Our speakers 2023
Dr Ralf Wintergerst
Dr Marianne Janik
Dr Marianne Janik has been CEO of Microsoft Germany since March 2021. She reports to Ralph Haupter, Corporate Vice President Microsoft EMEA.
Marianne Janik has been responsible for the management of Microsoft Switzerland as Country General Manager since July 2015. Prior to that, she was responsible for the areas of public administration, education and healthcare in the management of Microsoft Germany for around four years. She was able to achieve continuous growth in this central business area for Microsoft and successfully accompany her customers in their innovation and transformation process.
Born in France and with a doctorate in law, she has many years of sales and management experience in various companies and industries. Marianne Janik started her professional career at Daimler Benz AG in the Public Affairs department. Subsequently, she took over the contract department at an EADS subsidiary and then the sales department for public authorities, the German Armed Forces and industrial customers.
Marianne Janik is strongly committed to the digital transformation, especially in the areas of innovation, security and education and training.
Among other things, she is a member of the executive committee of the German digital association Bitkom and a member of the board of directors of AmCham Germany.
Dr Robert Axmann
Robert Axmann studied aerospace engineering in Munich and Cranfield (United Kingdom) and holds a doctorate in aerospace engineering. He also holds a degree in business administration. Robert Axmann has worked for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for 19 years. He has been head of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative since 2021.
Dr Anna Christmann
Since 27 January 2022 - Commissioner of BMWK for the Digital Economy and Startups
As of 5 January 2022 - Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy
Since 2017 - Member of the German Bundestag
2013 -2017 - Head of Office for the Minister and policy officer for fundamental policy issues in science policy at the Ministry for Science, Stuttgart
2008 – 2013 - Academic working for various women’s networks and mentoring programmes, and at the Centre for Democracy at Zurich University
2008 - Part of the constituency staff at the office of Theresia Bauer, Member of the State Parliament
2003 - Member of ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS
2002 - 2008 - Student of political sciences, economics and mathematics (Heidelberg)
2008 - 2013 - Doctoral thesis on ‘The limits of direct democracy’ at Bern University and the University of California
Dr Heike Riel
Heike Riel is IBM Fellow, Head of Science & Technology and Head of IBM Research Quantum Europe & Africa. She leads the research agenda and operations of the Science & Technology Division with the goal of achieving scientific and technological breakthroughs in quantum computing and technologies, artificial intelligence physics, nanoscience and nanotechnology, and exploring new directions in computing.
My name is Iftikhar Ahmed and I lead the Quantum activities at Capgemini Invent and also lead the Go To Market stream for public tenders for Capgemini's Quantum Lab. I studied industrial engineering with a focus on mechanical engineering. After my master's degree, I started my career path at Capgemini Deutschland GmbH as an IT Architect. Since three years I am part of the Quantum Team of Capgemini.
Dr Valeria Bartsch
Valeria Bartsch is the spokesperson for the Competence Center for High Performance Computing at Fraunhofer ITWM in Kaiserslautern. She has been working on research topics in the field of parallel programming since 2013 and has been team lead in the field of quantum computing since 2020. Before accepting the position at Fraunhofer ITWM, Valeria Bartsch completed a PhD in experimental particle physics at the University of Karlsruhe in 2003. Afterwards, she worked on software tools for particle physics at various universities and research institutions such as the University of Oxford, the Fermi National Accelerator Lab near Chicago, University College London, the University of Sussex, from where she was seconded to CERN near Geneva.
Alexandra Beckstein is Co-founder of QAI Ventures, a company focused on ecosystem building by providing investment and acceleration of Quantum and AI startups. In the QuantumBasel project, out of which the company was born, she was responsible for the strategy development as well as building the startup ecosystem. A geoscientist by training with advanced education in business and leadership she has worked in her professional career for both startups, SMEs and government. She was founder of her own company in Berlin in the field of renewable energy and is co-author of the book: "Bossing it- The future belongs to the bold." She is driven by the conviction that technology is a key to solving many global challenges and that ecosystems must replace the traditional ego-systems.
Dr Janina Beilner
Dr Janina Beilner, Senior Vice President Education & Workforce Solutions at Siemens Healthineers.
Janina heads the global Siemens Healthineers internal Academy responsible for Engineer and Application training as well as external customer education. Furthermore, she leads the entire business of workforce solutions.
Janina is a medical doctor (MD, PhD) with 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, growing new businesses and an appointed lecturer at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg affiliated to the Technical University under the chair of Artificial Intelligence and Biomedical Engineering / Machine Learning and Data Analytics.
She conducts the lectures “Leading by Learning” and “AI and Digitalization in Healthcare”.
I studied physics in Halle (Salle) and focused on theoretical condensed matter physics. In 2018 I started my PhD on 2D electron-gas systems in which I investigated new effects on and due to quantum scarring. Thesis submitting is planned this year. In late 2022 I joined the Cyberagentur, where I am working on quantum technology projects tailored to cyber security in general.
Dr Maria Börner
Dr Maria Börner works for Westernacher Solutions in Business Development AI and is an expert in the field of AI, bias in AI and Legal Tech. She is responsible for the development of AI tools in the government, church and legal sectors. She focuses on the issue of bias in AI and is also privately involved as the Berlin City Lead for the Women in AI network to raise the visibility of women in tech.
