20 Influential individuals driving the Quantum Technology Revolution

Quantum Computing

We list some of the influential people who are producing the science and technology of the future and are instrumental in Quantum Computing. Some such as Bob Sutor are evangelists for the field and others such as Ilyas Khan are building the scale-up companies that are harnessing the likes of Quantum NLP to build the technology of the near future. Others such as Seth Lloyd work on the fundamentals of Quantum Computing. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list as we can only cover so many people in one article!

Robert “Bob” Sutor

Robert Sutor, a technical Leader and IT Executive of IBM for over 30 years. He was the Executive Vice President of IBM Research for nearly 15 years and; he was the IBM Research of Mathematical Sciences and IBM Quantum Vice President of Ecosystem Development for nearly 10 years. Currently, he leads the IBM Quantum Technical Relations Team and manages the relationship amongst investors as the IBM Quantum Investor and Influencer Relations Leader. Sutor wrote the book titled Dancing with qubits and Dancing with Python, published last 2019 and 2021, respectively. And co-authored The Latex Web Companion: Integrating TEX, HTML, and XML, and the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML).

Sutor was named as one of Computer Business Review’s “Open Source VIPs” back in 2006. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Economist and has been featured in interviews in the Harvard Business Review, CNET, e-Week, and InfoWorld.

His expertise includes quantum computing, AI, blockchain, analytics, big data, mobile, software, management, software development, technical strategy, research, marketing, product management, social media, open-source, open standards, Linux, web services, XML, Swift, Python, mathematics.

Dr. Sutor was a Valedictorian and a Regent Scholar back in 1976. He is a theoretical mathematician by training, holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Harvard College and a doctorate from Princeton University.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobsutor/

Twitter: @snarky_android

Terry Rudolph 

Terry Rudolph is a Chief Architect of PsiQuantum, a computing firm that he had co-founded. Professor Rudolph finished his undergraduate degree in 1994 at the University of Queensland. From there, he spent a year backpacking in Toronto and eventually decided to take up the then just developing field of quantum information for his Ph.D., which he completed in 1998. Ter spent the next two years giving lectures at the University of Toronto before he took his postdoctoral position in Vienna to further his education. After a year, he joined Bell Labs, taking up a research position in the company. However, this only lasted for two years due to the collapse of Bell Labs and so he joined the Imperial College on an Advance Fellowship in the year 2003. In 2012, he became a professor at Imperial College. Just four years later he left academia in the pursuit of building a photonic quantum computer in the company he co-founded: PsiQuantum.

The works of Terry Rudolph are focused mainly on the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information. Together with Matthew Pusey and Jonathan Barrette, the PRB theorem was discovered, a notable advancement in the field of quantum mechanics. He is famously known for his book on quantum mechanics, titled “Q is for Quantum”. 

Website: https://www.qisforquantum.org/about-the-author

Seth Lloyd

Seth Lloyd is a graduate of Harvard College with a Bachelor’s Arts degree. He received his Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics and a Master of Philosophy at Cambridge University. After presenting a thesis titled “Black Holes, Demons, and the Loss of Coherence: How Complex Systems Get Information, and What They Do With It,” Lloyd was awarded a doctorate by Rockefeller University. Lloyd was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology’s High Energy Physics Department, where he worked with Murray Gell-Mann on information applications to quantum-mechanical systems. He worked on quantum computation as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Center for Nonlinear Systems. Lloyd later became a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s faculty.

Currently, Lloyd runs the MIT Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory (xQIT) and is a principal investigator at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics. He was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society and received the International Quantum Communication Award. He also published the book titled Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos in 2007. 

According to Lloyd, once we understand the laws of physics completely, we will be able to use quantum computing to understand the universe completely.

Ilyas Khan

Ilyas Khan is the CEO and founder of Cambridge Quantum Computing (“CQC”). He is also currently the Chief Executive Officer of Quantinuum, the World’s Largest Integrated Quantum Computing Company. 

He was also the founding Chairman of The Stephen Hawking Foundation before joining CQC and a fellow of St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge.

