Excursion to IBM Research Lab

IBM lobby
IBM Zurich

A group of PhD students from KSQM embarked on a captivating journey on April 10th, 2024 to the IBM Innovation Studio & Think Lab in Zurich, Switzerland. The visit, aimed at delving into IBM's groundbreaking work and cutting-edge research, seeking inspiration in personal development and career insights from IBM staff.

Welcomed warmly by Oliver Ottow, IBM Research Innovation Leader, the group engaged in a series of enlightening sessions. Andreas Fuhrer, Manager of Semiconductor Quantum Technologies Research, kickstarted the day with an insightful discussion on the future of computing. This was followed by Elena Peña Tapia, a Software Engineer at IBM, shedding light on quantum computing algorithms and applications. The visit also included a moderated panel discussion on careers in industrial research, featuring Matthias Mergenthaler, an IBM Research Scientist, and Elena Peña Tapia, who both shared a lot of personal experiences and advice. Networking over coffee brought valuable exchanges between the KSQM fellows and IBM staff, on both technical and personal development aspects.

The highlight of the visit was a behind-the-scenes tour with through technical demonstrations through the "noise-free" lab and the “clean room” in the nanotechnology center led by pre-doctoral students Michele Aldeghi and Sofieke ten Kate, and through the quantum lab by Andreas Fuhrer. It sparked discussions on the research topis, equipment, settings and the very rapid advancements in laboratory facilities.

The visit has not only broadened the understanding of the KSQM fellows but has also inspired fresh ideas for collaboration and career development.