Maria has previously worked in various start-ups and led several projects in the field of federated learning, AI and ML for Porsche, Daimler and PwC.
Mario Brandenburg was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research in June 2022.
Mario Brandenburg has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2017. During the 19th legislative period (2017 to 2021), he served as spokesperson of the Free Democratic Party for technology policy and represented his party on the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, on the Committee on the Digital Agenda and on the Study Commission on Artificial Intelligence. In the 20th legislative period (2021 to 2025), Mr Brandenburg was appointed spokesperson of the Free Democratic Party in the German Bundestag for research, technology and innovation and sat on the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment.
Mario Brandenburg has an M.Sc. in business informatics. In 2009, he was recruited by Europe's largest software company, SAP SE, where he worked until 2017, starting as a working student covering various positions before working as a cloud integration architect and consultant. Mr Brandenburg joined the FDP in 2010 and was elected to the local council and the collective municipality council in Rülzheim, Rhineland-Palatinate in 2014.
Mario Brandenburg was born on 3 October 1983 in Bad Bergzabern. He lives with his wife and two children in Rülzheim.
AI generated: Markus established JoS QUANTUM in 2018. Prior to that, he had a professional background at Deutsche Bank and served as a consultant for several financial institutions. During his tenure, he provided valuable guidance and successfully implemented diverse quantitative models for fraud detection and risk modeling. Markus pursued his education in mathematical physics at institutions in Magdeburg, Tokyo, and Taipei.
Prof Dr Tommaso Calarco
Prof. Dr. Tommaso Calarco has pioneered the application of quantum optimal control methods to quantum computation and to many-body quantum systems. Currently the Director of the Institute for Quantum Control of the Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Professor of Quantum Information at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Cologne, Tommaso received his PhD at the University of Ferrara and started to work as a postdoc in the group of P. Zoller at the University of Innsbruck. He was appointed as a Senior Researcher at the BEC Centre in Trento in 2004 and as a Professor for Physics at the University of Ulm in 2007, where he then became Director of the Institute for Complex Quantum Systems and of the Centre for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology. He has authored in 2016 the Quantum Manifesto, which initiated the European Commission’s Quantum Flagship initiative, and is currently the Chairman of one of the Flagship’s Governing Bodies: The Quantum Community Network (QCN). In 2020, together with the QCN, he has launched an initiative towards the creation of a consortium of European quantum industries, which has been legally established in 2021 under the name of European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC).
Dr Andre Carvalho
Andre Carvalho is the Head of Quantum Control Solutions at Q-CTRL, where he leads all aspects of customer-related projects. With a PhD in physics and almost 20 years working as a researcher, Andre has a vast international experience and is widely recognized for his contributions to the field of quantum control. At Q-CTRL, he is bringing together expertise from physicists and engineers to develop control solutions for quantum technology problems across multiple platforms.
Delphine De Smedt
Delphine De Smedt ia a first-year Ph.D. student in quantum computing with a background in sustainable development. She is currently studying how to accelerate the classification of satellite images with classical quantum machine learning algorithms. Together with her colleagues at QBee, they are working on developing quantum computing logic around different real-world applications.
I obtained an M.Sc. in Informatics at the Technical University of München (TUM) in September 2022 and specialized in Machine Learning and Quantum Computing. We recently published an article on quantum reinforcement learning and the effect of architectural choices and presented it at the ICAART 2023 conference. I started as a HiWi at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems in November 2021 and since November 2022 I work there as a full-time scientist. During my courses, I was also a tutor at TUM for the course of quantum computing.
Dr Daniel Egger
Dr. Daniel J. Egger is a Staff Research Scientist working at IBM Quantum, IBM Research Europe – Zurich. His research focuses on the control of quantum computers, integrating them in modern software stacks, and on the practical applications of quantum algorithms in finance, optimization, and natural sciences. Dr. Egger joined IBM in 2016. From 2014 to 2016 he worked in the asset management industry as a risk manager. He earned a PhD in theoretical physics in 2014 for his work on quantum simulations and optimal control of quantum computers based on superconducting qubits.
Paul K. Fährmann
Paul studied theoretical physics in Berlin and Copenhagen and is now a doctoral student with Jens Eisert at Freien Universität Berlin. His work revolves around researching quantum algorithms both for near-term devices and fault-tolerant quantum computers and trying to fill the gap between the two.
Managing Director - DeepTech & Climate Fonds since September 2022
Principal / Authorised Signatory - High-Tech Gründerfonds 2018-Sept. 2022
Managing Director / Sales Manager - MASTERBATCH WINTER GMBH / Color Service GmbH & Co. 2012-2018
Managing Partner - KI Chemie GmbH / hama polymer GmbH KI Chemie GmbH 2010-2011
Managing Director - BASF Color Solutions Germany GmbH 2007-2009 M&A
Project Manager - BASF 2004-2006 Investment Analyst - Deutsche Bank 2001 - 2003
Education: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Master of Science Finance Technical University Berlin - Dipl.-Ing. Industrial Engineering
Dr Michael Förtsch
Michael Förtsch is founder and CEO of Q.ANT. He studied mathematics and physics, and earned his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light in Erlangen. A research stay at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder was followed by positions as strategy consultant and personal assistant to the CTO at TRUMPF Se + Co. KG in Stuttgart. From this position, he founded the company Q.ANT in 2018.
