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Staff Automation Scientist, Quantum Sensing



Sydney, Australia
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2023
About us
We hold the key to making quantum useful! Q-CTRL is a company with a deep start-up spirit with offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and Berlin. Our goal is to revolutionize the quantum future of technology by delivering transformational, real-life outcomes for the world’s most innovative and impactful industry. Simply put, we make quantum technology useful.
We’re led by our values; to be real, be trusted, be just, and be revered. They guide us in everything we do - how we work together and how we shape the future of the quantum field. We want the best talent in the world to join our team - from operations, product, design and marketing through to quantum research. So whether you’re a quantum expert or simply unsure where you fit into a business like ours, we want to hear from you!
The Quantum Sensing division unlocks new capabilities in using quantum technology for civilian and defence applications including navigation, geodesy, climate monitoring, geospatial intelligence, resource identification, security, surveillance, and communication.
What you'll be doing
This role is about making our quantum sensors work autonomously – from cold start to peak performance, in dynamical and unpredictable environments. The role is an exciting nexus between quantum sensing research and product development. Reporting to the Lead Scientist, Quantum Sensing (Accelerometry), the Staff Automation Scientist will coordinate the direction of our rapidly growing efforts to deploy software-ruggedised quantum gravimeters, accelerometers, and magnetometers in onboard applications, on both terrestrial and space-based platforms.
From defining the quantum sensing stack, to identifying cross-disciplinary opportunities to advance the automation of quantum technology, to driving milestone execution and everything in between, this influential role will help shape the immediate direction of quantum sensing R&D globally and maximise its impact across many sectors. Specifically:
Opportunity identification
- Stay abreast of global state-of-the-art and directions in fieldable quantum sensors, particularly embedded control systems, and control/communications protocols.
- Help define the quantum sensing ‘stack’ for a range of architectures, and identify where software-level innovation can improve sensor performance by mitigating hardware imperfections and environmental/platform noise.
- Work with the Product Manager, Quantum Sensing and other stakeholders to identify opportunities for the software solutions you develop to unlock new capabilities for other quantum technology hardware vendors and end users.
Collaborative execution
- Work with the Embedded Hardware, Software, and Systems Engineers and Quantum Sensing Scientists to design modular and extensible control software architectures for quantum sensors that can meet the challenges for operating quantum sensors in harsh environments (autonomous cold-start, tuneup, calibration, online optimisation).
- Work with the Quantum Sensing Modelling and Quantum Product Engineering teams to translate proof-of-concept demonstrations of sensor fusion, robust control, machine learning, and other algorithms into new fieldable capabilities for onboard quantum sensors.
Technical leadership
- Work with members of the technical leadership team to define research questions, milestones, and deliverables in the area of quantum sensor control and automation.
- Work with other Quantum Sensing and Operations team members, and liase with funding agencies, partners, and customers to ensure timely delivery of the above.
- Provide inputs to help define the strategic priorities and objectives for both the Quantum Sensing Research and Product functions.

Ideally you'll have:

  • A PhD in Physics, Engineering or equivalent industry experience.
  • Experience in whole-system architecture and algorithm development for control systems and autonomous hardware operation, including experiment control systems.
  • Direct experience in control system development and autonomous operation, including for example—interfacing bespoke software with microcontrollers, FPGA, DAC, ADC, and DDS hardware (including RF evaluation boards); and exposing different layers of the software stack via programmatic or graphical interfaces to other developers, researchers, or end-users.
  • Experience deploying and benchmarking robust operation of bespoke hardware in field trials or real world environments.
  • Knowledge of current state-of-the-art, pros- and cons of relevant control hardware, e.g. embedded systems including SoCs, e.g. Xilinx Zynq and their Python interfaces.
  • Experience or knowledge of applying machine learning, neural networks, and/or other optimisation techniques to the control of parameterised scientific experiments.
  • Experience developing or using a range of data transfer, networking, and interprocess communication protocols for remote operation of scientific instruments.
  • A high degree of scientific programming and data literacy.
  • R&D experience working concurrently with scientists and engineers.
  • Ability to synthesise complex technical concepts into pithy, compelling presentations.Experience executing research grants, proposals, tenders, or other external funding.
Flexibility: We embrace flexibility and remote work so you worry more about your global impact vs a rigid work schedule
Attractive salary: You’ll get to live the start-up life without start-up wages
Equity: We want people to have a sense of ownership in what they do and offer the potential for equity share and annual bonuses
Resources: We are well funded by the world’s best technology investors, letting us chase our ambitions with minimal constraints
Parental support: We offer paid parental leave to support you and your loved ones!
Diversity: We’re an equal employment opportunity employer. We value diversity, inclusion and providing equal opportunities to all, actively supporting initiatives like the ‘Global Women in Quantum’ program among others
Unique culture: You’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s leading physicists, engineers, product, marketing and design people (to name a few!) with a strong desire to learn and transfer knowledge
Meaningful values: You’ll work with an incredibly supportive team who work consistently to deliver our core values to be real, be trusted, be just and to be revered
Personal development: We provide you with a personal development and wellness budget
Impactful work: Last but not least! You’ll have the opportunity to work in the world’s leading field of technology and truly make an impact that matters!
Please note: Q-CTRL is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that values the strength diversity brings to the workplace. We are committed to being inclusive in the way we hire. We strongly encourage you to apply even if you do not meet all of the requirements mentioned in the job posting.
To recruitment agencies, we do not accept unsolicited branded profiles and are not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.