Second online thesis defence went smoothly

Andreas Bengtsson, PhD student at the Quantum Technology Laboratory, successfully defended his doctoral thesis on 24 April. It was the second defence arranged online at MC2 this spring. 
Picture of Andreas Bengtsson.Due to the virus outbreak, Andreas Bengtsson (to the right) had to defend his thesis "Quantum information processing with tunable and low-loss superconducting circuits" via the video conferencing system Zoom and in front of a very small audience in the lecture hall Kollektorn.
 
We asked Andreas to summarize his experiences from the special day:
"Overall, I think it went well. The big disadvantage of defending online is that it is more difficult to interpret the body language of those who ask questions, which probably made my answers more drawn out. I probably wasn't as nervous as I think I would have been if it had been a hall full of people. Then of course it was sad to not be able to celebrate with loved ones after the defence", he says.
 
The grading committee and the opponent, Dr. Hanhee Paik from IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA, also participated via Zoom. Chairperson of the day was MC2 professor Åsa Haglund.
"Although I had obviously preferred a normal dissertation, I appreciated that it was broadcasted online so that friends and colleagues from other countries could follow it. So I strongly recommend to continue with live broadcasts in the future, but with the opponent, the grading committee and other interested parties present at Chalmers", says Andreas.
 

What is your thesis about?

"I have worked with several topics, all related to quantum computing. First of all, I developed and qualified the fabrication processes in the cleanroom that we use to build superconducting circuits with low loss. It was a lot of work in the cleanroom and to build the measurement setup", Andreas explains.
 
He continues:
"Then, I used these circuits to implement two quantum algorithms. Right now, the quantum computer is too small to do anything that a normal computer cannot. However, we showed that one of our algorithms can be used to solve certain problems with applications in, for instance, logistics. Hopefully we can now scale up the size of the quantum computer and tackle problems that a normal computer cannot solve."
 
Andreas future plans is to continue his work abroad:
"Due to the current covid-19 situation, the job search has gone slower than normal. But the plan is to work on developing quantum computers, albeit in a more industrial role, in the United States. Until the borders open up, I continue as a postdoc researcher here at Chalmers", he says.
 
Ulf Andersson, IT-coordinator, kept an eye on the technology, while Linda Brånell, administrator, watched over the Zoom system.
"I really want to thank them both for their efforts. The technology worked completely flawless", says Andreas.
 
Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Private
 

Published: Thu 07 May 2020.