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Scientific Director of Quantum Computer Engineering Centre (QCEC)

Full Job Description

Reporting to the Tyndall CEO or nominee, you will drive the strategic and scientific development of the Quantum Computer Engineering Centre (QCEC) established by Tyndall National Institute in accordance with the Institute’s strategic plan. The QCEC’s vision is to realise the revolutionary potential of quantum science, connecting theory to engineering. The Centre will focus on internationally successful and distinctive research aiming at becoming a global open innovation hub for deep-tech quantum computer engineering, spanning materials to devices to systems, and growing globally competitive quantum engineering talent.

You will attract both national and international funding and recruit staff and students to create new research groups in QCEC focus areas with the aspiration to grow to 50+ researchers within 4 years and to scale to a focal point for quantum technologies in Ireland and an internationally recognised centre. With your growing team, you will address fundamental challenges in Quantum Computer Engineering and related fields, with the potential for major societal impact, and create innovations that achieve significantly (e.g. >10x) improvements over state-of-the-art. In addition, you will develop strategic research partnerships and collaborations with academic and industry partners, and ensure the adoption of new ideas and innovations through the creation of a quantum deep-tech hub with global reach.

As a Research Director within Tyndall, you will join the senior management team and be a major contributor to creating and executing Tyndall’s strategic research vision. You will help develop and expand our vibrant world-class research ecosystem and community of 600 staff and postgraduate students. Tyndall’s research activities span from atoms to systems with multidisciplinary teams and collaborations spanning Micro & Nano Systems, Photonics, Systems Integration and Packaging, Quantum Engineering, Wireless Communications and Energy. You will be pivotal in fostering and developing deep collaborations across all of Tyndall’s research teams, as well as nationally through SFI research centres such as CONNECT and IPIC, and internationally through programmes such as the Horizon Europe funding framework.

The post offers a superb opportunity for an accomplished and ambitious research leader to realise their vision for a world-class research centre, working on exciting, cutting-edge science at the interface between academia and industry. QCEC is uniquely positioned to drive Ireland’s quantum strategy pursuing a programme around core platforms of integrated photonics and semiconductor technology. QCEC is supported by a multimillion-euro investment that will see an additional 1,000 m2 of quantum research labs at Tyndall’s new facility.

Key Responsibilities

  • The development of a credible and growth-oriented strategic research vision for quantum science and engineering research within Tyndall that leverages the unique infrastructure, capabilities and full range of expertise of the Institute.
  • Scientific ownership and management of the newly established Quantum Computer Engineering Centre, with responsibility for growing and scaling it to be a world-leading research centre.
  • Drive and partner in initiatives of scale (e.g., UCC Futures, SFI Research Centres, EI Technology Centres) to build a national ecosystem around quantum technologies
  • As a senior research leader within Tyndall ensures the delivery of the Institute’s strategic plan, driving and participating in strategic actions or working groups as requested by the CEO or nominee.
  • Attract, retain and direct high-calibre talent including research staff and post-graduate students, and grow and develop research leaders of all levels within Tyndall, providing management, coaching, and mentoring as required.
  • Create a team culture that results in high-quality postgraduate training and supervision and where professional/personal / career development is a priority.
  • Drive and/or drive others in successful bids for large-scale (multi-million €) grants/awards from national and European funding sources, and Industry to increase the scale of QCEC and to ensure its long-term sustainability.
  • Ensure that the team develop breakthrough quantum technologies with industry and academic partners, resulting in greater productivity, and more sustainable solutions in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture / environmental management, financial services, energy and healthcare.
  • Ensure that the team develop novel intellectual property and impactful innovations and support their commercialisation through high-value start-ups with global reach or licencing.
  • Warrant the production of excellent research outcomes from own research group and QCEC researchers as evidenced by influential or milestone publications in pre-eminent journals and conferences.
  • Ensure that QCEC enjoys strong partnerships and collaborations across Tyndall’s other research groups and centres and manage liaison with other professional support teams within Tyndall.
  • Promote Tyndall and QCEC within the international research community and nationally across wider society.
  • Ensure high levels of Education and Public Engagement activity across the Quantum Computer Engineering Centre.
  • Ensure compliance with Tyndall’s Health and Safety standards and with Tyndall’s Quality Management System with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • A PhD in Quantum Science or a closely related area within a Physics or Engineering discipline.
  • A recognised world-class researcher in a relevant research field with typically more than 10 years of experience at a senior level.
  • Outstanding international research profile and standing as evidenced by prizes, awards and the sustained publication of top-quality milestone papers, patents or other outputs relating to quantum science and engineering or a closely related area.
  • Substantial senior experience in creating and driving world-class international research teams in an academic, research or industry environment.
  • Strong track record of securing successful funding applications for substantial research projects funded by national and international agencies and/or industry.
  • Strong evidence of successful community and institutional engagement, organising and promoting academic and administrative leadership.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop world-class researchers and to manage, inspire and mentor early career staff or students.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team as well as taking a leadership role.
  • Strong personal vision and purpose.
  • Excellent negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience working with experimentalists and/or have developed physical quantum technologies platforms

Appointment may be made on the appropriate senior salary scales, commensurate with experience in the range €109,602 – €157,612 per annum. Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with the public sector pay policy.

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