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Saarland University

Saarland University is a modern university within the Saar-Lor-Lux region – a dynamic part of Europe defined by the shared borders between Germany, France and Luxembourg. An international perspective has been a defining feature of Saarland University ever since it was established in cooperation with France in 1948. Today, 16,900 young people are studying in Saarbrücken and Homburg (faculty of medicine), 19 per cent of whom are international students. Saarland University’s focus areas include computer science and nanotechnology. The physics department focuses on quantum technologies and biological physics.

The Quantum and Solid State Theory Group, which was led by Prof. Dr. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch until September 2020, perform research at the intersection of solid state physics and quantum information. Specifically, they are interested in the physics of nanoscale devices with quantum functionality. The research is theoretical but is carried out in close collaboration with experimental researchers around the world. Current projects include e.g.: Superconducting quantum bits, optimal quantum control, benchmarking and system identification, Scalable architectures for quantum computers and their early applications. The group is a primary source of information on quantum computing for the German-speaking media and for government and other consulting tasks in this area.

Main tasks in the project

Frank Wilhelm-Mauch is coordinator of the OpenSuperQ project. He oversees all scientific operations of the network and is the first point of contact for coordination activities on flagship level and for other projects, industry, research organizations and decision makers. The Quantum and Solid State Theory Group of Saarland University was responsible for theoretical research in the areas of control and benchmarking of OpenSuperQ devices as well as algorithms for simulation of lattice models (WP 1). Additioanlly, they developed standards, interfaces and databases and monitored their use as a tool of effective team integration (WP 6).

Prof. Wilhelm-Mauch is on secondment at Forschungszentrum Jülich since October 2020 and subsequently the coordination and remaining tasks by the Quantum and Solid State Theory Group of Saarland University have been moved to the institute for Quantum Computing Analytics at Forschungszentrum Jülich.


Expertise of staff members involved

Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch
Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch

Education and career: 1991-96 studies of physics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, graduated with a Diplom; 1996-99 doctoral studies at KIT (supervisor Prof. Dr. Gerd Schön), graduated as Dr. rer. nat.; 1999-2001 postdoctoral research (supervisor Prof. Dr. Johan E. Mooij) at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; 2001-2005 senior researcher (supervisor Prof. Dr. Jan von Delft) at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich, Germany; Habilitation 2004 and appointment as Privatdozent (lecturer) at LMU; 2006-2011 associate professor at the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Canada continuing as full professor on leave (2011-13) and adjunct professor (2013-16); since 2011 full chair professor at Saarland University, since 2020 full-time secondment to Forschungszentrum Jülich as the founding director of the institute for Quantum Computing Analytics

Awards: 1993-96 Fellow of the German National Merit Foundation; 2010 Distinguished Service Award, University of Waterloo; 2015 Google Research Award

Selected service: program committee of the APS March Meetings 2008 and 2018; since 2014: Executive Secretary of the Virtual Facility of Quantum Control; since 2016: Participation in the QuTe-Europe working group (QUARTET) interfacing the flagship high-level steering committee and the community, since 2017 as part of the QSA coordination action; 2011-17: Divisional Associate Editor in charge of quantum information at Physical Review Letters

Dr Shai Machnes
Dr Shai Machnes

Education and career: 1990-1995: B.A in computer science, The Open University; 1995-1998: B.Sc. in Physics at Tel-Aviv University; 2002-2005: M.Sc. in Physics (Quantum Information), Tel-Aviv University; 2005-2011: Ph.D. in Physics, Tel-Aviv University, Prof. Benni Reznik; 2011-2014: Post-doc position, Prof. Martin Plenio, Institute of theoretical physics, Ulm; 2014-2016: Post-doc position, Prof. D. J. Tannor, Weizmann Institute of Science; Since 2016: Post-doc position at Saarland University, Saarbrücken under the supervision of Prof. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, since 2020 moved to Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Before turning to the academic path, Shai Machnes pursued a career in IT: As software engineer at the Israeli military service (1989-1995), as senior software engineer at Tiltan Systems Engineering (1995-1998); at Trivnet Ltd (1998-2003, micro-payment system using cellular phones) and as Consultant (2004-2009, Mathematically intense programming e.g. image processing, error correction). In Summer 2009 he attended a joint NASA / Google collaboration at NASA Ames Research Center (“Singularity University”).