Open PhD Position in Quantum Computing and Simulation

We are searching for a strong candidate to fill an open PhD position in the Quantum Optics and Quantum Many-body Systems group of Prof. Andrew Daley at the University of Strathclyde. The project involves the application of quantum computing and simulation to stochastic processes, and will explore opportunities for the industrial adoption of quantum computing, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce plc, one of the world’s pre-eminent engineering and aerospace companies, who are co-funding this position.

Stochastic processes, where parameters are sampled from a distribution either for initial conditions or over time, are ubiquitous across engineering and science. They appear naturally in open quantum systems, but are also important for allowing for a range of physical parameters in structure mechanics. They appear in Monte-Carlo modelling from fluid dynamics to materials science and quantum chemistry.

In this project, we will develop new means to take advantage of quantum computers or quantum simulators in solving problems from quantum science or engineering involving such sampling or stochastic dynamics. We will both develop techniques to implement these, and estimate the realistic timescales over which quantum hardware will be available at the appropriate scale to implement these. Our approaches will involve either using part of the quantum computer as an engineered reservoir to represent sampling over the relevant distributions and/or stochastic processes during the evolution of the system, or alternatively, adaption of variational algorithms to these problems. We will explore both applications in quantum systems (as the most direct example to implement, especially transport dynamics and spins coupled to reservoirs), alongside problems of interest in industry, especially from stochastic fluid dynamics or structure mechanics. Choosing this balance of problems will give us the opportunity to select the problems that will give the shortest path to quantum advantage (most likely to occur for problems that are of interest in science, including transport in materials science), and the broadest range of relevant problems for industry. We will also aim to identify what could be demonstrated in the near term on real hardware, and will target demonstrations that would be possible on available platforms. These include the quantum computing and simulation platform of Jonathan Pritchard in the Experimental Quantum optics and Photonics group at Strathclyde, whose team are working with ca. 100 neutral atoms in a tweezer array.

The challenges and opportunities of this research involve developing an expertise in both quantum computing and quantum algorithms, and also in many body open quantum systems, and the PhD research would involve a combination of the two. In addition, the student will work with computational techniques associated with the application areas, both across quantum science and Monte-Carlo treatment of sampling and stochastic process in engineering. The project will involve both analytical and numerical techniques (including tensor networks, and codes to simulate medium-scale implementations of Quantum Computing).

This project will be undertaken in collaboration with Rolls Royce PLC, who will interact directly on the development of quantum algorithms, and particularly provide guidance on relevant industrial problems.

We are a diverse research group, and currently have four postdocs and six PhD students in the QOQMS team, as part of a much larger cohort within the Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics Group. All incoming students will be part of the International Graduate School for Quantum Technologies (http://igsqt.ac.uk) and the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

For more information or to apply, please contact Prof. Andrew Daley (andrew.daley [AT] strath.ac.uk). To apply, please send a copy of your CV and academic transcript, and ask two referees to send letters of recommendation to andrew.daley [AT] strath.ac.uk.

Start date: The position will be available from 1st October 2022, and can start during the 2022-23 academic year.

Applications will be considered from Friday, 23rd September 2022 until the post is filled.