Sergio Gago Huerta
Leader of new team at Moody’s set to explore quantum frontiers
My love of technology started early, as I founded 5 companies on my own before the age of 25 (3 of which are still in business today). Over time, I became equally interested in the data that powers technologies. These dual passions ultimately brought me to the leadership role at Acquire Media, which I sold to Moody's Analytics in 2020 after almost two decades as a CTO. I am now the Managing Director in charge of Moody's Analytics Quantum Computing business, after leading Media Solutions where I coordinated a team of data scientists, data modeling strategists and technologists.
We build on decades of learnings from artificial intelligence and text-based data processing – blended with financial forecasting and risk assessment models – to surface business insights earlier than traditional data modeling alone.
When I'm not striving for data transformation in my job, I'm sharing my experiences and vision with others. I am the Academic Coordinator of the Masters of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence at BTS/University of Barcelona where I also teach several courses and advise on student capstone projects. With an interest in all things having to do with quantum computing, I lead a quantum strategy group to discuss how quantum theory will impact data and data analytics in the foreseeable future.
Having lived in 7 countries, and crossed the world several times, I specialize in multicultural environments and am expert in managing remote, diverse teams. I am also an active angel investor in early stage startups focused on deep tech and data. When I am not working, I am an ocean lover and protector, and scuba diving instructor. When all that gives me a breath, I play guitar and drums.
Dr Ferdinand Graf
Dr Ferdinand Graf is an expert in data science and machine learning, and part of the PlanQK project to build a platform and ecosystem for quantum-supported artificial intelligence. He holds a PhD in Quantitative Economics and Finance and a Diploma in Mathematical Finance from the University of Konstanz, and is a certified GARP Financial Risk Manager.
Dr Wolfgang Hackenberg
Wolfgang Hackenberg is an international business executive, sales leader and physicist.
He is the Chief Business Officer at IQM, the leading European quantum computing player in Europe.
Before joining IQM, Wolfgang held various operational business and sales responsibilities at Nokia up to 1 B€ in volume.
He was also the Managing Director for Nokia Germany. In addition, he co-chaired the Digital Group at BDI, Germany’s Federation of Industries, was a member of the Executive Board at Bitkom, Germany’s Digital Association, and he is a founding board member at Security Network Munich.
His career spans aerospace, IT and telecom in various sales, product and P&L management roles in Germany, Europe, Asia-Pacific and globally.
Wolfgang holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Semiconductor Physics from the University of Cambridge, England. He lives in Munich, Germany.
Dr Daniel Herr
Dr Daniel Herr has a background in quantum computing. He did his PhD on Quantum Error Correction at Riken in Japan. He is now a Senior Consultant at d-fine, where he works mainly on quantum computing projects.
Maximilian Hess currently pursues PhD studies in the field of quantum algorithms for optimization at Infineon and Leibniz University Hannover. His background is in mathematics, where he graduated with a master's thesis in category theory from Technical University of Munich.
Matthias Kaiser has a Master's degree in Quantum Information Technology from the University of Vienna. The last years he has worked in business development and commercialisation of deep tech products. In the last 3 years he built a deep tech startup in the field of industrial artificial intelligence. Now he comes back to his roots and tries to find and develop business cases for quantum computing.
Dr Gustav Kalbe
Dr Gustav Kalbe studied Applied Physics at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. In 1991 he studied Applied Optics at the Imperial College of Science in London.
In 1995 he completed his studies and earned a PhD in Physics at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He started his professional career as a project manager in photonic networks at the incumbent telecom operator in Belgium. He was R&D manager when he left the company.
In 1998 he joined the Directorate General Information Society & Media of the European Commission where he started working as Project Officer managing research projects of the European Framework Programs for Research. Over the years he had several assignments in quantum technologies, photonics, and cybersecurity.
In 2014 Gustav Kalbe became Head of Unit for Administration & Finance in the European Commission, in Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
In 2016 he was appointed Head of Unit of the newly created High Performance Computing and Quantum Technology unit in Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
In 2018 he became responsible for the establishment and operation of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. He occupied the post of Interim Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking until its autonomy by the end of 2020.
In January 2021, he was appointed Deputy to the Director of DG Connect C “Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure”.
Since May 2022 Gustav is the Acting Director of DG Connect C “Digital Excellence and Science Infrastructure”.
Jörn Kellermann has held various positions in the IT industry for more than 20 years. After holding positions in sales and service delivery, he is responsible for portfolio strategy, innovation and the CTO office at T-Systems.
Nico Kelling has headed the Corporate Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence at Infineon Technologies since 2020 and is committed to the responsible and value-oriented use of AI, developing it in line with the European understanding of value for the benefit of people and society. Active shaping of the digital transformation and innovation are of particular concern to him. He has over twenty-five years of international semiconductor industry experience in various technical, marketing and management roles in Europe, USA and Japan and particularly in the areas of microcontrollers, embedded systems and automotive applications.
