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112 Hardware Heroes Changing Quantum Tech — Part 8: Specialists 99–112


It’s here, folks, the last edition of Hardware Heroes Changing Quantum Tech. In this week’s offering, we have some great minds working for Zurich Instruments, as well as those working for the big boys of the industry like Google, Microsoft and IBM.

At the end of the post, I have included an honourable mention list of people I left out because of time and space, unfortunately,

Here are entries 99–122.

*All data correct as of late September 2021

99. Heidi Potts: Application Scientist, Zurich Instruments


With a strong background in semiconducting nanostructures, quantum transport, nano-fabrication and materials development, Heidi Potts is an Application Scientist at Zurich Instruments with a keen interest in the development of quantum technologies.

Potts obtained her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from EPFL (École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) with the thesis Gold-free Growth of InAs Nanowires: Growth, Structural and Electrical Characterization.

100. Romain Stomp: Application Scientist, Zurich Instruments


Hitting the century mark of hardware specialists we have Romain Stomp, another Application Scientist at Zurich Instruments.

From a physics background, Stomp has experience in the test and measurements industry with a strong focus on high-frequency and fast imaging applications related to microscopy, nanotechnology and quantum information technology.

He obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from McGill University, where he worked on single-electron detection in self-assembled quantum dots through the noncontact-AFM technique.

101. Chunyan Shi: Application Scientist, Zurich Instruments


An experimental physicist in atomic, molecular, optical, and solid-state physics by education and training, Chunyan Shi is an Application Scientist at Zurich Instruments with practical experience in laser physics (from IR to UV), optical sensors (metrology and spectroscopy), optics (imaging, interferometer, fibre optics…), optoelectronics, optomechanics, RF and MW and ultra-high vacuum system.

She has published many papers (including in Nature), conference presentations, patents and funding, teaching and supervising Ph.D. and Master students.

Chunyan Shi received a Ph.D. from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Science on research projects mainly related to performance evaluation and improvement of the first rubidium clock in China.

102. Fabian Pfäffli: Senior Hardware Design Engineer, Zurich Instruments


A Senior Hardware Design Engineer at Zurich Instruments, Fabian Pfäffli’s duties at the company include Project Lead in the development of RF circuitry for current and upcoming projects, defining product specifications and carrying out feasibility studies in cooperation with product managers, the development, simulation and characterization of highly complex RF-, analog- and digital circuitry, the design of sophisticated PCBs with > 2000 components using Altium Designer incl. transfer to fab houses, the designing of mechanical parts of medium complexity in Autodesk Inventor Pro, supporting testing and calibration in production, taking care of and teaching the less experienced engineers, and contributing to the steady improvement of the hardware design process.

Pfäffli has a Master’s in Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Technology from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

103. Sandra Ferreiro: Electrical Engineer, Zurich Instruments


A versatile electrical engineer with several years of experience in a fast-growing, highly competitive industry, Sandra Ferreiro is an Electrical Engineer at Zurich Instruments.

In her role, she develops and implements production infrastructure for new products, from planning a setup, which allows for an automated calibration and testing process, ensuring it is robust enough for series products, maintaining calibration and testing software for series products, supporting the production team in diagnosing internal failures, providing third-level support for RMAs and NCRs, supporting hardware characterization, testing and qualification in the development of new products.

Ferreiro received a Master’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from ETH Zurich.

104. Pavel Laptev: Hardware Engineer, Google Quantum AI


Part of the Google Quantum-AI research team building a machine that can leverage quantum mechanics to outperform the world’s largest computers at certain classes of problems, Pavel Laptev is a Hardware Engineer at the global tech giant.

Laptev has proven successes in equipment manufacturing, IC production, system/equipment engineering, and process development in the electronic, MEMS, and related industries, as well as industry-recognized expertise in semiconductor processing (plasma, cryogenic vacuum, AC, Pulsed-DC, DC, RF magnetron sputtering, etching of metals and dielectrics, electro-optical and piezo-electric device development).

He has a Master’s in Electronics from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET), Russia.

105. Rajeev Acharya: Hardware Engineer, Google Quantum AI


Rajeev Acharya, like Laptev, is a Hardware Engineer at Google Quantum AI who has hands-on experience in various semiconductor device/PCB manufacturing processes.

With a strong background in semiconductor device physics and optoelectronics — with an interdisciplinary background in material science and chemistry to boot

Acharya’s knowledge in the design of experiments, process optimization, vacuum systems, regular monitoring and maintenance of systems and tools is surely an asset to Google in the sphere.

