Johannes Kepler University Linz
Integrated Circuit and System Design
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Robert Wille
Altenberger Straße 69 | SCP4 0331
4040 Linz | Austria
Tel: +43 732 2468 4739

Map and directions to JKU

ERC Consolidator Grant Project “Design Automation for Quantum Computing”

In December 2020, we got informed that the European Research Council (ERC) accepted our research proposal titled “Design Automation for Quantum Computing”. As a consequence, they will provide funding for a large-scale research project that will run over the next years. Accordingly, we are currently searching for PhD Students and Postdocs to join our team and to help us satisfy the high expectations put into this project. This page briefly summarizes the scope of the project and the required expertise. If you believe you fit into that scope and are interested in joining our team, we are looking forward to your application as PhD student or PostDoc!

» About the Project
» Our Mission
» What we Offer
» Your Application

About the Project

In the 1970s, researchers started to utilize quantum mechanics to address questions in computer science and information theory—establishing new research directions such as quantum computing. Now, almost five decades later, we are at the dawn of a new computing age in which quantum computers indeed find their way into practical applications. However, while impressive accomplishments can be observed in the physical realization of quantum computers, the development of software tools and automated methods that provide assistance in the design and realization of applications for those devices is at risk of not being able to keep up with this development anymore—leaving a situation where we might have powerful quantum computers but hardly any proper means to actually use them.

In this project, we are aiming at developing methods that shall help in avoiding such a situation. The focus is on the development of efficient methods and software for corresponding design tasks such as simulation, compilation, and verification, etc. To this end, we want to exploit the potential and the expertise of the design automation community which is hardly utilized in quantum computing yet. At the same time, we want to make sure that the design automation community is addressing the right problems, i.e., that the resulting software/methods indeed addresses the needs of stakeholders aiming at realizing their applications on a quantum computer as well as stakeholders who are developing/building quantum computers. The long-term goal is to build a bridge between the design automation community and the quantum computing community and to provide the foundation for design automation methods that accomplish for quantum computing what conventional design automation realized for classical circuits and systems in the past.

For an overview on our previous work that lays the foundation of this project, we have dedicated pages on software/design automation for quantum computing available. Our tools are publicly available at GitHub.

Our Mission

This is a huge project, where a broad variety of different expertise is required in order to attack the respective research challenges from different angles (application-wise, conceptual, methodical, implementation-wise, theoretical, etc.). Accordingly, we are planning to build up a diverse and interdisciplinary team of people who are engaged, open-minded, and eager to work on the vision outlined above. The following list provides a high-level overview of the expertise we will build and expand in this project:

  • Expertise in quantum computing

    • Quantum computing in general
    • Quantum algorithms and corresponding quantum applications
    • Quantum programming languages
    • Simulation of quantum algorithms/quantum circuits
    • Compilers for quantum computing (scheduling, mapping, transpilation, etc.)
    • Verification of quantum computing (logic verification, quantum verification, physical verification, etc.)
    • Error correction for quantum circuits
    • Models and data-structures for quantum computing
    • Quantum tools (IBM’s Qiskit, Atos’ QLM, Google’s Circ, Microsoft’s QDK, Rigetti’s Forest, etc.)
  • Expertise in design automation and/or software development

    • Design automation and/or software development in general
    • Efficient algorithms and data structures
    • Reasoning engines (SAT/SMT solvers, ILP, etc.)
    • Decision diagrams
    • Compilation, synthesis, optimization
    • Verification and test
    • High performance computing
    • Parallelization
  • In General

    • Teamwork
    • Interdisciplinary work
    • Creativity, passion, engagement
    • Free dissemination and open access

Are you eager to work on the forefront of quantum computing and design automation? Do you see yourself pushing on the limits of today? Please get in touch with us!

PhD Students

For PhD students, we are looking for persons that are willing to learn and explore new topics while playing nice in a team. Your main task will be the development, conceptualization, and eventual implementation of new design automation methods and/or software for quantum computing. Our focus on interdisciplinary partnerships and networks will enable you to meet many interesting people (at places all over the world when Covid19 is over ;o)) and present your work at top conferences and journals in our field.


For Postdocs, we are particularly looking for experienced persons that already worked in one of the fields mentioned above. Your main tasks will be to help us further defining our vision into more precise sub-projects and to strengthen existing as well as establishing new interdisciplinary cooperations with partners and stakeholders from different domains. Within the long-term vision of this project, we aim to build a bridge between the different communities (design automation, software, quantum computing). Postdocs will play a crucial role here!

What we Offer

We are offering an environment which may best be characterized by the passion to accomplish something new—complemented by teamwork and fostering personal relationships. From assistants, students, researchers, postdocs to professors; we are all working hand in hand, are highly committed, and engaged with our work. We know how to celebrate our successes, but also how to get through setbacks together!

Besides the dynamic environment we provide at the institute, the university as a whole has a lot to offer:

  • Attractive campus environment with good public transportation connections
  • Modern offices and infrastructure
  • Attractive continual educational opportunities
  • Broad range of on-campus dining services/healthy meals (organic food at the cafeteria)
  • Exercise and sports classes (USI)
  • …and much more

But, truly, the team is what we are most proud of.

Join our Team

If you interested in joining our team (as PhD student or Postdoc), please contact us! Currently, we keep the application process rather informal, but obviously would be interested in your CV and background (if applicable, please also add your list of publications, projects, cooperations, etc.). But most importantly, tell us what does motivate you joining our team and working on the vision outlined above! Why would you be a great candidate to work on this vision? We are looking forward to hearing from you! Please send your application (in English or German) to

In case of any questions, please contact