The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL / Birkbeck


ERC Starting Grant awarded to Dr Ingo Waldmann

21 November 2017

Many congratulations to Dr Ingo Waldmann (Physics & Astronomy, UCL) who has recently been awarded a €1.5M European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant

Dr Ingo Waldmann

Many congratulations to Dr Ingo Waldmann (Physics & Astronomy, UCL) who has recently been awarded a €1.5M European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for a project entitled: ExoAI - Deciphering super-Earths using artificial intelligence. The project will run for 5 years, starting in January 2018.


Recent exoplanetary surveys have discovered something unexpected. Despite their strong bias towards detecting large, gaseous giants, we find that our galaxy is one of small, Earth and super-Earth sized planets. 

Though super-Earths are the most numerous planet class in the Milky Way, they are entirely absent in our own solar system (unless planet 9 is confirmed). To questions of their origins and natures, the answer is often a sobering 'we don't really know'. 

ExoAI will aim towards answer some of these questions by combining state-of-the-art atmospheric modelling with data analysis and artificial intelligence to analyse current and future observations in unprecedented detail. By observing 10s-100s of super-Earths, we will be able to move on from individual case-studies towards understanding the big picture and constrain the underlying processes of planet formation/migration and bulk chemistries of super-Earths. 

Super Earths