He obtained a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University.

106. Naganivetha Thiyagarajah: Senior Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Quantum


Naganivetha Thiyagarajah is a Senior Quantum Hardware Engineer at Google’s great rival in the QC race, Microsoft.

With research experience in magnetic thin-films and spintronic devices, she has particularly focussed on RIE and IBE etching for MRAM manufacturing, Heusler alloys, magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM)/Spin transfer switching, bit patterned media, nano-fabrication techniques, magnetic thin-film deposition and characterization.

Thiyagarajah has a Ph.D. in Magnetics, Nanoelectronics from the National University of Singapore with the thesis Spin transfer switching spintronic devices using [Co/Pd] based spin-valves with perpendicular anisotropy.

107. Emma Schmidgall: Senior Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Quantum


Emma Schmidgall started her career at Microsoft Quantum as a Hardware Reliability Engineer. Now a Senior Hardware Engineer, she is working on establishing reliability engineering efforts in cryogenic and QC, covering silicon, hardware, and systems, while performing reliability testing on systems and components.

Schmidgall completed her Ph.D. in Physics from Technion — Israel Institute of Technology studying quantum optics and quantum information in semiconductor self-assembled quantum dots.

108. Kevin Simoes: Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Quantum


Possessing experience in the semiconductor industry, electrodynamic and thermodynamic simulations of solid-state devices using Synopsys TCAD, Kevin Simoes is currently working at Microsoft Quantum as a Hardware Engineer.

Experienced in superconducting device characterization and simulation, Simoes studied Electrical Engineering and Physics at UNSW, completing his thesis on simulating silicon quantum dot-based qubit architectures for quantum computing using COMSOL Multiphysics.

109. James O’Connor: Quantum Hardware Engineer, IBM


James O’Connor is a Quantum Hardware Engineer at another big player in the QC industry, IBM.

Starting off as an Intern before gaining employment as an Interconnect Qualification Engineer at IBM, O’Connor is an electrical engineer working on hardware for IBM Q. His technical interests include RF engineering, wireless communications systems, and signal processing.

He obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University.

110. Jerry M. Chow: Director, Quantum Hardware System Development, IBM


Jerry M. Chow leads IBM Quantum’s hardware system development efforts as Director of Quantum Hardware System Development, sitting at the interface of research and system deployment.

A decade with the company, he started off as a Research Staff Member, became a Manager of the Experimental Quantum Computing group at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, then a Senior Manager before his current role.

His responsibilities include setting the strategy for IBM’s quantum system roadmap, working with hardware portfolio leads in setting research areas to target, while also ensuring optimal client value.

Chow also co-leads the IBM Quantum Experience project with Jay Gambetta, putting the first quantum computer on the Cloud in 2016.

An experimental physicist by training in superconducting qubits for computing, his specialties include research to system integration for technology development, superconducting quantum computing and quantum science communication.

Chow has a Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University.

111. Nick Kay: Head of Photonics Research and Development, Cambridge Quantum Computing (now Quantinuum)


Nick Kay is Head of Photonics Research and Development at UK-based Cambridge Quantum Computing, now called Quantinuum after the merger with Honeywell Quantum Solutions. Starting his career off with the company in 2018 as a Senior Optical Engineer, Kay’s main areas of research interest include nanotechnology, photonics, optics, and 2D materials.

Kay obtained his Ph.D. in Physics (Nanoscience) from Lancaster University.

112: Jim Knodel: Principal Engineer, Honeywell Quantum Solutions (now Quantinuum)


Jim Knodel is a Principal Engineer at Honeywell Quantum Solutions (now Quantinuum), another juggernaut of the quantum sector.

A Senior Design Engineer with expertise in ASIC/FPGA Design and Verification, he has comprehensive experience in PCB design (digital and analog), static timing analysis and closure, logic and algorithm development, firmware development, ASIC prototyping, debug and validation. These designs were used in plasma power supplies for the semiconductor and thin-film industry, in tape drives for the data storage industry, timing equipment for the government and for aerospace applications, and controls for quantum computing.

Knodel received a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology from Montana State University-Bozeman.

