In line with the series 112 Hardware Heroes Changing Quantum Tech, The Quantum Insider thought it interesting to bring you another in a similar vein. This time, we focus on Quantum Chemists, both at startups disrupting the industry and at one multinational.
Just to focus for a second, of the seventeen people featured, six are women, giving the specialism a good representation gender-wise.
*All data correct as of December 2021
1. Sonia Álvarez Barcia: Senior Expert — Computational Chemistry, HQS Quantum Simulations
Currently working in the field of Molecular Simulations for Quantum Simulations, a German startup that provides software for material scientists in the chemical industry and academia that incorporates sophisticated quantum-level models of the properties of molecules and materials, Sonia Álvarez Barcia, previously held a postdoctoral position in the Computational Chemistry Group (Prof. Dr. J. Kästner, University of Stuttgart), where she worked in the study of enzymatic reactions by means of QM/MM techniques. Prof. Kästner group is interested in H atom tunnelling, which in the case of biological systems is computed using the Eckart barrier.
Álvarez Barcia obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling from the Universidad de Vigo, Spain.
2. Alicia Welden: Quantum Chemist, QC Ware
Alicia Welden is a Quantum Chemist at US-based QC Ware, a quantum computing software company building enterprise solutions that run on quantum hardware QC Ware.
With a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Welden works with QC Ware on mixed classical/quantum approaches to practical chemistry simulations on quantum hardware.
3. James Pegg: Quantum Chemist, 1QBit
James Pegg is a Quantum Chemist at 1QBit. Pegg received his Engineering Doctorate (Eng.D) from University College London (UCL) in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science. For his doctoral thesis, he received the final year Molecular Modelling & Materials Science Award.
Having considerable expertise in molecular and materials modelling, Pegg’s role at 1QBit focuses on the contribution of theoretical chemistry and scientific programming methods towards the development of new algorithms. These are used for leveraging near-term quantum computing platforms for quantum chemistry simulations.
The position includes researching novel hybrid quantum algorithms for quantum chemistry simulations on classical and near-term quantum hardware. In addition, he supports the development of QEMIST (Quantum-Enabled Molecular Ab-Initio Simulation Toolkit) and OpenQEMIST; products designed to help accelerate the materials design process by accurately and efficiently predicting the electronic structure of molecules. Finally, he engages in client projects involving the application of quantum computing in advanced materials science and life sciences.
4. David Muñoz Ramo: Head of Quantum Chemistry Cambridge Quantum Computing (now Quantinuum)
Head of Quantum Chemistry at Cambridge Quantum Computing (now Quantinuum), David Muñoz Ramo is a scientist with a background in computational chemistry and condensed matter physics, with exhaustive experience in data analysis. Nowadays, he supervises a team dedicated to the design and development of algorithms for quantum chemistry simulations on quantum computers. In the past, he performed research on the structure and properties of materials of technological interest using computational modelling. He has worked on projects in the fields of microelectronics, geophysics, optoelectronics and heterogeneous catalysis.
Muñoz Ramo obtained a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from the Universitat de Barcelona.
5. Vladimir Rybkin, Quantum Chemistry, HQS Quantum Simulations
A Theoretical Chemist in the quantum computing business, Vladimir Rybkin is an ab initio specialist at HQS Quantum Simulations whose work focuses on the development and applications of molecular dynamics to molecules and materials, as well as working with data, applying ML and performing HPC simulations.
Rybkin obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Oslo.
6. Stefan Mattsson: Software Developer and Quantum Chemist, Quantistry
A Software Developer and Quantum Chemist at Quantistry — a German startup that develops the next generation of chemical simulations based on quantum simulations and AI— Stefan Mattsson was prior to this Doctoral Researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Mattsson’s doctoral work involved theoretical work and computation with the quantum chemistry software VASP, on the topic of the industrial Simons process. Resulting in a Ph.D. thesis and four research papers, Mattsson’s work led to new insights on the fundamental chemistry involved in the process. In addition to his research, he tutored students on their own research projects, and I taught under- and post-graduate university courses in quantum mechanics.
Mattsson received a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin.