Ilyas is an award-winning and bestselling author of essays and editorials, as well as the author of the bestseller book Underdogs in Overdrive. He was the founder of the award-winning magazine Asia Literary Review and a technology columnist for the Hong Kong-based magazine Asiaweek, and he currently talks and publishes about quantum computing and mathematical philosophy. Ilyas is a frequent and in-depth writer and commentator on quantum computing issues. He has a long-standing fascination with mathematical foundations and category theory.

His research interests include philosophy of mathematics, quantum computing, ethics within business organizations & Wittgenstein, and his work on the foundations of mathematics.

He earned his degree from SOAS University of London. Ilyas is a widely published author of articles and columns and also the author of the award-winning and bestselling book Underdogs in Overdrive. And In 2015 he was made a Knight of St Gregory the Great by His Holiness Pope Francis.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ilyas-khan-ksg-2a899453/?originalSubdomain=uk

Twitter: @illyitk

Bob Coecke

Bob Coecke is a Belgian theoretical physicist and logician and is currently Quantinuum’s Chief Scientist and a Professor at Wolfson College. 

Coecke received his Doctorate in Theoretical Physics from the Free University of Brussels, worked as a post-doc in the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial College in London, and worked as a post-doc in the Category Theory Group at McGill University in Montreal’s Mathematics and Statistics Department. He was also formally linked with Cambridge University’s Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics and was given a post as a Long Term Visiting Scientist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which he accepted for three months in 2009.

He was an ex-Professor at Oxford University. And since January 2019, Coecke has also been a Scientific Advisor for Cambridge Quantum Computing Ltd. One of his notable achievements is the Categorical Quantum Mechanics.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/bob-coecke-9389627

Twitter: @coecke

Personal Website: comlab.ox.ac.uk/people/Bob.Coecke/index.html 

Jack Hidary

Jack leads Sandbox, developing quantum-inspired physics- and A.I.-based tools and applications that run on today’s classical computing platforms. Sandbox focuses on enterprise SaaS solutions at the intersection of machine learning and physics.

Jack is the author of Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach, published by Springer. This work, now in its Second Edition, is one of the leading textbooks in the field and is used both in Ph.D. programs and corporate training sessions.

Jack is a serial entrepreneur and founder of several tech companies, including EarthWeb/Dice (NYSE: DHX), which he led through a record-breaking IPO. He also co-founded Vista Research which he then sold to Standard and Poors/McGraw-Hill.

Jack is a trustee of the X Prize Foundation and has been a board member of Trickle Up, which helps thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses each year. His foundation, The Hidary Foundation, is dedicated to medical oncology research and has supported work at Sloan Kettering and UCSF.

Jack has been recognized for his leadership by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, HealthCorps, and Young Presidents’ Organization. Jack studied neuroscience at Columbia and subsequently received the Stanley Fellowship in Clinical Neuroscience at NIH, where he worked on functional brain imaging and neural networks.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackhidary/

Twitter: @jackhidary

Dr. Kitty Yeung

Dr. Kitty Yeung is currently the Senior Quantum Architect for Microsoft Quantum Systems. Among many things, Kitty is also the Producer of MS Learn quantum modules and the Quantum Learning website with customized learning materials; she is also the creator of the amazing comic series on Quantum Computing; a lecturer at HackadayU and Microsoft Reactor on Quantum Computing; she is the founder & designer of sustainable and STEAM fashion brand, Art by Physicist; she is a Creative Technologist & Lead of the Fashion Hack at Microsoft; a magnificent Public Speaker on quantum computing and fashion tech.

She graduated from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with a thesis on Engineering Plasmonic Circuits in 2-Dimensional Electron Systems and an M.Sci., B.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Kitty worked with Intel as a research scientist, hardware engineer, and user experience designer after graduation. She frequently speaks about the Microsoft Garage program and offers talks about her interests, career, and expertise in the wearables and quantum computing industries. 

Her previous role includes managing Microsoft Garage in the Bay Area, which was a program that promotes Microsoft’s innovation culture. Her job at Microsoft Garage entails fostering collaboration and experimentation between staff and the surrounding environment. She was passionate about the digital transformation of the fashion sector through the Microsoft cloud platform, in addition to driving quantum computing education.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kittyyeung1/

Twitter: @KittyArtPhysics

Instagram: @artbyphysicistkittyyeung

Julie Love

Julie Love is the Senior Director and Group Principal Program Manager leading Program Management for Microsoft’s Quantum Program. Focused on advancing quantum technology and delivering quantum impact to customers, partners, and developers while building a global quantum ecosystem.

