-editor, Working Group on Massive Stars:



2017: KITP (US), Uni Edinburgh (UK) 2016: Los Alamos National Lab (US) 2015: Uni York, Uni Birmingham, Uni Exeter, MSSL/UCL (UK), 2014: Uni Malaya, Malaysia 2013: ICG-Portsmouth, IoA, Cambridge (UK) 2012: Uni Darmstadt (D), Uni Mainz (D), Mount Stromlo Obs (Australia) 2011: Uni Sheffield (UK); 2010: Uni Montpellier (F), Uni Liverpool (UK), Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Munich (D), Uni York (UK); 2009: Uni Bonn (D), Uni Tokyo (J), IPMU (J), Queen's Uni Belfast (NI), Armagh Obs (NI); 2008: Uni Central Lancashire (UK); 2007: Uni Bologna (Italy); 2006: Paris-Meudon Obs (France); 2005: Uni Tokyo (Japan); 2004: Uni Utrecht (The Netherlands)


INVITED talks at conferences

I am regularly invited to give talks at conferences and institutions (total of over 40 including seminars and all invited talks, and in particular 7 invited review talks). Here is a selection of the invited talks I have given:




Invited talks at IAU Symp 331, Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics 8, Omeg2017


Talk at Bridging the gap: from massive stars to supernovae,, UK, June 1-2

2014 (July)

Review at Nuclei in the Cosmos XIII, Debrecen, Hungary, 7-11 July

2014 (July)

Lecturer at Nuclei in the Cosmos XIII summer school, Hungary

2013 (May)

Keynote review talk at Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics VI international conf., Lisbon, Portugal, May 19-24

2013 (May)

Review at international workshop: Fifty-one-erg, Raleigh, USA, May 13-17

2012 (Sep)

Review at international SN conference, Munich, 10-14 Sep.

2008 (Nov)

Review talk at conference "Hot And Cool: Bridging Gaps in Massive Star Evolution", Caltech, Pasadena, USA

2007 (Dec)

Review talk at IAU Symposium 250, “Massive Stars as Cosmic Engines”, Hawaii, USA

2006 (June)

Review talk at workshop on “Clumping in hot star winds”,Potsdam, Germany



My career (with first publication in 2003) publication total is 166 (28 as first author), including 52 in refereed journals (19 with me or my team members as first author). These include 3 separate book chapters (see below and two more just published). My publications have been cited a total of 3329 times with an exceptionally high 704 normalised citations (number of citations normalised by number of authors on paper), and my h-index =24 (statistics gathered with the reference Astronomy Database System on 19 July 2017; search using “Hirschi, Raphael”, including physics).



Selected Key Publications

My name and that of my PhD students are highlighted.



3D Hydrodynamic Simulations of Carbon Burning in Massive Stars”, Cristini, A., Meakin, C., Hirschi, R., Arnett, D., Georgy, C., Viallet, M., accepted for publication in MNRAS, 2017, arXiv:1610.05173 (4 citations)

Testing a one-dimensional prescription of dynamical shear mixing with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation”, Edelmann, P., Roepke, F. K., Hirschi, R., Georgy, C., Jones, S., accepted for publications in A&A, 2017, arXiv:1704.06261

Uncertainties in s-process nucleosynthesis in massive stars determined by Monte Carlo Variations”, Nishimura, N.; Hirschi, R.; Rauscher, T.; Murphy, A. St. J.; Cescutti, G., MNRAS, 2017, Vol. 469, Issue 2, p.1752-1767 (4 citations)

s-process production in rotating massive stars at solar and low metallicities”, Frischknecht, U., Hirschi, R., Pignatari, M., Maeder, A., Meynet, G., Chiappini, C., Thielemann, F-K., Rauscher, T., Georgy, C., Ekström, S., MNRAS, 2016, 456 (2): 1803-1825 (21 citations)

