PhD student position in AI-driven optimization of variational algorithms for near-term quantum device applications in quantum chemistry

Updated: 14 days ago
Deadline: 31 May 2024

Variational quantum algorithms (VQAs) seek to make the most of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices currently operating at academic and industrial labs around the world. VQAs are hybrid algorithms where NISQ devices are controlled via optimization algorithms implemented on classical computers. VQA algorithms have promising near-term applications including in quantum chemistry and optimization.

The application of VQAs to quantum chemical problems is currently limited by both software and hardware – in this project the selected candidate will address two key limitations on the software side:
- Warm-start for VQAs using the underlying structure of molecules and their Hamiltonians – to minimize the number of quantum-classical computer cycles needed for convergence.
- Learning functions to map molecules to bespoke hardware-efficient circuit Ansätze – to lower the demand on the number of qubits necessary to accurately compute ground state energies.

The selected candidate will be embedded into an interdisciplinary environment between the Chalmers departments of Computer Science and Engineering as well as Chemistry and Chemical engineering , and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT). This inter-disciplinary research project is part of an on-going collaboration between the groups of Simon Olsson, Anton Frisk Kockum, and Martin Rahm to enable quantum chemistry on quantum computers aided by machine learning. The selected candidate will be based at the Computer Science and Engineering department yet enjoy full access to and a work-place at WACQT and the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments.

The research takes place at Chalmers University of Technology, and the position is funded by Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (described below) and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT).

About the Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology - WACQT
WACQT is a 12-year initiative (2018-2029) aimed to bring Swedish academia and industry to the forefront of Quantum Technology. The center is funded mainly by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundations with additional contributions from participating universities and industry. At Chalmers, the focus is to build a superconducting quantum computer and simulator and to explore useful applications of quantum computing. The Quantum Technology and Applied Quantum Physics laboratories work on experimental and theoretical aspects of quantum information processing with superconducting electronics. We currently have a transmon-based 25-qubit quantum processor and are scaling up further. As a researcher in this project, you will be closely interacting with postdocs and PhD students in WACQT. WACQT is committed to promoting career development, diversity, and gender equality through networking and supporting activities.

About the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – WASP
WASP is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems.
The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry.
Read more:

Major responsibilities
As a Ph.D. student, you will enroll in a graduate program at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, where your primary responsibility is to pursue your doctoral studies, which entails:

•80% Research and course work

•20% Service, including teaching.

The research entails developing and implementing your scientific ideas, communicating your results orally or in written form. Service entails being a teaching assistant in Chalmers' undergraduate and masters-level courses or performing other departmental tasks. 

Read more about doctoral studies at Chalmers here .

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master's-level degree, or a four-year bachelor's degree, corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field. The degree should have been awarded at the latest at the time of start of the position. The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English.

If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence . Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with reference number 20240279 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, reference number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, ref.number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Please note: The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete. Incomplete applications and applications sent by email will not be considered.

Application deadline: 2024-05-31

For questions, please contact:
Simon Olsson,
[email protected]

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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