Quantum computing student wins inaugural Flagstaff Partners Award in Science and Engineering

Maiyuren Srikumar has been awarded the University of Melbourne’s inaugural Flagstaff Partners Award in Science and Engineering.

The award recognises academic achievement and capacity in a talented student studying Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry or Engineering and who is interested in a career in the investment banking sector.

Flagstaff Partners, an Australian independent corporate advisory firm, has supported a similar award for Bachelor of Commerce students since 2012, and this year has extended its  scholarship programme with a new award for STEM students.

Recipients of the award receive $10,000 and also have the option of taking up an internship with Flagstaff Partners. The award is designed to provide students flexibility, financial support and career opportunities in the financial sector.

This year’s recipient, Maiyuren Srikumar, is a Master of Science student in Physics, researching Quantum Machine Learning. He is also a tutor in the School of Physics and has interned at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

“I am a person who wants to know how everything around me really operates,” says Maiyuran.

“I believe this has, perhaps inadvertently, equipped me with analytical and problem-solving skills. In the Investment Banking sector, these skills have proved important, where many high-risk decisions are performed daily, each requiring unwavering assessment and analysis of the problem at hand.”

Maiyuren sees direct applications from his research to the finance sector.

“There are extremely useful applications of Quantum Computers in the finance sector, and in my specific case I am looking at the optimal pricing of financial derivatives, which is shown to be more efficiently calculated on a Quantum computer.”

“However, there are some problems to be overcome in this area and my research is looking at specific issues that have significant applications in the finance world.”

Flagstaff Partners CEO Paul Donnelly originally trained as a scientist and achieved a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Chemistry. He says he is delighted that Maiyuren is the inaugural recipient of the Flagstaff Partners Award in Science and Engineering, and he is looking forward to Maiyuren completing an internship with the company.

“Flagstaff is thrilled to be able to offer this STEM award to Science and Engineering students at the University of Melbourne. An integral part of corporate finance is critical thinking and problem solving, and we recognise the importance of diversity in views and perspectives in delivering the best outcomes for our clients. On behalf of the firm, I congratulate Maiyuren on this outstanding achievement and we look forward to extending a similar opportunity to other students in the future.”

Mr Donnelly will also feature in a careers panel hosted by the University of Melbourne on 8 September. The panel will give an overview of the financial services industry and discuss the transition from science to a career in the finance industry.