PhD Scholarship (3years) in Quantum Computing Applied to Industrial Optimization Problems

Deadline: 04.12.2022


SINTEF er et av Europas største forskningsinstitutt, med flerfaglig spisskompetanse innenfor teknologi, naturvitenskap og samfunnsvitenskap. SINTEF er en uavhengig stiftelse som siden 1950 har skapt innovasjon gjennom utviklings- og forskningsoppdrag for næringsliv og offentlig sektor i inn- og utland. SINTEF har 2100 medarbeidere fra 80 nasjoner og en årlig omsetning på over tre milliarder kroner.

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Background SINTEF Digital is searching for a dedicated candidate to join its Department of Mathematics and Cybernetics as PhD student working on applying quantum algorithms to solve challenging optimization problems taken from industry applications.

Quantum computers represent a paradigm change in computing and offer the potential to solve problems that are intractable on classical computers. How powerful quantum computers one can build is limited by errors caused by noise and decoherence. Through clever algorithm design, it has been demonstrated that current quantum devices can be used to solve many high-impact problems, but experts still debate whether these can be used to solve practically relevant problems.

SINTEF Digital has for the past four years conducted strategic research to start investigating potential industry applications of quantum computing. In 2020, we formed the Gemini Center on Quantum Computing to focus our efforts towards making Norway “quantum ready”. The center gathers a strong interdisciplinary, cross-institutional team of researchers from University of Oslo, NTNU and SINTEF to promote quantum technology, establish contact with internationally leading expert groups, as well as to work together with industrial partners. Since 2021, Simula Research Laboratory has also been an associate partner. Our activities also contain a strong educational component in the form of supervision of master and PhD students, as well as summer interns.

Job description The scholarship is part of NeQst, a technology-convergence project funded by the Research Council of Norway and lead by the Department of Mathematics and Cybernetics at SINTEF Digital. Members of the research team come from the Energy Systems department at SINTEF, the Department of Optimization at Fraunhofer, the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu, as well as the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo. High commercial relevance is ensured by in-depth involvement from DNB Bank ASA, Equinor ASA, Kongsberg Maritime AS, and Statkraft Energi AS. NeQst aims to perform exploratory research on how one can use near-term quantum computers to solve challenging optimization problems in a business setting, exemplified by a series of high-impact problems suggested by the industry partners.

The candidate will work on industry use-cases, variational quantum algorithms, circuit compilation and transpilation, as well as quantum error mitigation techniques. Domain expertise in one or more of the following areas is an advantage, but not necessary: operations research, portfolio management, logistics and supply, and optimization.

Being part of the Gemini Center, the PhD student will be connected to other ongoing projects within quantum computing; we mention in particular the Qombine project, a large-scale interdisciplinary researcher project at the University of Oslo. The student is expected to enrol in a formal PhD program at the University of Oslo and conduct the required coursework in selected topics from the university’s large portfolio of mathematics, computer science, and physics courses.

We offer The successful candidate will be employed at SINTEF Digital in a full-time (100%), 3-year, temporary position with start date in the beginning of 2023 and end date in the beginning of 2026.

Qualification requirements The applicant must satisfy the requirements for entering the PhD program at UiO: see here.

Master students who expect to finish their studies within the beginning of 2023 are encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master's degree is finished.

General information A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity, or cultural background.

Questions about the position can be directed to Franz G. Fuchs ([email protected]).

About the application

  • The application must include the following
  • A CV that includes information about education background and work experience
  • Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas.
  • A short research statement explaining the experience and the interest of the candidate for the research topic and describing the relevance of the candidate’s background to the research project (max 1 page)
  • A copy of the master thesis.
  • Any relevant publications.
  • Contact information for two references.

Apply for position


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