Francesco Petruccione currently serves as Professor of Quantum Computing and interim Director of the National Institute for Theoretical and Computational Sciences (NITheCS) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He was born in Genova, Italy, and began his journey in the field of physics at the University of Freiburg, where he received both his PhD and “Habilitation” degree.
Following his academic training, Francesco held various positions at the University of Freiburg until his promotion to adjunct Professor in 2001. His pursuit of quantum physics led him to South Africa, where he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2004. Recognizing his contribution to the field, he was granted the South African Research Chair for Quantum Information Processing and Communication in 2007.
At UKZN, Francesco also served as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Big Data and Informatics and still holds a fractional Professorship at the university. Since 2020, he has been tasked with setting up the new National Institute for Theoretical and Computation Sciences, serving as its interim Director.
Francesco is an elected member of various prestigious scientific societies, including the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, the Royal Society of South Africa, and the African Academy of Sciences. He has published around 250 papers in refereed scientific journals and has co-authored significant texts on quantum systems and machine learning with quantum computers.