Regina Kirschner is Product Owner at Porsche Digital. Through her many years of experience at Audi and Porsche Digital, she knows both the daily challenges of an automotive manufacturer as well as innovative working methods to successfully implement new digital business models. Now she is part of the quantum team at Porsche Digital as an automotive expert to find use cases of quantum technologies - fitting the needs of a luxury car manufacturer.
Johannes is product owner for quantum computing in the BMW Group IT. He chairs a working group in the Quantum Computing Application and Technology Consortium and leads the BMW Group IT Quantum Computing initiative. His interests lie at the junction of technology and business with a focus on data-driven innovation. His background is in mathematics with a Ph.D. from TU Munich.
Laure Le Bars
Laure Le Bars is Research Project Director at SAP. She coordinates a Quantum Computing initiative at SAP. She is member of the Governing Board and President of the European Quantum Industry Consortium, since February 2021 (QuIC). She works on several projects like Big Data Value Association (BDVA Board of Directors and Vice-President), Smart Data Innovation Lab, EIT Digital or Academy Cube. She was also involved in the French-German cooperation on Digital Economy.
Before that, she was SAP Labs Canada Managing Director since its inception in 1997 until 2008. In parallel, she conducted an analysis for a lab in Central & East Europe in 2004, established the lab in Budapest and was the Managing Director of SAP Labs Hungary until 2007. She joined SAP as a development consultant in Canada and in the US in 1995 and was responsible for establishing the Montreal Labs. She won in 2007 the Stevie Award for Women in Business in category “Best executive–non-services-under 2500 employees”.
She was on the Industrial Advisory Board of SWEBOK (Software Engineering Body of Knowledge www.swebok.org), a joint initiative of IEEE Computer Society and UQAM to achieve international consensus on the body of knowledge in software engineering.
She holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics from the École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique pour l’Industrie et l'Entreprise (France). Her thesis dealt with Operation Research for Artificial Intelligence at GERAD in Montréal, Canada.
Dr Jana Lehner
Dr Jana Lehner is Chief Business Officer at Quantum Brilliance, a startup for diamond-based quantum computers. Prior to joining Quantum Brilliance she worked in international research groups at MPQ, MIT, and CERN, in software engineering at sd&m, in business consulting at PwC and business operations at IBM. Jana Lehner holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Quantum Optics from the Humboldt University, Berlin. She is passionate about physics, in particular quantum physics, the growth of quantum computing and its use for business applications.
David Levy is a Senior Investment Manager in SYN-RG-Ai, an Israeli group of 25 companies active globally in various fields, and leading the group investing activity in different technologies, including quantum technologies. He studied physics at Ben-Gurion university and holds an MBA as well from Reichman University in Israel.
Unique in the VC industry, he is a physicist with vast operational experience in technological companies in Israel and Germany in the semiconductors, electronics, and engineering industries and worked in a German CVC as well. In SYN-RG-Ai he led the development of the investment strategy and defined the field of interest.
Prof Dr Rui Li
Since 2018 Dr. Rui Li has been a tenured professor at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology. He was a scientific researcher (2012‒2018) at the Institute of Nuclear and Energy Technology (IKET) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He received his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology (2012) with the topic “Computational fluid dynamics study on liquid droplet impingement erosion in a bent pipe”. Dr. Li has many years of experience in the fields of computational fluid dynamics, two-phase flow, turbulence modelling, reactor safety with thermal hydraulic analysis, and supercomputing. He has been involved in and contributed to the major European Commission FP-7 projects for fast reactors e.g. MYRRHA. Dr. Li has written/contributed to 24 professional archival peer-reviewed journal papers, 23 conference proceeding papers and 20 technical deliverables to European Commission, and Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority. Current research is quantum computational fluid dynamics.
Prof Dr Helena Liebelt
Helena founded her first digital start-up company at the age 18, while still studying Computer Science. She started her Intel career in 2005 as an Application Engineer within the Software and Solutions Group (SSG), developing good understanding of software products and the ISV market. She moved on building a SW lab supporting internal engineering community as well as external customers. Initially starting out as a local service unit, she lastly was managing a worldwide operating SW enabling lab, supporting, with her constantly growing team, a variety of SSG and SMG (as in press and marketing support) departments along the way. She gained marketing experience during a 6-month rotation to Portland where she was responsible for the definition of an application harvesting process for scale media apps and games, definition of benefits and the design and implementations of a program for ISVs and Intel.
Since 2010 Helena was leading the HPC Market in Germany. Working with the in-country resources as well as collaborating and leveraging off the central enabling, marketing and platform teams to grow German HPC business.
In 2018 Helena received the prestigious Intel Achievement Award for her contribution to HPC. She has Doctorate in Economics (“Strategic change management in post crisis environment”) as well as formal education in Business Administration and Computer Science.
In 2018 Helena received a tenured position as a full Professor of Computer Science at her Alma Mater, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT), where she is building a new HPC department. Helena is also the director of the IT-Centre in charge of University IT.
Helena founded the first HPC/QC Technology master courses at the DIT in autumn 2021 with a high demand of students.
As of 1st of June 2023, Helena founded a new Institute of Future Technologies in Deggendorf as part of the DIT, being its director since then.
