Dr. Ilja Gerhardt obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the Humboldt University in Berlin where he did his diploma thesis on optical addressable semiconductor sensors with Dr. Werner Moritz. Afterwards he went to industry as a programmer and founded a computer company.
He then entered graduate school at the University of Konstanz where he worked in the group of Prof. Juergen Mlynek. He later moved to ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich and completed his PhD degree under the supervision of Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar in 2006. His doctoral work is based on cryogenic single molecule near-field experiments and quantum optical properties of cryogenic single emitters. In 2007 he moved to the National University of Singapore to focus on the quantum optical aspects of single emitter spectroscopy. In 2010 Ilja Gerhardt went to the MPI in Stuttgart to research on single defect centers in diamond. In 2010 & 2011 he was a visiting scholar in the Chemistry department at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.