We continue our new season by featuring members of the cluster who are working at the intersection with other stakeholders in the larger quantum community. In this episode, we talk to Christian Gogolin and Gian Anselmetti who are in-house scientists at Covestro and associated to ML4Q. We discuss solving chemistry problems with quantum computers, research in a company setting and the PhD student-supervisor-relationship.

Listen here to the full podcast episode with Christian and Gian or using your podcatcher.

00:00:00    Intro
00:00:45    What does Covestro do and what sort of projects is undertaken in its digital R&D department?
00:02:44    How did the partnership with the University of Cologne and ML4Q come about?
00:04:45    How much effort and resources are invested at Covestro in digital R&D and what are the company’s goals and expectations from its research program?
00:10:38    @Gian: How different is it to do a PhD in industry in comparison to doing it in a university institute?
00:14:00    @Christian: How different is your career now in industry than in the academic setting?
00:18:15    Talking about Gian’s background: switching from experimental physics during the master’s project to a theory PhD project
00:23:20    What made Gian stand out among other applicants for the PhD project?
00:24:55    On setting up the codebase
00:32:36    Talking about Christian’s background: working as a PhD student with Jens Eisert in Berlin and as a postdoc at ICFO and Xanadu Quantum Computing
00:40:30    a or b? (questions were sent to Gian and Christian beforehand)

1. Are you more annoyed by people claiming that a quantum computer a) solves chemistry or b) solves problems by just trying out all possible answers?
2. Is Christian as PhD supervisor a) too close or b) too distant?
3. Should Gian spend more time on a) his code or b) reading literature?
4. Should Gian spend more time a) listening to his supervisor or b) following his own ideas?
5. Are your codes a) more performant or b) more understandable?
6. What year do you think the first commercially viable quantum computer will be available?

00:49:05    Talking about computational chemistry – in general and classically
01:00:35    Talking about quantum computational chemistry with variational algorithms
01:08:35    Between simulating the quantum computing setting on classical hardware and running algorithms on-chip using available quantum computers
01:11:00    Standing of the quantum computing department within the long established computational chemistry department

While recording, Alex Jahn – who is not only a talented web designer and a great podcast editor but obviously a gifted illustrator – captured Chris, Christian and Gian:



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