University of Maryland Initiative ‘Strives For Global Impact in Creating Translational Technologies’

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The state of Maryland is becoming a hotbed for research and industry in quantum information science. We now take a look at another initiative hoping to play its part in the revolution

Photo by Alessandro Bianchi on Unsplash

Big Cheese

As with other stories about research institutes covered in TQD, we try our very best to share our knowledge on the who, the where and the what in the industry. Matt Swayne, a fellow journalist at TQD, wrote an excellent piece last year entitled The World’s Top 12 Quantum Computing Research Universities. Causing some controversy on its publication for his selection, it just goes to show how ambitious (and rancorous) some universities’ public relations departments are to get all the plaudits for which is, in the media at least, the best QC research institute on the planet.

In truth, it doesn’t matter who gets there first as long as we get there. To achieve our goals, we must share findings, collaborate, and move forward. Neil Armstrong got to the Big Cheese first, but nobody has forgotten Buzz Aldrin’s contribution, either.

Get my drift?

One of the institutes covered in Swayne’s excellent piece was the University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute (JQI). Headquartered in Room 2207 of the Atlantic Building at the University of Maryland, College Park, co-directors Gretchen Campbell and Frederick Wellstood administer a team of world-renowned JQI Fellows, research scientists, postdocs, and graduate students who hope to revolutionize QC.

Quantum Technology Center

Another initiative at College Park that has a master plan to change the QC landscape is the Quantum Technology Center (QTC). Founded in 2019 by its director Ronald Walsworth together with his partner the A. James Clark School of Engineering, College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), and the CCDC Army Research Laboratory, the team there believes the:

“QTC will have a global impact creating translational technologies to address some of society’s toughest challenges.”

The centre intends to influence the industry in a number of key areas:

 — Startups

 — Partnerships

 — IP

 — Workforce

 — Societal Impact

Like many initiatives in the space, the QTC’s intentions are admirable. One of them is the E. A. Fernandez IDEA Factory, a 60,000-square-feet state-of-the-art lab which “enables students, faculty, and staff to address 21st-century challenges while also serving as venues to translate basic research into invention and invention into product.”

The institute’s areas of research expertise include the whole gamut of disciplines: quantum sensing, quantum computing and simulation, quantum communications and networking, quantum materials, and quantum algorithms.

 

So, the QTC and the JQI have something more in common than just the state of Maryland:

American physicist Christopher Monroe.

Not only is he an experimentalist in the disciplines of quantum information science, molecular, atomic, and optical physics, but also a Bice Zorn Professor of physics at College Park while co-founding in 2015, along with Jungsang Kim, IonQ, one of the most innovative startups in the industry whose trapped ions technology is developing a general-purpose quantum computer and software.

Not only that, but Monroe also holds concurrent Fellowships at the QTC and at the JQI. Monroe is involved in research on QC and QC simulation at QTC while at the JQI his focus is in trapped-ion QC, quantum networks with atoms and photons, microfabricated atom trap structures, and the interactions between laser-cooled atoms and ions.

“The University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 377,000 alumni.”

 — QTC website

You can’t argue with that. With two top QC research institutions on its doorstep, an innovative startup, as well as a world-leading authority in the industry at hand in Monroe, the QTC, JQI and The University of Maryland, College Park can become a preeminent college in not only research in quantum information science but other disruptive technologies, too.