Dr. Love has strong technical skills when it comes to quantum computing. She earned her Ph.D., in quantum physics from Yale University specializing in quantum nanoelectronics, and also served as a Quantum Physicist for five years. Her previous experience includes working at Microsoft and Adobe as a director and Corporate Strategy and development, she was also an advisor to two quantum computing startups.

She is now also in charge of Microsoft’s interactions with businesses, startups, and developers. And a member of the Global Future Council on Quantum computing since 2020.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jhlove/

Michael J. Biercuk

Michael J. Biercuk is a Professor of Quantum Physics and Quantum Technology at the University of Sydney. He is an innovator and a quantum physicist leading a group that aims to develop a new generation of advanced technologies with the use of quantum physics. He acquired his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania while he got his Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Harvard. Michael had then held a research fellowship, under the supervision of Dr. David Wineland, a 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics, in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder. Other than this, he was able to help the government as a consultant to US defense Agency DARPA, enhancing their use of advanced technology. 

With such expertise, Michael founded is currently the CEO of Q-CTRL, a quantum technology company supported entirely by venture capital. Due to the company’s substantial contribution to the stabilization of quantum technologies, Q-CTRL was selected as the only emerging firm outside of the United States and Canada to join IBM’s hand-picked network of companies aiming to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications in business and science. The company has recently launched black opal which is a very well received (which we have reviewed) tutorial that is aimed at teaching users how to program quantum computers.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mjbiercuk/

Twitter: @MJBiercuk

Christian Weedbrook

Christian earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2003, specializing in Math and Physics. And in 2004, he received his honors degree in Physics from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Christian started his Ph.D. in Quantum Information Theory in 2005, under the mentorship of Tim Ralph (UQ) and Ping Koy Lam (ANU). He acquired his Ph.D. in the year 2009 with the thesis “Quantum Information and Quantum Computation using Continuous Variables.”

With this, he proceeds to work in the center for Quantum Computer Technology as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. This was at the University of Queensland, Department of Physics. After his graduation, he took a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. 

Currently, Christian Weedbrook is the CEO and Founder of Xanadu Quantum Technologies, a quantum technology business based in Canada that develops universal quantum computers powered by light. Through his research and leadership in academia, government, and industry, he has been at the vanguard of bringing quantum technology to the world for the past 15 years. Xanadu is at the forefront of developing QML (Quantum Machine Learning) through a number of its programming frameworks such as PennyLane and Strawberry Fields.

Chad Rigetti

Chad Rigetti is the CEO and founder of the full-stack quantum computing start-up company, Rigetti Quantum Computing. In his educational background, he had studied physics at the University of Regina from 1998 to 2002. During his stay at the University of Regina, he earned a bachelor of science in physics, reached the dean’s honor list, and even wrestled on the varsity team as an extracurricular. He then studied applied physics in the years 2002 to 2009, earning a Ph.D. at the University of Yale. Rigetti’s Ph.D. research centered on the experimental and theoretical investigation of superconducting circuits for quantum computation, nanolithography circuit fabrication, and quantum information theory.

As a physicist and entrepreneur, he founded Rigetti Quantum Computing in 2013. For hybrid classical-quantum computing, this is the first company to develop a full-stack programming and execution environment. Since then, he had successfully received investments from Andreessen Horowitz, Vy Capital, and other investors raising over $70 million. On top of this, Rigetti Quantum Computing managed to file more than 50 patents. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-rigetti-9891562/

Maria Schuld

Maria Schuld is a senior researcher at Xanadu, a quantum computing start-up based in Toronto, as well as the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Data and Informatics Flagship in Durban, South Africa. Maria completed her Ph.D. in 2017 and a Post-Doc in 2018-2019. She graduated from the Technical University of Berlin with a master’s degree in physics and from the Free University of Berlin with a “Diplom” in political science. She is a lead developer of the PennyLane software system for quantum differentiable programming and co-authored the book “Supervised Learning with Quantum Computers”. Maria has a doctorate in political science and a deep interest in the interaction between new technology and society, in addition to her research on the interface of quantum computing and machine learning.

