4 August 2021

Johannes Knörzer and Karen Wintersperger win the MCQST PhD Awards 2020

The MCQST PhD Award honors the best PhD theses in quantum science and technology selected from the MCQST community. The prize highlights and recognizes excellence in research at an early career stage, and aims to encourage awardees to pursue a future career in science. MCQST considers outstanding theses in the field of quantum science and technology (grade: summa cum laude) from the disciplines of physics, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, material science, and chemistry from both, LMU and TUM.

From the submitted theses, the jury selected and awarded two outstanding works in 2020:

  • "Semiconductor-based electron lattices for quantum information processing" by Johannes Knörzer (LMU München & MPI of Quantum Optics)
  • "Realization of Floquet topological systems with ultracold atoms in optical honeycomb lattices" by Karen Wintersperger (LMU München)

The award ceremony took place during the Munich Conference on Quantum Science and Technology 2021 on Friday, July 23rd, where both awardees offered a short presentation of their theses for the MCQST community. Alongside the recognition of the excellent scientific work, the awards consist of €1500, generously donated by Infineon.


Johannes Knörzer

Semiconductor-based electron lattices for quantum information processing

LMU München & MPI of Quantum Optics

Scalable physical systems that enable trapping and coherent manipulation of quantum matter lie at the heart of quantum information processing (QIP). Solid-state approaches benefit from rapidly evolving nanotechnology and provide a way towards efficient on-chip quantum devices. In his doctoral research, Johannes Knörzer explored, together with his collaborators, how key ideas from quantum optics can inspire novel setups and implementations for QIP in solid-state settings. To this end, they have developed strategies for the realization of well-defined lattices for electrons and other quasiparticles in semiconductors. The theoretical proposals presented in Johannes’ PhD thesis may serve as novel platforms for controlling and studying quantum many-body systems.

“There are many excellent quantum researchers in and around Munich who would have deserved this prize. I feel very honored to be selected and receive this year’s MCQST PhD Award, especially for something as fun and explorative as my PhD research.”


Karen Wintersperger

Realization of Floquet topological systems with ultracold atoms in optical honeycomb lattices

LMU München

During her PhD, Karen Wintersperger worked on the simulation of topological phases of matter using ultracold atoms in optical lattices. This platform offers the possibility to study solid-state systems otherwise inaccessible to theoretical or experimental approaches by designing a synthetic quantum system. Topological phases feature many interesting properties such as robustness against distortions and might play an important role for quantum computing in the future.

“What I like about my work is the close connection between theory and experiment - seeing the theoretical predictions live in action. I am very proud to be awarded the MCQST PhD prize, as it shows that our research is appreciated within the whole QST community.”

Congratulations to Karen and Johannes and all the best for their future!

The award ceremony took place during the MCQST 2021 conference, where Karen Wintersperger and Johannes Knörzer offered short presentations on the topics covered by their theses. You can watch the recording here.

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