LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12, 2021 Q-CTRL, a startup that applies the principles of control engineering to make quantum technology useful, today announced the formation of a technical advisory board drawing top talent from a diverse range of disciplines to accelerate the industry’s development.

The technical advisory board will provide strategic advice to steer Q-CTRL’s efforts in developing next-generation quantum control technologies in support of both quantum computing and quantum sensing applications. The board members include:

Pieter Abbeel

Pieter Abbeel, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and Director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Abbeel’s research focus is deep learning and the application of machine learning to robotics. He is also the co-founder of covariant.ai, a venture-funded start-up that aims to teach robots new, complex skills.


Photo of Jason Cong

Jason Cong, the Volgenau Chair for Engineering Excellence in the Samueli School of Engineering and former chair of the computer science department at UCLA. Cong’s research is in automated synthesis frameworks for programmable computing architectures as well as electronic design automation and quantum computing. Cong has founded or co-founded several successful startups, including AutoESL Design Technologies, which was acquired by Xilinx in 2011 and led to the most successful FPGA high-level synthesis tool Vivado/Vitis HLS.


Photo of Richard Murray

Richard Murray, Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control & Dynamical Systems at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. Murray is a pioneer in the field of classical control engineering with a focus on the application of feedback and control to networked systems.


Photo of Daniela Rus

Daniela Rus, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. Rus’s research areas include robotics, mobile computing, and data science.


Photo of Birgitta Whaley

Birgitta Whaley, professor of chemical physics and director, Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center at UC Berkeley. Whaley’s expertise is in quantum control theory and applications of quantum and classical feedback and control to quantum coherent systems.

“Our mission is to accelerate the developing greenfield quantum technology industry, and that requires critical insight from outside of our specialized discipline,” said Q-CTRL Founder and CEO Professor Michael J. Biercuk. “Our technical advisory board has a wealth of experience in advising academia, government, and industry in a diverse number of technology areas, as well as tremendous success in building leading startups.”

“Securing their interest in Q-CTRL’s mission speaks to the quality of the work we’re doing as enablers of a nascent industry with nearly unlimited potential,” said Biercuk.  “We’re honored to have this extraordinary collection of global innovators working together on our behalf.”

Quantum technology uses the physics found on tiny size scales to deliver revolutionary performance across applications, from new forms of computing through to ultrasensitive detectors allowing us to see the Earth in a new way.  Translating these concepts into useful technologies has been hindered by the instability of quantum devices.  Overcoming this challenge is key to building the quantum technology industry.

Q-CTRL specializes in using control engineering to stabilize quantum hardware and extract useful performance in real settings - whether in data centers, on aircraft, or even in space. Its solutions have been validated to deliver 10-100X improvements in the performance of quantum hardware, including demonstrations on IBM quantum computers.

Q-CTRL recently expanded its operations to include building a new form of “software-defined” quantum sensors applicable in Earth observation, climate monitoring, and navigation.  Its quantum control infrastructure software for quantum sensing and quantum computing is broadly available in the market supporting customers in the private sector, national labs, and academia.