After completing his master's degree in mechanical engineering, Marius Loeffler worked in standardization for several years. Since 2019, he has been the main person responsible at DIN when it comes to the topic of quantum technologies. In doing so, he has built up a network of experts and founded a national DIN standardization committee. Furthermore, he has provided leading support to the European Focus Group on Quantum Technologies and is now secretary of the newly founded European Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 22 "Quantum Technologies".
PD Dr. habil. Jeanette Miriam Lorenz
Since the beginning of 2023, PD Dr. habil. Jeanette Miriam Lorenz has been head of the department »Quantum-enhanced AI« at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS. She has already been working as a Senior Scientist at Fraunhofer IKS since April 2021 on enabling reliable and robust quantum computing. Jeanette Lorenz studied physics and mathematics at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich. Her studies were followed by many years of research in experimental high-energy particle physics at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and in Munich. She has led numerous international research groups both at LMU Munich and at CERN. Her specialty was the search for dark matter particle candidates at the Large Hadron Collider.
In 2014, she also received her PhD with honors from LMU Munich. In 2020, she habilitated and has since been teaching at the Faculty of Physics at LMU as associate professor.
At Fraunhofer IKS, she leads the projects in the field of quantum computing. The goal of her work is to significantly advance the development of quantum technology in Germany.
Prof Dr Ing Wolfgang Maaß
Wolfgang Maaß is a full professor at Saarland University for Business Administration, esp. Business Informatics at the Faculty of Human and Economic Sciences and co-opted professor for Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saarland University. He is also scientific director and head of the research area Smart Service Engineering at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). His research focuses on data analytic decision making, conceptual modeling, and the use of artificial intelligence and quantum technologies for innovative services. He received his PhD in computer science from Saarland University and his habilitation in business administration from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. His doctoral studies were funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Benedikt-Sebastian Mehmel is Project Manager of the Quantum Technology Initiative of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg "Hamburg Quantum Innovation Capital" (hqic). The initiative is anchored to the "Artificial Intelligence Center (ARIC) Hamburg e.V.", and thus connects the future-oriented topics of AI with quantum technologies. He completed his Bachelor and Master in Physics in Hamburg with a focus on theoretical solid state physics (density functional theory).
His interest is focused on enabling a suitable framework to create a prosperous innovative network between science, economy and society in the field of quantum technologies. Further interest lies in the development of educational offers for quantum technologies: long, as well as medium and also short-term offers - from further education to university offers and the support of school didactics and extracurricular places of learning.
Dr Christian Nietner
Dr. Christian Nietner is Head of Quantum Computing and Advanced Analytics at NTT DATA DACH and Co-Lead of the EMEAL Innovation Center. As a PhD in quantum physics, Christian is responsible for the technological and strategic portfolio development of NTT DATA's Quantum Computing services and in particular takes care of the development of quantum optimization and quantum machine learning algorithms. In this area, he most recently also supported the Bundesdruckerei in the design and implementation of innovative quantum algorithms.
Previously, Christian co-founded two Berlin-based tech startups, RoomAR and AVANETIX. In his role as CEO and CTO, he held overall responsibility for product development and technological implementation. The technological focus of the ventures was on machine learning, augmented reality and quantum computing.
Prior to founding his first own company, Christian spent 3 years as a Data Scientist and Technology Consultant at The unbelievable Machine Company, implementing several machine learning projects for various industries in this role. Before that, he successfully completed his PhD in theoretical quantum physics at TU Berlin.
Markus is an experienced quantum physicist, senior financial executive and deep tech entrepreneur. He is convinced that quantum technologies will become a decisive competitive advantage. He wants to harness this potential for Europe.
Markus Pflitsch was already enthusiastic about quantum physics at the age of 14. This enthusiasm led him to study mathematics and physics, at RWTH Aachen University and at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. Before founding Terra Quantum AG in 2018, his curiosity and business acumen drove him into the financial industry and business world. Here he started his career at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Europe and North America.
Later, he took on management responsibilities in various leadership positions in international financial companies (Deutsche Bank, UniCredit) and as CFO in owner-managed digital and high-tech companies. Finally, he decided to combine his knowledge of quantum physics and finance and start his own business in the field of quantum technologies: Terra Quantum is a deep tech pioneer providing quantum-based applications for industry and business.
Markus is a senior advisor to various private equity funds and a member of the "Baden-Badener Unternehmergespräche" (BBUG): a German institution that brings together decision-makers from politics, society and business to support and advise the future generation of leaders.
2011 - 2018 Studied economics, political science and history at the universities of Regensburg, Bayreuth and Pécs.
2018 - 2021 KPMG AG Stuttgart, finally audit manager
Since July 2021 Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, Officer in the "Development of Digital Technologies" Department
Benedikt Poggel studied physics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universtität München with a focus on condensed matter theory and first contacts with quantum computing. Since 2022, he has been working on his PhD at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems under PD Dr. habil. Jeanette Lorenz and researches the reliable application of quantum-based solution methods to optimization problems.
Dr Björn Pötter
Naz Pourmalek received her Master of Music degree as a classical pianist from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She then moved to Hannover, Germany and began studying architecture at the Leibniz University. At the age of 28, she launched her entrepreneurial endeavors by founding several architectural firms and managing numerous major construction projects in Lower Saxony.
