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112 Hardware Heroes Changing Quantum Tech — Part 4: Specialists 43–56

We’re already reaching into the 40s for this week’s edition of 112 Hardware Heroes Changing Quantum Tech. This time we feature a cadre of excellent hardware engineers and scientists from the likes of PASQAL, PQShield, QBlox and others. Here are entries 43–56.

*All data correct as of late September 2021

43. Luis Ortiz Gutiérrez: Quantum Hardware Engineer, PASQAL

Luis Ortiz Gutiérrez is a Quantum Hardware Engineer at PASQAL, a French startup building programmable quantum simulators and quantum computers made of 2D and 3D Atomic Arrays.

An experimental physicist with areas of expertise in quantum optics and quantum computing, Ortiz Gutiérrez is experienced in conducting, presenting and publishing research results.

While a Postdoctoral Researcher at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, he worked on single spins in a solid-state matrix are of particular interest as a physical platform for quantum computation and quantum communication, due to its unique scalability features. Ortiz Gutiérrez’s work was focused on the implantation of single ions in a crystal, in a deterministic and precise way, in order to realize this goal.

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He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil.

44. Bruno Ximenez: Quantum Hardware Engineer, PASQAL

Joining Ortiz Gutiérrez at PASQAL is Quantum Hardware Engineer Bruno Ximenez, an individual specialized in the development of a quantum bit machine with cold Rydberg atoms for the company.

Ximenez obtained his Ph.D. in Laser Metrology from Aarhus University.

45. Pedro Massolino: Hardware Cryptography Engineer, PQShield

Pedro Massolino is a Hardware Cryptography Engineer at the University of Oxford spinoff PQShield, a startup providing quantum-resistant cryptography for software and hardware applications.

The co-author of two semi-finalists at the Lightweight Cryptography NIST Standardisation process, Massolino holds a Ph.D. in Digital Security from Radboud University, Netherlands.

46. Ben Marshall: Hardware Cryptography Engineer, PQShield

Another Hardware Cryptography Engineer at PQShield, Ben Marshall’s background is in CPU design and verification. He also has experience in side-channel attacks and countermeasures for hardware and software, including CPU co-design for secure and efficient cryptographic processing.

Ben Marshall is also the editor of the official RISC-V cryptographic extension specifications. He received an MEng in Computer Science and Electronics from the University of Bristol.

47. Naomi Nickerson: Senior Director of Quantum Architecture, PsiQuantum

Naomi Nickerson is a Senior Director of Quantum Architecture at PsiQuantum, a Silicon Valley-based quantum startup whose photonic approach is on course to building the world’s first useful quantum computer.

A quantum computing researcher focused on how to make quantum error correction work in real devices, Nickerson has worked for the company for five years as a Quantum Architect, Director of Quantum Architecture and — since 2020 — in her current role.

She obtained a Ph.D. from Imperial College London in quantum computing research focused on quantum error correction applied to real physical systems and taking account of realistic noise models.

48. Shermin Arab: R&D Engineer in Photonics, PsiQuantum

Specializing as an R&D Engineer in Photonics at PsiQuantum, Shermin Arab main areas of focus are silicon photonics, III-V semiconductor and wide-bandgap oxides.

At PsiQuantum she has done work on the failure analysis, FA and FMEA, of optoelectronics chips (FIB, TEM, EELS, EDS, OBIRCH) from major fab tapeouts, doing major data analysis on optical, electrical and opto-electrical data to evaluate new photonics structures to meet requirements, running a full wafer acceptance analysis for fab-to-fab wafer transfer (ICP-MS, TXRF, Particle Count, Wafer Bow), developing baseline fabrication processes for state-of-the-art optical components (metal contacts, thermal annealing and passivation) while establishing relationships with major vendors for packaging and metrology.

Arab obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Southern California with the thesis Optical and Electrical Characterization of 1D and 2D Materials.

49. Tom Wallner: Electronics and Photonics Engineer, PsiQuantum

Tom Wallner, an Electronics and Photonics Engineer at PsiQuantum, is a semiconductor professional with more than fifteen years of experience in front end and back end integration and characterization in research, development and manufacturing who is currently working on enabling differentiating elements to basic CMOS processes.

Coincidentally, Wallner spent over eight years as a Staff Engineer and Assignee to Samsung Microelectronics at IBM.

Wallner obtained a Master’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

50. Stephanie Teo: R&D Engineer, PsiQuantum

A hardware engineer and scientist with a research background in the field of ultrafast optics, Stephanie Teo is an R&D Engineer at PsiQuantum.

With industry R&D experience in high-volume manufacturing, vendor and project management, product development, and multidisciplinary team leadership, Teo is highly motivated in bringing research and industry knowledge together to take product full cycle from concept to manufacturing.

She received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from MIT with the thesis Developments in time-resolved ultrafast imaging and spectroscopy at terahertz frequencies.

