I studied Biochemistry (M.Sc., 1991) and then Theoretical Physics (M.Sc., 1996) at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), where I also obtained my Ph.D. in 1999. In 2000, I received a Marie Curie Fellowship to work in the group of Prof. Michiel Sprik in the department of Chemistry at Cambridge University (UK), where I stayed until 2002. I then moved back to Switzerland to join the group of Prof. Ursula Roethlisberger, first at ETHZ (2002–2003) and later at the École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL, 2003-2014). In 2010, I earned the title of Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche (MER) at EPFL. Finally in December 2014 I joined the IBM Reserach-Zurich laboratory in Rueschlikon, Swirzerland.
In the field of quantum-classical dynamics, I have developed and implemented in the CPMD software package novel theoretical frameworks able to combine electronic structure techniques based on density (DFT and TDDFT) with the calculation of nonadiabatic quantum and classical trajectories. My research interests in this field comprise adiabatic and nonadiabatic molecular dynamics (Ehrenfest dynamics, trajectory surface hopping, and Bohmian dynamics) for the study of photochemical and photo-physical processes in molecules, condensed phase, and biological systems.
More recently, I extended my reserach activities in the field of material design, focusing on the combination of ab-initio and machine learning techniques together with big-data analysis for the design of new materials with improved properties. This project is carried out within the swiss NCCR (National Centers of Competence in Reserach) project MARVEL.
In 2014 I also joined the IBM reserach team working on qunatum computing based on superconducting qubits. My main focus is the investigation of bosonization schemes for the treatment of fermionic systems (correlated electrons in molecules and solids) in both adiabatic and digital quantum computers.