APS Honors QC Ware’s Fionn Malone with 2021 John Dawson Award

Award recognizes outstanding achievement in developing pioneering Monte Carlo methods in plasma physics

August 04, 2021

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 4, 2021/PR Newswire QC Ware is proud to announce that Fionn Malone, a quantum engineer on QC Ware’s quantum chemistry team, has received the prestigious John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. The award from the American Physical Society (APS) honors the outstanding achievement of Malone and six other research scientists “in developing Monte Carlo methods that overcome the fermion sign problem, leading to the first ab initio data for an electron gas under warm dense matter conditions.” The team hails from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Imperial College in London, and from research institutions based in Germany — University of Kiel, the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding, and DESY.

“I am grateful to the APS and to my outstanding research collaborators for this honor. It’s a pleasant recognition of the increasing importance of numerical simulations in modern scientific research,” Fionn said of the award, named for physicist John Dawson, an American computational physicist and the father of plasma-based acceleration techniques. “It also recognizes that collaborations using complementary approaches can dramatically help accelerate research.”

Fionn joined QC Ware’s quantum chemistry team this year to help develop and implement quantum algorithms for hard industrial problems, particularly in materials discovery and drug design. He participated in the award-winning research collaboration while pursuing his Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics at Imperial College. The team developed quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods capable of simulating an exotic phase of matter found in the interior of planets.

In Fionn’s post-doctoral work and as a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he focused on using QMC methods in simulating and computing properties of real materials and porting QMC software to exascale computers.

“My training at these institutions is directly relevant to my day-to-day work at QC Ware,” said Fionn. “The fundamental problem I was exploring then is identical to those faced in many aspects of materials discovery and drug design.”

“The QC Ware team congratulates Fionn on this fantastic achievement,” said Rob Parrish, Head of Chemistry Simulations, QC Ware. “His combined expertise in classical and quantum algorithms is the gold standard for quantum simulations research. Quantum algorithms often benefit greatly from existing classical algorithms, requiring extensive classical pre-and post-processing and the use of high-performance computing techniques.”

About QC Ware

QC Ware is a quantum software and services company focused on ensuring enterprises are prepared for the emerging quantum computing disruption. QC Ware specializes in the development of applications for near-term quantum computing hardware with a team composed of some of the industry’s foremost experts in quantum computing. Its growing network of customers include AFRL, Aisin Group, Airbus, BMW Group, Equinor, Goldman Sachs, and Total. QC Ware Forge, the company’s flagship quantum computing cloud service, is built for data scientists with no quantum computing background. It provides unique, performant, turnkey quantum computing algorithms. QC Ware is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and supports its European customers through its subsidiary in Paris. QC Ware also organizes Q2B, the largest annual gathering of the international quantum computing community.

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