She is now the CEO of Quantum Valley Lower Saxony, a central non-profit organization in the region for politicians, industry partners, researchers and educators, aiming to provide the community with valuable information on the latest activities in the field of quantum technologies.
Prof Dr Rüdiger Quay
Rüdiger Quay received the Diplom-degree in physics from Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH), Aachen, Germany, in 1997, and a second Diplom in economics in 2003 from Fernuniversität Hagen. In 2001 he received his doctoral degree in technical sciences (with honours) from the Technische Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria. In 2009 he received the venia legendi (habilitation) in microelectronics, again from the Technische Universität Wien. In 2001 he joined the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Solid-State Physics Freiburg in various positions. He is currently the executive director of Fraunhofer IAF and responsible for the business fields. Since 2020 he is also a Fritz-Hüttinger professor at the Department for Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH), Albert-Ludwig University, Freiburg, Germany. Prof. Quay has authored and coauthored over 300 refereed publications, three monographs and contributions to two further.
Matthias Reidans works as a senior project manager in the service area of Rosenberger OSI. In 1999, he started his career as a qualified IT/telecommunications consultant in large international IT companies. At various locations throughout Europe, he specialized in data center consolidation. In transformation projects, often lasting several years, he successfully applied his knowledge of methods and project management standards in the outsourcing and cloud environment for customers from various sectors such as banking, retail, transport and industry. Security for data connectivity and new technology driving modernization for critical infrastructure environments is his focus topic.
Dr Claudius Riek
Dr. Claudius Riek is the Managing Director of Zurich Instruments Germany GmbH. He studied physics and earned his PhD at the University of Konstanz, working on time-domain quantum electrodynamics. After joining Zurich Instruments AG as an Application Scientist and Product Manager, he took over responsibility for Zurich Instruments Germany as managing director. In this role, he is also responsible for scientific collaboration projects within Germany and the EU.
Dr Tamara Sarac
I got interested in Quantum Computing (QC) about 3 years ago, as R&D scientist with a background in Material Science & Engineering, looking for career challenges. I became a part of the first Belgian Quantum Computing start-up – QBee. QBee is active in Quantum Software Engineering, focusing on developing Quantum-based algorithms and Quantum Computing Logic (QC Logic) for various application fields: chemistry, pharma, genetics & space. QBee mission is to support industry in early adoption of QC and promote importance of academia and domain experts involvement in creating a new generation of QC scientist & talents. Our vision is that quantum technology for computing will efficiently reach the market only if quantum hardware evolution is accompanied with structured, application-oriented software development. In QBee, I lead Chemistry team, active in defining use cases, PISQ based QC Logic development, POC building and validation, with a goal to accelerate reaching the quantum advantage and industrial relevance.
Kourosh Sayar Dogahe
I am a researcher with a background in chemistry and materials engineering. I have studied the structure and properties of biopolymers and hydrogels, focusing on surface modifications using classical computational modeling. At present, I am working in a team dedicated to the design of quantum computing algorithms & development of quantum computing logic.
I am very enthusiastic about bridging the quantum computing logic and methods with applied computational chemistry and implementing them primarily for ab initio computations. I believe it has a high potential to advance material simulation and modeling.
Dr Fritz Schinkel
After graduating in mathematics from Leibniz University Hannover, Fritz began his career in the IT industry in 1991. During his tenure at Nixdorf, Siemens and Fujitsu, his focus was on compilers, CASE tools, web and portal technology, dynamic data center management, cloud platforms, big data solutions and quantum algorithms. Currently Fritz is heading a group of quantum consulting and programming experts transforming quantum technology into applicable solutions. Fritz has been recognized as Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer and one of the Fujitsu Fellows.
Dr Johann Schmidt
Since 2021, as a scientific advisor at DLR-PT in the "Digital Strategies and Developments" department, primarily responsible for programme support for the "Quantum Computing - Applications for Industry" funding programme. From a theoretical physicist's background.
As an innovation professional with experience in technology innovation and ecosystem building, I have been an Innovation Manager at Elia Group, a transmission system operator in Germany and Belgium, since 2020. In this role, I am leading the Technology Innovation pillar and Open Innovation track for peer and cross-industry ecosystems, with a main focus on discovering and establishing emerging technologies such as Quantum Computing that will shape the future of energy. Prior to this, I worked for five years in a corporate finance function while also leading digital projects, including the implementation of a Robotic Process Automation center of expertise. Prior to this, I studied business administration as a cooperative education student and gained valuable experience as a consultant for Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory at PwC afterwards.
Dr Sebastian Senge
Dr. Sebastian Senge is Accenture's Next Generation Computing lead in the ASG (DACH) region. He has an extensive background in Computer Science and is interested in Quantum Computing and Machine Learning.
Vishal Shete is a Managing Director at Terra Quantum, based in the UK. He leads the commercial activities for the company, globally.
He has spent the last few years spearheading the commercial development of Terra Quantum, with a particular focus on how Quantum Technologies can be used to address some of the most complex challenges across numerous industries, including Life Sciences.
He has been educated as a Computer Engineer and has an MBA from IE Business School (Spain) & the Wharton School (USA).
Prior to Terra Quantum, he had a successful career through senior leadership positions in Management Consulting and Financial Services.
