QuSCo’s Early Stage Researchers

Meet the Marie Curie European Training Network QuSCo PhD students.

We have asked all the Early Stage Researchers (ESR) of our network to write a short introduction of themselves with a brief description of their scientific interests.

Eugenio Pozzoli
(French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation)

My name is Eugenio Pozzoli and I plan to develop my research in the field of quantum control. Still, during high school, mathematics proved to be important to me, for how it relates with the surrounding world. Thus, I developed an increasing interest in physics, which I consider a link between them. Besides maths and physics, music and literature are key words in my life as well. Music has been always present in my life since I was I child, while I consider literature as a mirror to look inside me.

As a scientist, my interests are mainly focused to geometry and quantum physics. The first one being a fundamental tool to describe and understand models, while the latter represents a peculiar and extremely curious model which proved to be very successful in experiments. My master thesis can be considered as an example of the link between them, in that it deals with quantum confinement induced by highly hyperbolic geometries. In addition, they work together in the comprehension of semi-classical limits, and just for an example one can think of the angular momentum theory. Moreover, recent researches showed that quantum control theory can further develop using geometric techniques, and right in this specific field I will be carrying out part of my following studies.

Fernando Gago
(University of Kassel)

My name is Fernando Gago and I was born in Madrid, Spain. I finished both my Mathematics and Physics Bachelor’s degrees and my Theoretical Physics Master’s degree at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I have a background in optimal control theory applied to quantum systems thanks to a collaboration done at the CSIC (Spanish national research council). My Master’s thesis involved some work with Krotov’s optimization algorithm and with superconducting qubits, delving into the implementation of quantum gates in transmons.

Currently I am doing my PhD at Universität Kassel with the aid of professor Christiane Koch. I have recently started working in the QuSCo project and will spend my first period as an ESR applying optimal control theory to Rydberg atoms, one of the best tools for quantum sensing. During this time I will also put some extra effort into developing controllability theory.

Andrea Muni
(National Center for Scientific Research – Collège de France)

My name is Andrea Muni and I come from Tortona (Italy). Currently, I work on experimental quantum control and metrology as a Ph.D. student in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), in the “Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics” group.

Prior to this experience, I received my Bachelor degree at the Polytechnic University of Turin. The strong interest for the interplay between engineering and quantum physics drove my decision to pursue a Master of Science in Applied Physics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where I could entirely focus my preparation on the quantum information field. This study was strengthened by an internship at the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory and by the master project at the University of Cambridge. Such exciting experiences motivated me to continue my path in the scientific research and contributed to shaping a firm passion for quantum metrology, which now represents my main research interest.

Vartan Martikyan
(Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté)

My name is Vardan Martikyan. I was born in Yerevan, Armenia. I received my physics bachelor degree in Yerevan State University. I finished Master 1 in the same University at the chair of theoretical physics and my master 2 at the University of Burgundy in France. During my bachelor I did scientific research in the field of quantum scattering theory. This year I gained experience in the field of optimal control theory, both from geometric and numerical points of view. Currently I’m doing my PhD at the University of Burgundy under the supervision of Pr. D. Sugny. I have started working on different applications of optimal control theory extending from magnetic resonance to ion cyclotron resonance.

Emmanuele Albertinale
(French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)

I graduated with full marks and honour at University of Milan in the field of quantum optics and information with an experimental work carried out in Sirtori’s group in Paris, concerning  two-dimensional electron gases in semiconductor quantum wells.

Fascinated by scientific research I started my PhD in Esteve’s Quantronics group, where  I am presently working on circuit quantum electrodynamics applied to paramagnetic resonance of Bismuth donors in Silicon. My main research interests cover quantum technologies, quantum information and superconductor physics.

Phila Rembold
(University of Ulm; Jülich Research Centre; University of Padua)

My name is Phila Rembold and I am a PhD student working on the optimal control of Nitrogen Vacancies (NV centres) in diamonds. I completed my Masters in theoretical physics in 2018 at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. My Masters’ dissertation was concerned with the shaping of electron wave packets using amplitude masks and phase plates. Beforehand, I gathered research experience during several internships in fields ranging from Astrophysics through the material science of fusion reactors to simulating particle detectors at Fermilab.