51. Samuel Hardy: Optics and Photonics Engineer, PsiQuantum

PsiQuantum’s last entry, Samuel Hardy is a physicist and engineer with more than ten years of experience in the optics/photonics industry and an Optics and Photonics Engineer at the Palo Alto-based company who has expertise in the development and implementation of hardware and software, Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) chips, Lithium Niobate (LiNbO3) modulators and Fiber optic Gyroscopes (FOG) to name a few.

Hardy received a Master’s in Applied Science, Femtosecond Laser Modification of Glass Structures, from the University of California, Davis.

52. Mirko Amico: Senior Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

As a Senior Quantum Control Engineer at Australian quantum startup Q-CTRL, Mirko Amico’s job is to study and model physical systems in the framework of quantum mechanics to provide a deeper understanding of the systems’ dynamical behaviour — allowing to develop improved control solutions to manipulate its state with higher precision.

For his Ph.D. in Physics from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Amico chose the theoretical aspects of quantum theory applied to current technologies as he steered in a more practical direction.

He also gave many physics laboratories and lecture classes for undergraduate students at the City University of New York.

Amico is very enthusiastic about quantum computing and is actively involved in the quantum community by contributing to open source projects, giving talks and tutorials

53. Russell Anderson: Lead, Quantum Atomic Devices, Q-CTRL

As a Quantum Atomic Devices Lead at Q-CTRL, Russell Anderson’s job is to develop next-generation quantum technology within various industries based on cutting-edge hardware. These include quantum-assured position, navigation, and timing (PNT), and atomic magnetometers.

Quantum control and quantum sensing are two sides of the same coin. This exquisite reciprocity has guided Russell to develop next-generation quantum sensors and clocks based on atom-light interactions.

Russell completed his Ph.D. in Physics from the Swinburne University of Technology on Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) interferometry.

After that, he co-founded the Spinor BEC laboratory at Monash University where he developed microscale magnetic tensor gradiometry, new wavefunction engineering and continuous dynamical decoupling protocols, and took the first-ever magnetic-resonance image of a BEC.

After leaving Monash, Russell went to La Trobe University as a Senior Lecturer where he designed and modelled Australia’s first portable quantum atomic clock and introduced new perspectives on atomic magnetometry. He is also a leader in control and automation software for quantum technologies.

Russell is also a passionate and nationally awarded educator and education technologist. He received an Australian Award for University Teaching for inspiring students towards scientific computing in 2017, four Vice-Chancellor awards and citations, and was shortlisted for the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Technology Award in 2020.

54. Aaron Barbosa: Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

As a Quantum Control Engineer at Q-CTRL, Aaron Barbosa is responsible for the implementation of algorithms on quantum devices and developing tools to enhance their performance.

Barbosa studied Physics for his undergraduate career at The University of Texas at Dallas. He originally focused on developing software for use in atmospheric physics and quickly developed a passion for machine learning and data science. Barbosa’s main interest started shifting towards quantum computing after learning about its potential applications in machine learning and quantum chemistry.

During the latter half of his undergraduate journey, Barbosa worked at CU Boulder and Los Alamos National Lab — where he focused on improving the performance of quantum algorithms and quantum devices by using various machine learning and optimization techniques.

Outside of physics, Aaron has built and programmed autonomous robots for use in remote sensing.

55. Christopher Bentley: Senior Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

As a Senior Quantum Control Engineer at Q-CTRL, Christopher Bentley develops quantum control software to explore and optimize quantum systems.

Bentley’s work in research and development for quantum technology is helping in the understanding and optimization of quantum systems, building on his experience in dynamics and control of quantum systems and ML.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics from The Australian National University with the thesis Fast gates and steady states: entangling trapped ions.

56. Victor Negirneac: Quantum Engineer, Qblox

A Quantum Engineer at Qblox, a Dutch startup developing scalable and low-latency qubit control equipment, Victor Negirneac started off at the company as an Experimental Physicist.

His role includes ensuring that the interfaces to the hardware and software developed at Qblox meet the needs of the startup’s end users — experimental quantum physicists — in the most user-friendly way possible. To that extent, Negirneac’s functions include hardware testing, software/hardware documentation, software development, framework design advisor, and other technical and non-technical functions. Other experience he has had includes at QuTech as a Research Assistant in the DiCarlo Lab.

Negirneac obtained a Master’s in Engineering Physics from the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon.

Part Five coming soon!

The Quantum Insider (TQI)

Just in case this list hasn’t satisfied your cravings for data on hardware specialists in the quantum space, you can pop on over to The Quantum Insider (TQI), TQD’s very own data platform. Here you can find deep and insightful information on all aspects of the QIS industry.

TQI is an invaluable resource for journalists, researchers, investors, companies, and government agencies looking to extend their knowledge of the growing quantum tech ecosystem!

Deep Tech Insider (DTI)

Interested in other niches of deep tech? Good, TQD team has that covered, too: Check out the Deep Tech Insider, the best place for news on all that is happening in the world of deep tech.

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Interested in the very latest in cutting-edge tech? Then maybe you should read the Metaverse Insider, making the Metaverse accessible through media, news, insights and data.

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James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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