Enrique Solano lives in Berlin, Germany, where he develops entrepreneurial activities as Chief Visionary Officer at Kipu Quantum, a startup designing quantum computing solutions to bring quantum advantage to the present for industry use cases. As a physicist, he has worked in Peru, France, Brazil, Germany, China and Spain, occupying leading positions in academic institutions. He constantly explores interdisciplinary ideas and initiatives merging arts, science, technology, and entrepreneurship. Apart from his pioneering works in quantum computing and quantum technologies, he develops novel interdisciplinary fields like quantum arts, neuromorphic quantum computing, quantum brain works, and the quantum metaverse.
Dr Peter Soldan
Peter Soldan is responsible for the management of funding programs on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH. His tasks include the conception and implementation of funding measures for research and industry.
He has been working in the field of research and innovation funding at the VDI Technology Center since 2000. Currently, as head of Quantum Systems Project Management, he is engaged in project management on photonics and quantum technologies for the BMBF.
Peter holds a PhD in theoretical physics.
Jan Sperlich, a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology industry, joined XeedQ GmbH as Chief Commercial Officer in January 2022 to spearhead the company's commercialization efforts. Prior to this, he served as the Managing Director of GRAVIS, the largest independent Apple reseller in Germany and the most significant Apple Authorized Service Provider in Europe. His extensive career includes leadership roles at global IT giants such as APPLE Inc, where he led sales and system engineering teams for key business, science, and education accounts in Germany and Austria, while also serving on Apple's regional management board. Earlier, Sperlich played a pivotal role as an executive at ORACLE in Austria, managing significant IT projects involving the Austrian Federal Army, United Nations, and OSCE. Academically accomplished, he holds degrees in Business Administration from multiple prestigious institutions including University Leipzig, Graduate School of Management HHL (Germany), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), and OUBS, Milton Keynes (UK).
Dr Nicolas Spethmann
Nicolas Spethmann is head of the Quantum Technology Competence Center (QTZ) at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), which pursues the transfer of quantum technology from the fundamental research laboratory into application together with partners from industry and academia. He obtained his PhD in 2012 in the group “quantum technology with single neutral atoms” at University of Bonn, followed by a Marie-Curie outgoing fellowship at University of California, Berkeley. From 2020 - 2023, he was vice-chair of the focus group quantum technology of CEN-CENELEC, and since 2023 he is vice-chair of the CEN/CENELEC Joint Technical Committee 22 "Quantum Technology".
Jonas Stein is doing his PhD at the LMU Munich at the Chair of Mobile and Distributed Systems, focusing on researching applications of quantum computing. As a research associate at the Quantum Applications and Research Lab (QAR-Lab), the computer scientist contributes his knowledge to various industrial projects, research and teaching. In particular, he coordinates the BMWK-funded project QCHALLenge, in which algorithms, concepts and tools for the low-threshold use of quantum computing in industry are developed together with the consortium partners BASF, BMW, SAP and Siemens.
Graduation from the American Community School in Abu Dhabi (IB Diploma). BSc Mechanical Engineering and MSc Micro-and Nanosystems from ETH Zurich. Research in theoretical nonlinear dynamics at the Micro- and Nanosystems Group, ETH Zurich and research in experimental physics at the Trapped Ion Quantum Information Group, ETH Zurich (Building and operating trapped ion quantum computing systems). Consulting at adesso Schweiz for the past two years, leading the quantum computing topic and consulting on quantum computing, data and AI.
Dr Christoph F. Strnadl
Educated as a research scientist in Theoretical Physics, Dr. Strnadl has over 30 years of consulting and management experience in IT and how to leverage it for businesses. After 10 years as strategy consultant and business manager at Atos he joined Software AG in 2005 where he is now responsible as Deputy CTO for realizing technology innovations both internally in Software AG, with clients, and within industry associations such as Gaia-X or the Mobility Data Space. His expertise combines classical and modern enterprise application integration patterns with the IoT realm to truly achieve IT/OT convergence. He is a recognized public speaker with over 300 public appearances, university lecturer for BPM technologies, advisor to a blockchain start up, and co-author of/contributor to six books. You will find him as @archimate very frequently on Twitter.
Dr Frederick Struckmeier
Studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Industrial doctorate at TRUMPF from 2018, supervised by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at KIT. During this time, first contact with quantum computing. Then development engineer for optimisation and AI at TRUMPF, later team leader for prediction and optimisation; development of research projects in QC. Since February 2023 Head of Quantum Applications Group of the TRUMPF Group.
Akshat Tandon is a Quantum Machine Learning Lead and AI Researcher in the Airbus Central Research & Technology. He is currently leading research projects and activities in the fields of quantum machine learning and focuses on identifying opportunities for application of quantum machine learning to address aerospace challenges. Since joining Airbus in 2019, his contributions have centered on Computer Vision, Graph Neural Networks, Multi-agent Reinforcement Learning and Swarm Robotics. Akshat completed his master's degree in Intelligent Systems with a focus on AI and Robotics at Bielefeld University in 2017, providing a solid academic foundation for his work.