These NV centres I am concerned with are especially interesting as their quantum state is comparatively easy to manipulate. Once set, the state does not change by itself even at room temperature for a reasonable time. This makes them an ideal candidate to create qubits. I will be working on an algorithm, previously developed at the Institute for Complex Quantum Systems (ICQ) in Ulm, Germany, to optimise the pulses that can manipulate these quantum states. NV centres cannot only be used as single qubits but may also be entangled, combined to create gates or serve as magnetic sensors. Optimisation strategies, both on the theoretical and experimental side, are crucial to ensure the success of any of those applications. Thus, I will concentrate on the theory of bringing the control up to a fault tolerant threshold and explore its fundamental limits. During my project I additionally plan on working with experimental groups in Ulm, Saarbrücken and Vienna to test and ensure the applicability of my work.

Alastair Marshall

„I’m Alastair Marshall and I am currently working for NVision Imagining Technologies while I undertake a PhD supervised by Prof. Jelezko from the University of Ulm, having completed an integrated masters (MPhys) degree at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. The first internship I had involved writing software to estimate the state of charge of lithium ion batteries. I enjoyed working in an environment which allowed me to apply my knowledge of physics in a practical way. I then got involved with the quantum optics research group at St Andrews and have completed an EPSRC Summer project where I looked at pulse retrieval and compression in very short fibres. For my masters project, I looked at the generation and characterisation of resonant radiation. Hopefully this works will allow future students to more easily generate negative resonant radiation.

I am fortunate to be able to work for NVision during my PhD where the research I conduct can hopefully be used to benefit others in the future. My project seeks to use nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond for quantum sensing utilising optimal control techniques. My main areas of interest are quantum sensing, quantum computing and machine learning.

Amit Devra
(Munich Technical University)

My name is Amit Devra and I am a Ph.D. student at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. I completed my BS-MS (bachelors and masters) in Physics from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, India. My master’s thesis was concerned with the designing of pulses for three-qubit quantum gates using Genetic Algorithm optimization for an NMR quantum information processor and implement them experimentally.

My project here will be focussed on the designing novel methods of quantum control that can reach up to the fault-tolerant threshold and are robust against the environmental noise. My scientific interests lie in the field of optimal control, quantum technologies and foundations of quantum mechanics.

Marwa Garsi
(Technology Transfer Initiative – SQUTEC)

I am a Ph.D. student in Physics in the group of Prof. Dr. J. Wrachtrup where I work on quantum sensing using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in diamond. Before starting my Ph.D. thesis, I obtained my Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France), where I specialised in optics. During my first Master thesis project, I studied thermalisation of Bose-Einstein condensates. An important key message was here that even small system nonlinearities can play a fundamental role in phenomena such as supraconductivity and superfluidity. Building up on this experience, I conducted my second Master thesis project to observe experimentally the superfluid behaviour of light.
This experience has taught me that small perturbations are the fundamental building blocks of large events. Critically, our understanding of the world depends therefore on our capability of analysing the smallest phenomena in detail. I am very interested in pushing our current sensing technologies beyond its current limits, especially in the framework of bio-studies to improve our knowledge in the life sciences. Ultimately, this requires the development and use of non-invasive sensors which can be operated in complex environment, e.g. within biological cell surroundings.
To this end, I am using ensembles of NV centres, which have already demonstrated outstanding quantum sensing and imaging capabilities under ambient conditions. A key challenge towards achieving maximum performance is that all NV centres have to be manipulated synchronously, even if environmental conditions change in time. This can be achieved by dint of optimal control algorithms and one objective of my Ph.D. thesis is to focus on their implementation to improve the robustness of sensing protocols in integrated sensor systems.

