Scientific activities / projects

Quantum Computing for Materials Science and Engineering

Starting date

2 January 2023

Duration of contract

initially 3 years


up to the German TVöD 13

Type of employment


The department "Metallic and Hybrid Materials" of the Institute of Materials Research, located in Cologne, works in the fields of development and optimization of modern metallic materials for aerospace applications. Computational methods like CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams) and ab-initio methods are used to understand the thermodynamics and structure of materials to predict their properties and understand their behavior. The combination of these methods with multidisciplinary optimization algorithms and machine learning is applied to accelerate the analysis and development of materials. The relationships between process,structure and properties are finally investigated through advanced mechanical testing or synchrotron tomography techniques.

The Quantum Computer Initiative is a major project of the German Aerospace Center funded by the Federal Government in the field of development and use of quantum computers. The aim of "QuantiCoM - Quantum Computing for Materials Science and Engineering" is to use quantum computers to accelerate materials development cycles.

Your tasks are:

  • You will develop hybrid algorithms for quantum computers and apply them on real machines.
  • You will investigate the power of quantum machine learning and optimization.
  • Based on your results, you will develop further numerical and physical experiments.

You are part of a team that develops, implements and uses experimental and computational tools to determine the properties of engineering materials. Earn your PhD in this disruptive field. Become part of our team and lay the foundation for the future of quantum technologies and materials science. The project also allows participation in the DLR_Graduate_Program.

Your qualifications:

  • University degree (Master's or comparable) in physics, mathematics, computer science or a related field
  • solid understanding of quantum physics and solid state physics
  • very good skills in the German and English languages, both written and spoken
  • willingness to work closely with a team of scientists and technicians
  • good software development skills in Python or a comparable programming language
  • scientific motivation and interest in obtaining a PhD
  • willingness to approve a security check according to SÜG
  • ideally experience in atomistic materials simulations, e.g. density functional theory (DFT), or quantum chemistry
  • experience in quantum computing technologies and/or development/use of quantum computing algorithms is a plus
  • experience in development and implementation of Machine Learning tools is an advantage

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr. Eric Breitbarth
Institute of Materials Research

Phone: +49 2203 601-2504

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Vacancy 73013

HR department Cologne

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DLR site Cologne, Headquarters

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DLR Institute of Materials Research

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