Vincent van Wingerden
Vincent is working at Classiq as a Business Development manager, where is responsible for the European market. Before Classiq, Vincent worked as a Technical Architect at Microsoft where he worked on various Quantum Computing projects
Erik obtained a PhD in physics from the Delft University of Technology and studied law at the University of Leiden. He worked as an examiner at the European Patent Office and as a patent litigator at a large international-operating law firm. Currently, Erik is partner at De Vries & Metman, an Amsterdam based tier 1 patent attorney fim. Erik’s field of expertise includes physics, electronics and ICT, in particular, algorithms, video coding, cryptography, AI-related inventions and quantum computing. Erik has been admitted to the bar since 2005 and is European patent attorney since 2007. He teaches patent law and copyright law at the Delft University of Technology, is member of the legal commission of the Dutch Institute of Patent Attorneys and heads the work group IP&Trade of the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC)
Dr Stefan Walter
Dr Stefan Walter studied physics both at Würzburg and Stony Brook. He earned his his PhD in theoretical quantum physics from the University of Würzburg. Following his doctoral studies, he held held PostDoc positions at the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen.
For four years, Dr Walter worked as a project manager in the automotive industry, where he focused on machine learning applications. Recognizing his passion for cutting-edge technologies, he joined Fujitsu, where he currently is a technical consultant.
At Fujitsu, Stefan helps clients comprehend and evaluate the potential of quantum and quantum-inspired technologies, particularly for addressing real-world optimization problems, providing innovative solutions for practical challenges. He is also recognized as a Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer.
Dr Ing Stefan Wegele
Studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Braunschweig, graduating in 1999. Subsequent doctorate on the topic of "Real-time optimization for dispatching in rail traffic" in 2005 at the Institute for Traffic Safety and Automation Technology. Since 2012 working at Siemens AG in the area of railroad control systems.
Mr Weißing is Deputy Head of the Coordination Office for Quantum Technology of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy (MWIKE). The trained chemist, who is currently completing his doctorate, has lived in NRW for over 10 years, where he supports companies of all sizes in the field of quantum technology. He finds it particularly fascinating to experience how the limits of what is possible are regularly redefined. Having grown up in a rural area, he likes to spend his free time cycling or doing sports in nature.
Dr Barbara Wellmann
Dr. Barbara Wellmann is the Lead of Quantum.Link, Deloitte’s technology consulting unit focusing on quantum technologies and its implications for the future of businesses and industries. She helps clients to leverage the benefits and to understand the risks of quantum and develops suitable long-term implementation strategies in a business context. Her particular aim is to develop ecologically sensible and sustainable concepts. Barbara completed her PhD in applied laser physics at the MQ Photonics Research Center in Sydney, Australia. Before joining Deloitte she worked at the boutique consultancy Förderbar focusing on disruptive startup incubation and innovation projects and at DB mindbox, the startup hub of Deutsche Bahn. She combines extensive innovation management and digitization expertise with industry experiences and a passion for new digital business models.
Dr Karen Wintersperger
Karen Wintersperger studied physics at the University of Göttingen, University of Uppsala and LMU Munich. She received her PhD in physics from LMU Munich in 2020, working on experimental quantum simulation with ultracold atoms in optical lattices. After completing an MBA at Collège des Ingénieurs in 2021, she started working with Siemens as a Research Scientist for quantum computing in 2022. Her research interests include quantum computing for optimization problems, co-design of quantum computing hardware and software as well as quantum simulation.
Ingolf Wittmann is actually an independent Technology Analyst and Consultant in the area of High Performance Computing, Quantum Computing and Business Administration & Development in the academic, startup, and business area.
He was the Head of Business Quantum Systems at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and a member of the Fraunhofer-wide team for the cooperation with IBM and the IBM Q System One project.
Ingolf Wittmann was Technical Director in IBM Global Markets. He was the IBM Quantum Ambassador Leader Global and was driving the high performance business in Europe as CTO & Leader of HPC with an xLoB team in S&D, hardware, software and services building new solutions with cognitive and cloud components.
Prior to that, he was the Technical Director S&D DACH, Competitive Sales Europe and STG Sector Sales in EMEA and Germany. From the sales side he was manager of ERP solution sales in Germany and RS/6000 sales representative in the finance and media industry. Ingolf started his career at IBM with the announcement of the RS/6000 in 1990, taking over the AIX marketing responsibility in Germany. Before joining IBM Ingolf started his professional career as a Unix system engineer at Nixdorf.
Ingolf holds a master degree in computer science and business administration. Ingolf was leading the technical profession development program in DACH for more than 9.000 technical professionals.
Since 2005 Ingolf was an IBM delegate in the German Association for Information Technology,Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM). He is the founding member and chairman of the BITKOM workgroup “HPC & Quantum Computing” and since 2007 member of the steering board of the BITKOM department “IT Infrastructure & Digital Office”.
Dr Petra Wolff
Graduate biologist specialising in biophysics, since 2004 at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Head of the "Quantum Technologies, Quantum Computing" Division.
Prof Dr Christof Wunderlich
Dirk Zechiel fungiert seit 2021 als Mitbegründer und CEO von Quantagonia, nachdem er zuvor Ligalytics erfolgreich aufgebaut und zur Marktführerschaft geführt hat. Davor prägte er als Gründer und Geschäftsführer die Gurobi GmbH. Früher arbeitete er als strategischer Account-Manager bei der Red Hat GmbH.