NuGrid Stellar Data Set. I.Stellar Yields from H to Bi for Stars with Metallicities Z = 0.02 and Z = 0.01”, Pignatari, M.; Herwig, F.; Hirschi, R.; Bennett, M.; Rockefeller, G.; Fryer, C.; Timmes, F. X.; Ritter, C.; Heger, A.; Jones, S.; Battino, U.; Dotter, A.; Trappitsch, R.; Diehl, S.; Frischknecht, U.; Hungerford, A.; Magkotsios, G.; Travaglio, C.; Young, P., ApJS, 2016, Vol. 225, Issue 2, article id. 24, 54 pp. (45 citations)

Advanced Burning Stages and Fate of 8-10 Solar Mass Stars”, Jones, S., Hirschi, R., Nomoto, K., Fischer, T., Timmes, F. X., Herwig, F., Paxton, B., Toki, H., Suzuki, T., Martínez-Pinedo, G., Lam, Y. H., Bertolli, M. G., ApJ, 2013, 772, 150 (53 citations)


Grids of stellar models with rotation. I. Models from 0.8 to 120 M⊙ at solar metallicity (Z = 0.014)”, Ekström, S.; Georgy, C.; Eggenberger, P.; Meynet, G.; Mowlavi, N.; Wyttenbach, A.; Granada, A.; Decressin, T.; Hirschi, R.; Frischknecht, U.; Charbonnel, C.; Maeder, A., A&A, 2012, 537, 146 (596 cits.)


“Imprints of fast-rotating massive stars in the Galactic Bulge”, Chiappini, C., Frischknecht, U., Meynet, G., Hirschi, R., Barbuy, B., Pignatari, M., Decressin, T., Maeder, A., Nature, 2011, 472, 454 (54 citations)


The R136 star cluster hosts several stars whose individual masses greatly exceed the accepted 150Msolar stellar mass limit”, Crowther, P. A.; Schnurr, O.; Hirschi, R.; Yusof, Norhasliza; Parker, R. J.; Goodwin, S. P.; Kassim, H., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2010, 408, 731 (270 cits.)


Very low-metallicity massive stars:. Pre-SN evolution models and primary nitrogen production”,

Hirschi, R., Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2007, 461, 571 (163 citations)       


Stellar evolution with rotation. XIII. Predicted GRB rates at various Z”,

Hirschi, R.; Meynet, G.; Maeder, A., Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2005, 443,581 (1135 citations)


Stellar evolution with rotation. XII. Pre-supernova models”,

Hirschi, R.; Meynet, G.; Maeder, A., Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2004, 425, 649 (194 citations)


Invited contributions to chapters in books:

1. “Pre-supernova Evolution and Nucleosynthesis in Massive Stars and Their Stellar Wind Contribution”, R. Hirschi, chapter in “Handbook of Supernovae”, 2017, Springer International Publishing, ISBN 978-3-319-20794-0, 51 pages,

2. “Very Massive and Supermassive Stars: Evolution and Fate”, R. Hirschi, chapter in “Handbook of Supernovae”, 2017, Springer International Publishing, ISBN 978-3-319-20794-0, 34 pages,

3. Evolution and Nucleosynthesis of Very Massive Stars”, R. Hirschi,  chapter in “Very Massive Stars in the Local Universe”, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Volume 412. ISBN 978-3-319-09595-0. Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2015, p. 157


4. “Massive star evolution” section of chapter “Massive Stars and Their Supernovae”,

Thielemann, F.-K.; Hirschi, R.; Liebendörfer, M.; Diehl, R.       

chapter in book “Astronomy with Radioactivities”, Edited by Roland Diehl, Dieter H. Hartmann, and Nikos Prantzos. Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol. 812. Berlin: Springer, 2011, p. 153-232 ISBN: 978-3-642-12697-05


5. Section entitled: “Contemporary Calculations of Evolutionary Tracks” (massive star evolution chapter) in Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems Vol. 4, by Oswalt, Terry D., Barstow, Martin A., ISBN 978-94-007-5614-4. Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht, 2013, p. 447