In Maria Schuld’s Work in Scientific research, she focuses on finding ways for how methods in machine learning can be improved and extended through quantum information processing. This generates several questions that have yet to have a solid solution. To Maria Schuld, exploring the potential and capabilities of quantum machine learning could give us the right computable intersection of quantum theory, statistics, and artificial intelligence. 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/maria-schuld-7857b070

Ilana Wisby

Ilana Wisby is the CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) and a deep tech entrepreneur. She studied at Royal Holloway, University of London, acquiring her Ph.D. in Quantum Physics. Oxford Quantum Circuits’ strategy of pioneering the quantum computing-as-a-service (QCaaS) market, neatly aligns with the UK government’s ambition to become a global quantum superpower while positioning OQC at the forefront of transforming the sector from a deep tech frontier to a revenue-producing sector. 

Her career couldn’t have started if not for the book she read of Quantum Physics at the age of 16. With this, she had set aside her dreams of being a concert pianist and dedicated her life to the field of quantum Physics. Years gone by, she went through a steep learning curve as a serial entrepreneur before being finally headhunted by Oxford Science and Innovation to become the company’s founding CEO. This gave her a chance to use all she’d learned about starting a business while also utilizing her quantum physics expertise. OCQ constructed and deployed the UK’s first superconducting quantum computer in 2018, and the company’s QCaaS made this exclusive technology available to business clients via its private cloud in July 2021.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ilanawisby

Twitter: @IlanaWisby

Steve Brierley

Steve Brierly is a global expert in quantum computing commercialization and a member of the UK government’s Quantum Computing Expert Group. He worked for over a decade in the intelligence community and as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, where he led key quantum computing research initiatives.

Riverlane, a research-led start-up that builds ground-breaking algorithms and software to unleash the predictive power of quantum computing, was founded by Brierly in 2016. It is backed by leading venture capital funds and the University of Cambridge, they work closely with the visionary chemical, pharmaceutical, and materials companies to develop billion-dollar applications using quantum advantage. Steve has always believed that bringing together pioneers in software, algorithms, and architectures in one firm is the best way to commercially viable quantum computers. His ambition is to make quantum computers as accessible and well-known as the Raspberry Pi.

Steve graduated from the University of York with a Ph.D. in quantum information. He grew up listening to music and playing the saxophone in jazz, funk, and soul ensembles.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/steve-brierley-72127a142

Peter Chapman

Peter Chapman is known for being the president and CEO of the quantum computing hardware and software company, IonQ. However, before he took up his current position, Chapman career started his programming career when he joined the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab at the young age of 16. With this, he has over 40 years of experience in software engineering and is known for his work on the 2-day delivery system of Amazon as he was once the director for engineering at Amazon Prime. His other achievements include the invention of the original sound card for computers, writing the software that prevents mid-air collisions for the Federal Aviation Administration, development of security systems that protect the integrity of financial markets, and building tools for the blind at the helm of Ray Kurzweil’s company, K-NFB Reading Technologies. He even founded several companies, building them from scratches such as the Level Systems in 1989, and Boston Compliance Systems in 1998. 

For two years and counting, Peter Chapman has held the position of CEO of IonQ, the company leading in universal quantum computing. He is responsible for the company’s success in transitioning theoretical concepts into tangible computing options for innovative enterprises.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterhchapman

Christophe Jurczak

Christophe Jurczak earned a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics on laser cooling of neutral atoms. He achieved this from one of the most prestigious and grandes ecoles in France, the Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Supérieure. He studied under the supervision of Alain Aspect (Institut d’Optique, Paris) in 1996. For his postdoctoral, he spent two years as a researcher in the Ecole Normale Supérieure, focusing his research on quantum optics. With this, he had held high government positions in Defense and Energy, and in the years 2007 up to 2015, he was in executive positions in the Renewable Energy business in Europe and the United States. 

He soon began dedicating himself to the emergence of the Quantum industry after Palo Alto, 2015. At first, he started in an advisory position and was eventually promoted to become the Head of Business Development at QC Ware. And in 2018, together with Charles Beigbeder and Olivier Tonneau, launched Quantonation, a deep physics startup investor that is dedicated to the development of Quantum Technology. 

