An image of what looks like two qubits touching, symbolising quantum computing and future physics concepts.
Image: © Inna/

Want to work in quantum? Be inspired by these 8 influencers

13 Jul 2023

A great way to stay plugged into the knowledge you need in your quantum career is to read up on these impressive quantum leaders.

One of the best things you can do to help your career in a particular industry is to follow the work of leaders and experts in the field.

With the world of technology moving so fast, the industry is continuously turning to quantum research and its enormous computing potential.

For those who want to work in the quantum sector or who are already there and want to keep building their industry knowledge, we’ve chosen eight major quantum players for you to check out and follow online.

Prof Séamus Davis

A leading international authority on quantum physics, Prof Séamus Davis is based out of University College Cork (UCC) where he is professor of quantum physics.

He was recently awarded the prestigious Buckley Prize in the US, recognising his ground-breaking work on the quantum microscope.

Davis recently spoke to about the potentials of quantum and said quantum theory is “a pinnacle achievement of the human race”.

Prof Seamus Davis stands with his hands behind his back looking at the camera. He has grey hair and glasses and is wearing a blue shirt and a navy sleaveless jumper. There is a cream wall behind him with plants visible.

Image: Connor McKenna/

Dr Krysta Svore

Dr Krysta Svore is the distinguished engineer who leads the Quantum Architectures and Computation group at Microsoft Research in Washington.

Svore’s award-winning work is at the leading edge of computer science, mathematics, physics, and engineering, with a focus on developing and implementing the next generation of quantum computing.

Her research focuses on quantum algorithms and how to implement them, including designing a scalable, fault-tolerant software architecture for translating a high-level quantum program into a low-level, device-specific quantum implementation. Microsoft recently announced a new milestone in its journey towards creating a quantum supercomputer.

Dr Joe Fitzsimons

Quantum physicist Dr Joe Fitzsimons is the founder and CEO of Horizon Quantum Computing, a Singapore-based company building software tools that enable programmers to take advantage of quantum technology.

Fitzsimons has more than 18 years of experience in his field and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford on quantum computing architectures and a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics from University College Dublin. He previously worked as an associate professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, where he led the Quantum Information and Theory group.

Earlier this year, Horizon Quantum Computing raised $18.1m in funding and the company is planning to open its first European office in Ireland.

Dr Joe Fitzsimons, founder of Horizon Quantum Computing pictured leaning against a bridge at night with a city skyline behind him and a building with green lights.

Image: Conor McCabe

Jessica Pointing

Currently a PhD student at University of Oxford, Jessica Pointing has made her mark in the world of quantum in a big way.

She was selected for the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the science category in 2020. She also scooped the IBM Q Quantum Computing Award for winning IBM’s first quantum computing hackathon with her team.

Pointing also founded the Stanford Quantum Computing Association and the Harvard College Quantum Computing Association and has been invited to speak about quantum computing at international conferences.

Dr Bob Sutor

Having worked for IBM for almost 40 years, Bob Sutor has an international reputation as a thought leader in emerging technologies.

Prior to his departure from the tech giant in 2022, Sutor was a member of the IBM quantum leadership team and was previously vice-president for mathematical sciences at IBM Research. He is also the author of the quantum computing book ‘Dancing with Qubits’.

In June 2022, Sutor joined ColdQuanta, a quantum sensing, computing and manufacturing company based in the US.

Prof Sabrina Maniscalco

Prof Sabrina Maniscalco has been working on quantum technology for more than 20 years. She is a professor of quantum information, computing and logic at the University of Helsinki and the co-founder and CEO of quantum computing start-up Algorithmiq.

The start-up aims to use quantum computers in drug development. It has a headquarters in Helsinki but it also now has an Irish subsidiary.

Speaking to earlier this year, she spoke about the work her company does as well as the value quantum can bring to drug discovery.

A woman with long brown curly hair smiles at the camera. She is Prof Sabrina Maniscalco, a quantum computing expert.

Image: Jussi Vierimaa

Prof John Goold

Prof John Goold is an associate professor and a Royal Society University research fellow based at the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He is a theoretical physicist whose work focuses on the interface between quantum mechanics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

He also leads the QuSys research group at TCD and directs the master’s degree programme in quantum science and technology.

Recently Goold forged research partnerships with both IBM and Microsoft on the topic of quantum simulation and launched the TCD-Microsoft fellowships for the best two women applicants for the master’s degree programme.

Dr Ilana Wisby

Dr Ilana Wisby is the CEO and co-founder of Oxford Quantum Circuits, a UK-based company that has recently built what it claims to be the country’s most advanced quantum computer.

Wisby received her PhD in quantum physics from Royal Holloway, University of London where she spent most of her time as a student in industry at the National Physical Laboratory. She is also a member of the Quantum Metrology Institute’s advisory board and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Quantum.

In an interview with last year, Wisby spoke about her passion for quantum and how it can have a positive impact on the world’s energy efficiency.

A woman stands with her arms folded in front of a cement wall painted white.

Image: Dr Ilana Wisby

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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