PhD position

Software tests for quantum computers and their program coverage

Starting date

1 April 2023

Duration of contract

3 years


up to German TVöD13

Type of employment


A variety of test methods have been developed for software for conventional computers. They help to rule out or identify errors caused by the programming. Such methods are also important for quantum computers. Since quantum computers are based on other physical laws that prohibit certain operations (e.g. copying), but also offer new possibilities (e.g. superposition of states), a lot of basic research is still needed on test methods for quantum software.

In your PhD, you will transfer methods from quantum error correction to the testing of software and thus adapt proven concepts from conventional testing for quantum computers. In this way, important properties of the state can be checked without disturbing the execution of the software. You will analyse the benefits of the methods with regard to avoiding programming errors and develop practical recommendations for developers. Their work is an important building block for the theoretical understanding of tests of quantum software and at the same time very relevant for the practice of software development for quantum computers.
You are doing your doctorate in the group "Quantum Computing: Methods and Implementation" in the Institute of Software Technology under the supervision of Dr. Michael Epping and benefit from the daily exchange with our experts in quantum computing in a highly innovative and active research environment. In addition, you will be in regular contact with your doctoral supervisor Prof. Dr. Michael Felderer from the University of Cologne.

The DLR Research Training Group will prepare you for your mission with special events on quantum computing and many other exciting offers. Our wide range of training courses and other types of events will enable you to develop with respect to your subject matter, professionally and personally. We offer family-friendly flexible working hours and forms, such as mobile working. We will be happy to find together with you the ideal solution for your requirements arising from private obligations.

A plan for your doctoral project and professional supervision ensure that you can successfully complete your doctorate within three years. Based on this, you will enjoy the academic freedom to take responsibility for the direction of your research.

Your qualifications:

  • You have completed a scientific university degree (diploma/master's degree) in computer science, mathematics, physics or a comparable subject with above-average results.
  • You are familiar with software development, in particular with various test methods.
  • You have knowledge of the mathematical basics of quantum mechanics, or are willing to acquire this knowledge.
  • You can explain complicated issues in an understandable way.
  • You can pursue goals with perseverance.
  • You have a good command of written and spoken English.
  • You are willing to travel occasionally (nationally/internationally).

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

Michael Epping
Institute for Software Technology

Phone: +49 2203 601-1018

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Vacancy 77000

HR department Cologne

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DLR site Cologne, Headquarters

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DLR Institute for Software Technology

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