Honourable Mentions:

Colen Kling: Electronics Design Engineer, ColdQuanta

Dave Stiefvater: Prototype Machinist, ColdQuanta

Farhad Majdeteimouri: Senior Engineer, ColdQuanta

Ian Bloomfield: Opto-Mechanical Engineer, ColdQuanta

Jacob Mueller: Design and Manufacturing Engineering Intern, ColdQuanta

Matthew Ebert: Quantum Mechanic, ColdQuanta

Michelle Warter: Opto-Mechanical Engineer, ColdQuanta

Taek Oh: Principal Optical Engineer, ColdQuanta

Juha Hassel: Head of Engineering and Development, IQM Quantum Computers

Peter Oakley: Hardware Design Engineer, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Richard Bounds: Quantum Engineer, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Oleksandr Hryhoryev: Junior Engineer, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Philip Clarke: Senior FPGA Engineer, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Oscar Kennedy: Quantum Engineer, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Lucas Béguin: Head of Engineering and Production chez PASQAL

Luc Couturier: Quantum Hardware Engineer, PASQAL

Torben Pöpplau: Quantum Hardware Engineer, PASQAL

Clémence Briosne Fréjaville: Quantum Hardware Engineer, PASQAL

Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia: Senior Director, Quantum Architecture, PsiQuantum

Daniel Llewellyn: Research and Development Engineer, PsiQuantum

Andrea Bahgat Shehata: Single-Photon Detector Test Program Lead, PsiQuantum

Leonardo Andreta De Castro: Senior Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

Yuval Baum: Lead Quantum Automation Scientist, Q-CTRL

Albert Benseny Cases: Senior Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

Andre Carvalho: Head of Quantum Control Solutions, Q-CTRL

Jiayin Chen: Quantum Control Engineer, Q-CTRL

Yemliha Bilal Kalyoncu: Quantum Application Scientist, Qblox

Diogo Valada: Quantum Computing Engineer, Qblox

Hai Zhong: Application Scientist, Qnami

Kevin Chou: Quantum Engineer, Quantum Circuits

Michael Hatridge: Quantum Measurement Scientist, Quantum Circuits

Michael Maxwell: Quantum Technician, Quantum Circuits

Avishai Ziv: System Engineer, Quantum Machines

Ramon Szmuk: Quantum hardware physicist, Quantum Machines

Thomas Oeckinghaus, Quantum Verification Engineer, Quantum Machines

Asaf Rozen: System Engineer, Quantum Machines

Elisha Svetitsky: Quantum Control Solutions Engineer, Quantum Machines

David J. Ibberson: Senior Quantum Engineer, Quantum Motion

Marten Arthers: Quantum Design Engineer, QuantWare

Stefanos Basili: Quantum Engineer, QuantWare

Caterina Taballione: Quantum System Engineer, QuiX

Pim Venderbosch: Quantum System Engineer, QuiX

Stefano Poletto: Senior Manager, Quantum Engineering, Rigetti Computing

Xian Wu: Senior Quantum Engineer, Rigetti Computing

Angela Q. Chen: Quantum Engineer, Rigetti Computing

Ani Nersisyan: Quantum Engineer Manager, Rigetti Computing

Mehrnoosh Vahidpour: Senior Research Engineer, Rigetti Quantum Computing

Alexander Hill (He/Him): Senior Quantum Systems Engineer, Rigetti Computing

Josh Mutus: Director of Quantum Materials, Rigetti Computing

Clint Moore: Senior Manager of Engineering Operations, Rigetti Computing

Shu-Jen Han: VP of Engineering, Seeqc

Rachel Resnick: Superconducting Test Engineer, Seeqc

Daniel Yohannes: Director of Fabrication, Seeqc

Igor Vernik: Director, Testing and Measurements, Seeqc

Asli Dilara Ugurlu: Project Scientist, Sparrow Quantum

Maja Colautti: Physicist and Business Developer, Sparrow Quantum

Aitor Villar Zafra: Quantum Engineer, SpeQtral

Harrison Ball: Quantum Engineer, Universal Quantum

Harry Godwin: Electronics Engineer, Universal Quantum

Amin Abolghasemi: Mechanical Engineer, Universal Quantum

Georg Harder: Quantum Engineer, VeriQloud

Zachary Vernon: Head of Hardware, Xanadu

Florian Froning: Application Scientist Quantum Technologies, Zurich Instruments

Tobias Thiele: Application Scientist Quantum Technologies, Zurich Instruments

Michitoshi Noguchi: Application Scientist, Zurich Instruments

Kenny Lee: Quantum Hardware Engineer, Google Quantum AI

Andre He: Quantum Hardware Engineer, IBM

Zach Price: Mechanical Engineer, Honeywell Quantum Solutions (now Quantinuum)

Hope you enjoyed the series. More like this in the coming months, time permitting!

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.

Metaverse Insider


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.

The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

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What: GenMat Webinar

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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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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Picture of Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Picture of Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Picture of Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

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