Nimba Oshnik Pandey
(University of Saarland)

I am an early stage researcher at the Universität des Saarlandes. Right now I am exploring the scope of optimal control for nanoscale sensing with NV color centers in diamond. I have a special interest in the field of quantum optics and quantum information and like to hike, star-gaze and play football in my spare time.

Simone Magaletti

I am Simone Magaletti and I was born in Bari (Italy). In 2017 I graduated in Physics at University of Bari. My principal

fields of study are Optics, Light-Matter interaction and Sensors. I am particularly interested in applied Physics and Innovations, and this in perfectly in line with my PhD subject in Thales TRT (Palaiseau, France) . It is about the coherent control, in pulsed regime, of NV centers’ ensemble for sensing application and magnetometry. At the same time I am attracted by the world of scientific popularization, where complex phenomena become available for everyone often in a funny way.

In addiction the scientific formation, I am really interested in the humanistic culture. Literature, Music and Photography are my principal hobbies. The same curiosity that invited me to study Physics, pushes me to travel and meet people. I am fascinated by different cultures and men stories.

Shaeema Zaman Ahmed
(University of Aarhus)

I am Shaeema Zaman Ahmed and I graduated in M.Sc. Physics from University of Delhi, India. I have also worked for few years at one of India’s first science communication agencies, Zlife Education where I got the opportunity to experiment with my ideas of disseminating science through citizen science projects and workshops.

I moved to Denmark in the pursuit of exploring new opportunities in research and citizen science. I started my journey as an intern from Aarhus University in the field of theoretical and experimental atomic physics in the Quantum Measurement and Manipulation Group (QMMG). My primary research area is in the field of visualization and gamification of complex quantum control tasks. In a nutshell, my PhD will focus on building interfaces for assisting researchers in performing quantum control optimization techniques in ultra-cold, many-body experiments. I am also interested in the common interface of research, numerical citizen science and didactics, which will be explored through the PhD project as well.

Tiantian Zhang
(Vienna Technical University)

I have recently joined Prof. Schmiedmayer’s group in Atominstitut, TU Wien, as a PhD student. I graduated with Master of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in November 2017. I have previously worked as an intern student in CQT, Singapore and in OIST, Japan. All these before-mentioned experiences, have equipped me with a strong academic and social adaptability. My project will be focusing on the optimal control theory (OCT) implemented into our experiment where an elongated quasi-condensate is manipulated magnetically with an atom chip. During this project, we will collaborate closely with Prof. Calarco, UULM and Prof. Sherson, Aarhus University.

Max Werninghaus
(IBM Research Zurich)

I am Max Werninghaus and I am currently working on optimal control of superconducting qubits at the Quantum Technologies department of IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland.
This project is a collaboration with the quantum and solid state theory group of Saarland University, where I am enrolled as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Frank Wilhelm-Mauch. My interest in quantum physics got started during my Master studies, when I focussed my courses and work towards the research of quantum systems and quantum information. For my Master Thesis, I worked on the precision control of cold atoms trapped in optical lattices, as part of an experimental discrete time quantum simulator setup in the group of Prof. Meschede at the University of Bonn where I obtained my Master in Physics in May 2017. I continued working as scientific assistant until May 2018 when I joined IBM Research and the Saarland University as part of the Marie Curie European Training Network QuSCo.

Federico Roy
(University of Saarland; IBM research Zurich)

I am Federico Roy and I am currently working with Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch on my PhD, with the aim of bringing together control techniques and system characterisation.
My passion for the field of quantum mechanics began in my first year of undergraduate physics: I was, and remain today, struck by its elegance, beauty and mathematical rigour. Consequently, I was determined to complete an honours research project (4th year) with a group in this field. In 2016 I joined the Quantum Control Laboratory (QCL), and worked there for a year and a half under the guidance of Prof. Michael Biercuk.
My latest project involved the development of a numerical method used to improve the speed of two-qubit entangling gates (MS gates) in trapped-ion technologies. Previous work analysed the effect of noise correlation on the most widely used quantum verification methods.
In 2017 I completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced)(Honours) at the University of Sydney, graduating with a double major in mathematics and physics, and a first-class honours.