EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


We aim to grow the world's leading centre for training in quantum engineering for the emerging quantum technology (QT) industry. We have designed this CDT in collaboration with a large number of academic and industry experts, and included as partners those who will add substantially to the training and cohort experience. Through this process a consistent picture of what industry wants in future quantum engineers emerged: people who can tackle the hardest intellectual challenges, recognising the end goal of their research, with an ability to move from fundamental physics towards the challenges of engineering and miniaturising practical systems, who understands the capabilities of other people (and why they are useful). Industry wants people with good decision-making, communication and management skills, with the ability to work across discipline boundaries (to a deadline and a budget!) and build interdisciplinary teams, with the ability to translate a problem from one domain to another. Relevant work experience, knowledge of entrepreneurship, industrial R&D operations and business practices are essential. By forming a hub of unrivalled international excellence in quantum information and photonics, surrounded by world-class expertise in all areas of underpinning science and technology and the scientific and technological application areas of QT, and a breadth of academic and industry partners, we will deliver a new type of training: quantum engineering. Bristol has exceptional international activity in the areas that surround the hub: from microelectronics and high performance computing to system engineering and quantum chemistry. The programme will be delivered in an innovative way-focussing particularly on cohort learning-and assessed by a variety of different means, some already in existence in Bristol. We believe that we are attempting something new and exciting that has the potential to attract and train the best students to ensure that the resulting capacity is world-class, thus providing real benefits to the UK economy.

Planned Impact

We envisage that the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering will have impact in a number of areas. First and foremost the Centre will provide training and professional development to deliver a cohort of highly skilled people for a future industry based upon quantum technologies - providing a capability in quantum engineering that has been identified by industry and academia as being critical over a 5-10 year timescale. In addition it is expected that the highly trained students at the Centre will produce scientific advances and new techniques that contribute to the quantum revolution. We anticipate that the first routes to impact will be the application of the 'quantum advantage' to an existing industrial activity. Looking across the current industrial landscape it suggests that the synthesis of the 'old' classical approaches used in conjunction with a 'new' quantum technology provides a likely route for adoption. Certain industrial applications may not necessarily rely upon a quantum advantage but are informed by expertise in a common technology platform e.g. silicon waveguides and their use as on-chip optical interconnects. Other potential applications include areas such as optical spectroscopy where a quantum enhancement has been demonstrated. The early demonstration of superior technological capability either in terms of performance and/or cost is key to the engagement with industry. These shared experiences between the industrial collaborators and the CDT cohort will underpin the co-creation and development of new devices, products, procedures and services, which will lead to new business opportunities and ultimately wealth creation. Finally, it is expected that in the next 5-20 years quantum technologies will be involved in a plethora of applications such as mobile communications security, defence and security, drug modelling and health-monitoring which will ultimately contribute to enhanced quality of life.


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