About Me


my name is Franziska D. Schmidt, originally from Stuttgart, Germany, and currently a PhD student of astrophysics at UCL in London, UK.

Below you can find information on my education & work experience so far. For my full, academic CV, click here: 


Some pictures from Tuebingen and the surrounding area!

After graduating high school, I enrolled at the University of Tübingen (Germany) in 2009.  During my undergraduate course in physics, I took a gap year to complete additional studies at the University of Sussex (UK).  In 2014, I joined the computational astrophysics group working with Professor Wilhelm Kley and obtained a BSc in Physics for my thesis on the bouncing mechanics of landers on asteroids.  In early 2016, I completed my MSc degree in Physics with a thesis on dynamical friction on supersonic spheres in a gaseous medium in the same department.

Since October 2016, I’ve been a PhD student in the astrophysics department at University College London (UCL) working with Professor Mike Barlow on his ERC Advanced Grant project researching dust destruction in supernova remnants. WE have an ongoing collaboration with the astrophysics departments of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Rochester.

UCL facilities around London.

Work Experience

Fluffy working buddy at my accommodation in Munich!

Between 2012 and 2014, I held two undergraduate research assistant positions at the University of Tübingen.  My first project, under the supervision of Dr Slawomir Suchy of the Astronomy and HEA department, involved adding features and extending the GUI for a data analysis software used in lab exercises.  The second project was supervised by Prof. Nader Haghighipour and focused on simulations of planet migration in GJ 876.

In 2014, I completed an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany.  Supervised by Dr Philipp Girichidis, I created a database for cosmic rays and integrated it into an existing supernovae explosion code. The code is available here.

Since joining UCL, I have marked scripts for various BSc and MSc courses such as quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, astrophysical process, and electrodynamics.


From 2017 to 2020, I was designing and teaching evening and weekend computing courses at CityLit.  Course lengths varied from 1 day (Introduction to LaTeX) to 4 weeks (Introduction to Python, Intermediate Python).  Additionally, I offered one-on-one sessions for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
While I no longer teach at CityLit, my course material is still available on this website.

One of the classrooms at City Lit.

Extra-Professional Engagement

I believe very strongly in the importance of equality, diversity, and accountability in academia as well as the communication of science to the general public.  For more information, please visit my Outreach page and see the occasional blog post.

Since 2019, I am postgrad welfare representative for the UCL astrophysics group and organising the UCL astrophysics Lunch Talks.

Online Presence and Affiliations


In my free time, I enjoy reading, travelling, movies, archery, museums, video games, photography, and spending way too much money on plants^^

In 2018, one of my photographs was selected as an honourable mention in the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition! 🙂 Some of my pictures and a couple of pretty simulation visualizations are available in my Gallery.

My personal research assistant. Ready to boldly sniff where no doggo has sniffed before!