Credit: Ernest Shiu

University of Glasgow launches new Centre for Quantum Technology

By Luke Chafer

The new “Centre of Excellence” will also host two careers initiatives backed by $1m of funding.

The University of Glasgow is set to launch a new Centre for Quantum Technology. In partnership with SPIE UK. The new Centre will also host two jointly funded careers initiatives. 

SPIE and the University of Glasgow have created a $1m fund for the two early career researcher initiatives. The first one is a Quantum Photonics Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding University of Glasgow current postgraduate student. SPIE President John Greivenkamp has said: “the annual scholarship will develop well-prepared, knowledgeable early-career researchers who will drive the future of the quantum industry”. The second initiative is a global scheme that will see early career researchers paired with counterparts from around the world to work on collaborative projects over a six month period. 

The launch of the centre emphasises the University’s position as a leader in the field. Already hosting the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Imaging, launched in 2014 as part of the £1bn UK National Technologies Programme, University researchers also contribute to the three other Quantum Technology Hubs launched at the same time, and are currently working with more than 50 industrial partners. The pre-existing nanofabrication Centre in partnership with Kelvin Nanotechnologies, a wholly-owned University subsidiary, created nanotechnologies in computing, communications and sensors, previously. 

University researchers in this field have previously developed a gravitational sensor capable of mapping geological structures and providing advance warning of impending volcanic eruptions. Endoscopes the width of a human hair, which can provide new ways of imaging inside the body and optical networks, use uncrackable quantum key distribution to make communications more secure. The new facility aims to harness this expertise and bolster the University’s reputation in this field with the aim of becoming a global “Centre of Excellence”.  

Speaking prior to the launch event on 29 September, Professor Miles Padgett, the Centre’s Director, has said: “Over the last decade, the University of Glasgow has grown a quantum research activity to become one of the largest quantum centres in the UK.

“The University is home to many of the leading engineers, physicists, and computing scientists working in quantum research in the UK. The technology they are pioneering has wide-ranging applications across physical and biological sensing and imaging, secure communication and advanced computing.

“The Centre aims to further build on these strengths and develop new commercial partnerships, translate fundamental research into new products, and to attract and retain the best researchers and students to the city.”


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