7. Kendall Byler: Computational Chemist, POLARISqb
Kendall Byler is a Computational Chemist at POLARISqb, a US-based startup utilizing Quantum Computing, AI, ML, and Personalized Medicine to revolutionize drug design.
Among his many areas of focus, Byler is adept at ab initio quantum chemistry: post-Hartree-Fock and Density Functional methods applied to structure and transition state determination (Gaussian ’03, ’09, and Jaguar).
With a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, prior to his work at POLARISqb Byler held a Postdoctoral Research Associate and other academic positions at universities.
8. Rachael Al-Saadon: Quantum Chemist, QC Ware
Rachael Al-Saadon works as a Quantum Chemist at QC Ware Corp, where her focus is on quantum algorithms and simulations for chemistry. Before this, Al-Saadon was Director of Quantum Applications at Canadian QC startup infinity Technology.
She obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Duke University.
9. Lee Huntington: Quantum Chemist, 1QBit
A Quantum Chemist at 1QBit, Lee Huntington received a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, where he held an NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. During his Ph.D., he worked on the development of a code generation tool for the implementation of novel ab-initio quantum chemical methods to simulate excited states in strongly correlated molecular systems.
Before joining 1QBit, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, where he worked on the development and implementation of a computationally efficient approach for the calculation of the excitation spectra of open-shell molecules.
10. Prakash Verma: Quantum Chemist, 1QBit
Another Quantum Chemist at 1QBit, Prakash Verma earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida for his work in developing analytical gradient scheme for non-variational density functional theory (DFT), developing self-consistent potential for random phase approximation, proposing consistent DFT approach framework, and showing the importance of including exchange-correlation potential in functional design. He developed computational tools for computing electron-spin resonance parameters using a two-component DFT approach at the University at Buffalo, coupled cluster linear response at Texas Tech University, and relativistic method of PSI4 program suite at Emory University.
At 1QBit, Verma is involved in developing quantum algorithms that will work on a quantum accelerator to accomplish computational chemistry tasks that are intractable on classical computers.
11. Traci Clymer(She/Her): Computational Chemist, POLARISqb
Traci Clymer is a Computational Chemist at POLARISqb. Prior to this, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked on a collaborative project under professors Ng, Gilbertson and Khanna in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to predict degradation pathways for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and identify metabolites responsible for ecotoxicity.
Clymer received a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from Duquesne University.
12. Robert Parrish: Head of Chemistry Simulations, QC Ware
Head of Chemistry Simulations at QC Ware, Robert Parrish works with the company on mixed classical/quantum approaches to practical chemistry simulations on quantum hardware.
Parrish obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Georgia Tech.
13. Christian Stemmle: Quantum Chemist, Quantistry
Working at Quantistry as a Quantum Chemist, Christian Stemmle gained his Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Freie Universität Berlin.
14. Róbert Izsák: Senior Quantum Scientist (Chemistry), Riverlane
A Senior Quantum Scientist of Chemistry at Riverlane, a Cambridge, UK-based QC startup developing software that transforms quantum computers from experimental technology into commercial products, Róbert Izsák obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Cardiff University.
Since then, he has worked with several groups involved in the development of efficient and accurate quantum chemical methods. For six years, he also led the work of a small group interested in the excited state properties of large molecules, including the computational design of photoactive molecules.
15. Gunter Hermann: Quantum Chemist, Quantistry
Gunter Hermann is a Quantum Chemist and Co-Founder of Quantistry. An experienced scientist and researcher with profound knowledge in scientific programming, chemical simulations and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques.
Hermann obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin.
16. Tetiana Sergeieva: Senior Quantum Chemist, Quantum Brilliance
Tetiana Sergeieva is a Senior Quantum Chemist at Quantum Brilliance, an Australian-German quantum computing hardware company.
Prior to her work at Quantum Brilliance, Sergeieva was a Postdoc and Postdoctoral Scientist. She obtained a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from Jackson State University.
17. Maike Bergeler: Quantum Chemist, BASF
A Quantum Chemist at BASF, the German multinational chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world, prior to her employment there Maike Bergeler was a Postdoctoral Fellow at KU Leuven.
Bergeler received a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from ETH Zürich.
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