Quantum Theorist / Architect

About ORCA Computing:

ORCA Computing is probably one of the UK’s most innovative and disruptive startups. A spin-off from the University of Oxford, ORCA is co-founded by a quartet of two of the world’s leading experts in quantum optics and two experienced entrepreneurs. Our mission is to compete in the global race to build the world’s first useful quantum computer. Entering a race alongside the likes of Google, IBM and Microsoft is not something that we take lightly, but with our novel optical fibre based technology and working with a world class team, we have a shot at becoming one of the key players defining the future of quantum computing.

ORCA’s approach uses single photons, optical fibres and off-the-shelf telecom components to carry out quantum information processing — a completely revolutionary idea that is only made possible using our proprietary technology.

By joining ORCA, you’ll be working within a fast-paced multidisciplinary team of the very best quantum scientists, engineers and mathematicians. You will be highly intelligent and well trained in your area; creative and able to solve complex problems. We are all relaxed, but at the same time know what it takes to get things done, and are not afraid to challenge each other.

Job Description:

ORCA Computing is seeking a theorist in the area of quantum computing to build and lead the theory team within ORCA.

Qualified candidates must have a strong background in quantum information processing, preferably with knowledge of measurement based quantum computing (MBQC), boson sampling and/or other architectures relevant to photonic quantum computing. The ideal candidate would not be completely ignorant of the experimental and physical side of quantum optics and would be able to translate mathematical models and simulations into information that will guide ORCA’s hardware development.

The position offers an opportunity to have a meaningful influence on ORCA’s novel approach to quantum computing, and to establish and grow a team of theorists and quantum architects that will work alongside ORCA’s experimentalists and engineers.

This role involves challenging work in a small, fast-paced, collaborative, environment. We are looking for someone who is as passionate about their own contribution as they are empowering and inspiring others.


We offer a friendly, collaborative and challenging work environment with a generous holiday allowance and pension plan.

ORCA are also interested in sponsoring a potential or successful candidate’s application into the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme, which would provide further accolade to the candidate while working at the company. This support would involve ORCA’s assistance in writing and submitting an application, plus full sponsorship and support should that application be successful.

Principal Responsibilities:

- Build a framework model of the ORCA system(s) and develop an understanding for how this relates to existing and future quantum algorithms and compilers.
- Develop an understanding and then construct a model of the options/parameters which are possible within the ORCA physical machines.
- Design from the physical level upwards a toolkit of gates and protocols for ORCA’s architectures.
- Collaborate with ORCA’s team of experimentalists and engineers to define and execute the technical roadmap for the company.
- Collaborate with researchers at universities, research consortia, government agencies and industry thought leaders in order to tap into the latest findings and collaborate on research journal publications.
- Present ideas and results in effective technical presentations, write technical papers, reports and proposals, within the company and to outside audiences.
- Recruit and support more junior theorists as they join the company in order to fill any potential gap in expertise.
- Uphold ethics and values of the company.

Job Requirements:

- Ph.D. in Physics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or Electrical Engineering, preferably in a field directly related to quantum computing theory, quantum information theory, or quantum optics.
- 2 years or more working as a Postdoc, within a leading research group (desirable).
- Experience of leading a small group or activity (desirable).
- Demonstrated research experience in quantum optics, quantum computing theory, architectures or related field.
- High-impact publications and talks at leading conferences.
- Previous experience of collaborating with experimentalists, with the ability to demonstrate learned knowledge of experimental quantum optics or some other related area of photonics (desirable).
- Evidence of successfully advising the design of experiments based on theory (desirable).
- Work effectively in a collaborative environment.
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
- Ability to think creatively.
- Knowledge of measurement-based quantum computing paradigms (desirable).
- Deep understanding of computer architectures, past and present (desirable).

To apply:

To apply, please send a cover letter and a copy of your CV/resume to: