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Aspen Quantum Consulting (AQC)

Boutique deep tech consulting

The team

AQC’s chief asset is its scientific due diligence team, comprising eight renowned scientists with landmark contributions to their respective fields. Collectively, they have roughly 150 years of experience, 800 publications, 56,000 citations in top journals among them, and have supervised dozens of students and postdocs who have gone on to assume key positions in academia and industry.

Backed by our extensive multidisciplinary network of participating academics, our leaders stand behind AQC’s mission to provide comprehensive insights for technology assessment, ensuring that our clients receive authoritative scientific due diligence reports. The team is rounded out by deep legal and regulatory expertise in high tech.

Funding agencies around the world have relied on our team’s opinion, including the US NSF, DOE, ARO, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the German DFG, the Israeli ISF, the European Research Council, and the Swiss NSF. Send us your due diligence query today!


Charles W. Clark is an Emeritus Fellow and former Co-Director of the Joint Quantum Institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland. A retired career civil servant, Clark held a variety of technical and management positions at NIST and the Office of Naval Research, United States Navy. While in the Senior Executive Service, he received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. Clark has held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, Australian National University, National University of Singapore and University of Malaya. With Victor Galitski, he co-designed and taught “Exploring Quantum Physics” on the Coursera platform. Clark designed and teaches the “Quantum Boot Camp,” an introductory course of the University of Maryland Quantum Information Specialization. He has served on the boards of the Institute of Quantum Computing (Canada) and the Centre for Quantum Technologies (Singapore), and in 2023 he joined the Board of Advisors for ScienceCast, Inc. Clark is co-investigator on a recent proposal by ScienceCast to the National Science Foundation entitled “Proto-OKN Theme 1: Quantum Understanding through Accessible Resource Knowledge Graphs (QUARK).”


Dr. Yuval Oreg has been a Professor of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science for over 20 years, where he served as Chair of the Weizmann Council of Professors (2020-2022) and is currently the Director of the Goldschleger Center for Nanophysics and holds the Lady Davis Professorial Chair of Physics. After earning his Ph.D. at Weizmann, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Lyman Institute and later a visiting professor at Stanford. Yuval received the Michael Bruno Memorial Award from the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, the Segre Rosa and Emilio Research Award, the Morris L. Levinson Prize in Physics, the Bessel Prize of the Humboldt Foundation in Germany, the John F. Kennedy Prize of the Feinberg Graduate School at the Weizmann Institute, and the Fulbright and Rothschild fellowships. Yuval is a co-inventor (with Gil Refael) of the topological qubit of qubit technology that is a basis of Microsoft’s $1 Billion quantum computing effort. He is one of the world’s leading experts in nanotechnology and a key member of major European scientific collaborations with elite access to the European and Israeli quantum communities. 

Chief Research Scientist

Research Scientist


Dr. Narang is a Professor of Physics who leads an interdisciplinary group in theoretical and computational science at UCLA. Before her move to UCLA, she was a Professor of Computational Materials Science at Harvard University. Dr. Narang has earned prestigious honors such as the Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, MRS’ Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award, Mildred Dresselhaus Prize, Bessel Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, and Moore Inventor Fellowship. Additionally, she is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Aliro, a company specializing in quantum networks, and a U.S. Science Envoy for the State Department. 

Research Scientist


Dr. Galitski is the Chesapeake Chair Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and Fellow at the Joint Quantum Institute there; honorary professor of physics at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; and Editor of Annals of Physics. He holds two PhDs: in applied mathematics and quantum physics. Victor is an author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in quantum physics that have been cited over 10,000 times. He is also an author of Exploring Quantum Mechanics (Oxford University Press, 2013). Partly based on this book, Victor has developed and taught a massive open online course, “Exploring Quantum Physics,” which has been taken by over 100,000 students world-wide. Victor received the Simons Investigator Award, Soros Fellowship, NSF career award, and Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. His research in many-body quantum physics has been funded by the DOE, NSF, U.S. Army Research Office, IARPA, DARPA, and private foundations.  Dr. Galitski is the CEO of ScienceCast, Inc.

Research Scientist


AQC’s cofounder, Mr. Jiranek is an experienced corporate attorney who has worked with startups and emerging companies for over 30 years. He has helped many management teams, both inhouse and as outside counsel, to structure, start-up and develop new business enterprises in deep tech and life sciences. He has assisted them with protecting IP, raising working capital and building out scientific and management teams. Mr. Jiranek is well versed in national and international tax, IP, securities, employment, regulatory, real estate and contractual issues encountered by emerging enterprises. He has assisted with raising capital from individual, institutional, public and quasi-public sources. While managing ScienceCast’s emerging phase, Mr. Jiranek also undertakes business development and legal work for select corporate clients. Mr. Jiranek graduated from William and Mary Law School with a J.D. and from Princeton with an A.B. in Economics.

President of Operations


Dr. Nikolayev, a former academic, is a polymath and a polyglot. He is also a digital marketing expert and founder of Science Marketer, a marketing firm serving deep tech d sci-tech companies. He holds two degrees in history from Harvard, a PhD in academic editing from Boston University’s Editorial Institute, and has taught at both universities. A former techie who worked as a software engineer in the past, he pursues his diverse interests in mathematics, logic, science, and analytical philosophy. Last but not least, Philip is an internationally published, prize-winning poet, literary translator, and editor.

Director of Business Development

Asst. Prof. Shimon Kolkowitz

Shimon is an Assistant Professor of Physics at University of Wisconsin - Madison and also serves as a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Engineering there. Shimon is the recipient of the Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Lectureship Award, Outstanding Presentation Award, NIST Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Shimon was a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral fellow at JILA and NIST at the University of Colorado. He earned his PhD in experimental physics at Harvard. His research interests include precision measurement, nanoscale sensing, metrology, timekeeping, tests of relativity, and quantum optics.


Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, Research Scientist

Dr. Steinn Sigurðsson serves as Scientific Director at arXiv, the world's premier scientific data repository and is Professor of Astronomy at Penn State University. With over 100 publications in astronomy and astrophysics, garnering nearly 10,000 citations, his research is recognized and funded by institutions like NASA and NSF. Alongside Dr. Galitski, he contributes to the board of the Aspen Center for Physics and spearheads its private fundraising. At arXiv, Dr. Sigurðsson not only shapes long-term strategies but also founded and directs arXiv Labs, fostering community contributions and innovative tools like Litmaps, Connected Papers, and Hugging Face.

Research Scientist


Igor Halperin is an AI researcher and a Group Data Science leader at Fidelity Investments. He focuses on using methods of reinforcement learning, information theory, and physics to solve financial problems such as portfolio optimization, dynamic risk management, and inference of sequential decision-making processes of financial agents. Igor has extensive industrial and academic experience in statistical and financial modeling, including option pricing, credit portfolio risk modeling, and portfolio optimization. Igor was Research Professor of Financial Machine Learning at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.  Before that, he was an Executive Director of Quantitative Research at JPMorgan and a quantitative researcher at Bloomberg LP. Igor has published numerous articles in finance and physics journals, and is a frequent speaker at financial conferences. He co-authored Machine Learning in Finance: From Theory to Practice (Springer 2020),  and contributed to Credit Risk Frontiers (Bloomberg LP, 2012). He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from Tel Aviv University and a M.Sc. in nuclear physics from St. Petersburg State Technical University. In February 2022, Igor was named the Buy-Side Quant of the Year by RISK magazine.

Research Scientist

What We Do For Our Clients

The AQC team’s forte is scientific due diligence, a specialized and indispensable offering that encompasses meticulous evaluation of the scientific validity, accuracy, and feasibility of cutting-edge technologies. This thorough assessment mitigates risks, enhances credibility, and empowers clients with a comprehensive understanding of the scientific basis behind their technology ventures, thereby facilitating well-informed decision-making in the rapidly evolving technological arena.

Our comprehensive assessments empower businesses to make well-informed decisions, secure vital funding, and assemble top-tier scientific talent. We can also help with developing materials that validate and describe the commercial opportunities offered by a client’s technology. We bring credibility and validation to our clients, which is crucial to attracting capital investment.

Our strategic advisory work and consulting engagements include assisting emerging companies with commercializing their technology.  One of the ways we help our client companies is by providing client management with advice and assistance with formulating and articulating their investment proposition to potential customers and investors.  Often, we can help with identifying prospective customers and optimizing client technology for these customers.

Contact us without delay to find out how your enterprise can benefit from the AQC team’s due diligence expertise!

One specialized service that we excel at is due diligence for quantum technologies. Several of our core members are leading quantum physicists. We assist quantum tech companies in evaluating the intellectual merits, feasibility, scalability, and associated risks of their endeavors. We know how to evaluate, describe and optimize quantum technology and we know where to steer it.  

While industrial innovation is always accompanied by hyperbolic claims and inflated expectations surrounding emerging technologies, AQC stands firmly against the tide of hype. Effective due diligence is inherently grounded in realism and scrutiny. Embracing a breakthrough requires a clear understanding of both its potential and limitations. We strive to offer our clients an accurate, balanced perspective that cuts through hype and leads to pragmatic decisions in the complex realm of technological advancement.

Scientific Due Diligence Desk Drawing

In today’s fast-paced technological marketplace, success often hinges on more than just technical prowess. At AQC, we understand the value of synergy. Our team seamlessly integrates scientific expertise with legal and regulatory acumen, providing a holistic approach that ensures compliance and sustainability. This unique blend allows us to proactively identify potential hurdles and to ensure safe sailing through the convoluted web of regulations that inevitably awaits groundbreaking technologies.

AQC recognizes that innovation does not take place in a vacuum, but within the broader context of society and industry. That is why our team does not stop at scientific due diligence: where appropriate, we also delve into the economic, social, ethical, and geopolitical implications of technology adoption. By understanding how new tech can impact communities, markets, and even global dynamics, we provide a comprehensive vision that often goes beyond traditional assessments.

Beyond our core team, AQC maintains a large network of academic collaborators and industry experts. This network serves as an invaluable resource, allowing us to stay at the forefront of emerging trends and technologies. It ensures that our assessments are not just informed by current knowledge but are also future-proof, enabling our clients to make decisions that stand the test of time.

AQC is more than a consultancy: we are your true partners in innovation, standing by to help you navigate the intricate terrain of emerging technologies, providing insights that extend beyond the laboratory and into the realm of industrial applications. With a DD team that brings together diverse scientific perspectives, legal know-how, and a commitment to ethical innovation, we’re your compass in the ever-evolving world of tech. Let us discuss how we can shape the future of technology!

Astronaut scientist performing due diligence at a space station.
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