Currently, Christophe Jursczak is a Managing Partner at Quantonation. He is THE leading Venture Capital investor and chairman and founder of Le Lab Quantique, a not-for-profit think tank based in Paris, France. 

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/christophe-jurczak

Twitter: @JurczakQris

Richard Moulds

Richard Moulds, the General Manager of Amazon Bracket, is known for his extensive experience in general and product management, strategic planning, corporate and marketing development. With nearly 20 years of experience in cryptography and key management for the security industry, he has worked for Whitewood Security as a general manager before joining AWS. With this, he wrote a book titled “Key Management for Dummies” that discusses his expertise on the creation, maintenance, protection, and control of cryptographic keys.

His recent work history includes successfully managing the product life cycle from blue-sky innovation, product definition, and development. In addition to this, he had participated in several workgroups such as PCI DSS, OASIS, KMIP, and CSA. 

Currently, Richard Moulds works for Amazon. He holds the position of General manager at the quantum computing service of Amazon Web services. He is responsible for this cloud platform including strategic, commercial, and operational management of the service. In the most recent news, Amazon has been reported to be active in creating quantum computing partnerships under the management of Moulds. 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-moulds

Twitter: @RichardMoulds

Alan Baratz

In the year 2020, Dr. Alan Baratz was named CEO of D-Wave. He formerly led the development, delivery, and support of all of D-Wave’s products technologies, and applications as the company’s executive vice president, R&D, and chief product officer. He has over 25 years of expertise in product development and launching new products at prominent technology firms and software startups. 

He is known to be the first president of JavaSoft at Suns Microsystems. With this, he was able to supervise the adoption and growth of the Java platform from its infancy to its now mature platform supporting mission-critical applications in approximately 80% of Fortune 1000 companies. 

With a doctorate in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has held high executive positions at Symphony, Avaya, Cisco, and IBM. He was also once the CEO and president of Versata, Zaplet, and NeoPath Networks, as well as a managing director at Warburg Pincus LLC. 

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/alan-baratz-799b786

Christopher Savoie

Christopher Savoie, currently the CEO and co-founder of Zapata Computing Inc, is a published scholar in medicine, biochemistry, and computer science. He is famously known for being the original inventor of the Adaptive Agent-Oriented Software Architecture (AAOSA), the Artificial Intelligence used to develop Apple’s famous AI, Siri. Aside from this, he currently holds a position on the board of the US Quantum Economic Development Consortium. Being a licensed attorney, he has served as the Vice-Chairman of the American Bar Association. With this, he was considered to be a published legal expert on liability issues related to Artificial Intelligence, Information Security, Data Privacy, and Big Data. 

As the CEO and Co-founder of Zapata Computing Inc, Christopher Savoie announced in an interview that the company will work on the massive potential of quantum technology. With the intent of implementing quantum into real business improvements, the company leaps and aims to educate and train both their customers and partners into a mode that would allow them to use the technology and have their creations. As this goal may be too ambitious at the moment, the current benefits of Savoie’s company may not be too big, but they will be relevant for future ideas and projects.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chsavoie 

Twitter: @cjsavoie

Jian Wei Pan

Jian Wei Pan is a professor of physics at the University of Science and Technology (UTSC) in China. In 1999, he finished his Ph.D. degree at the University of Vienna in Austria. Upon completion, he returned to UTSC and spearheaded one of the most successful quantum research groups. Because of this, Jian was elected to become an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2011 and was considered to be the youngest member to ever join. After only three years in the CAS, he was appointed to become the director of the Center for Excellence in Quantum information and quantum physics. 

Jian Wei Pan’s works are focused mainly on quantum information and quantum foundations. He led numerous quantum computing successes thus, garnering multiple awards worldwide. In his most recent quantum computing efforts, his team in UTSC surpassed Google’s claimed quantum supremacy achievement which, occurred last July 2021. And in September that same year, UTSC once again made headlines as they surpassed their benchmark by another three orders of magnitude. Hailed as China’s father of quantum physics, his influence in Chinese Science continues to grow to this day.

Website: https://quantum.ustc.edu.cn/web/en/node/32