Published: Oct. 10, 2022 By

Scott Diddams and Greg Rieker in the labProfessors Greg Rieker (left) and Scott Diddams conducting research in the the Precision Laser Diagnostics for Energy and the Environment in 2021. The pair will work together in the new Quantum Engineering Initiative Collaboration Lab which will open on Sept. 26. 

Researchers from CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be better able to coordinate their efforts with the recent opening of the Quantum Engineering Initiative (QEI) Collaboration Lab on Sept. 26. This new, 1,500 square foot space in the Engineering Center will encourage cross-campus research and experiments in the high-impact field of quantum engineering. Collaborators will conduct research into quantum computing, optical clocks, quantum sensors and networks, hybrid quantum systems and more according to Robert H. Davis Endowed Chair in Discovery Learning Scott Diddams.

“This is a topical area of significant interest and importance across the U.S. — and in fact the world — and the new space will strengthen CU Boulder’s impact on the field of quantum engineering,” Diddams said.

Plans for the lab – located in room 1B25 of the northwest wing of the Engineering Center – go back to 2019. That is when Associate Professor Greg Rieker and then-Associate Dean for Research Massimo Ruzzene first proposed the Quantum Engineering Initiative and dedicated lab space. Dean Keith Molenaar approved the funding for the partnership in 2021, which coincided with the hiring of professor Diddams and other activity to strengthen this research area in the college.

“The space was envisioned to fill a critical gap in transitioning the amazing quantum science research on the CU Boulder campus to engineered devices that could operate outside the research lab,” said Rieker.

The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences is providing internal funding for equipment and infrastructure to benefit of quantum researchers in the college as part of its ongoing investment in the field through the initiative said current Acting Associate Dean for Research Shideh Dashti.

“This space demonstrates the commitment we have to leading in the field of quantum research, now and in the future,” said Dashti. “I am excited that the moment is quickly approaching when students, faculty, staff and partners from across campus – and in the Boulder area – can meet and collaborate in this space."

The quantum lab partnership between CU Boulder and NIST looks to emulate the impact of JILA, a 60-year collaboration between the two organizations, which has yielded exciting outcomes in the field of physics.

“The QEI Collaboration Lab is the first step towards a complementary engineering-focused collaboration between the organizations,” Diddams said.

The QEI Collaboration Lab benefited from resources and contributions provided by researchers and staff from many groups including: 

  • The College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • NIST
  • The Department of Physics
  • Paul M. Rady Mechanical Engineering
  • The Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
  • Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences
  • The Department of Computer Science 
  • JILA
  • CUbit Quantum Initiative

Research faculty and students interested in learning more about the lab are encouraged to contact Diddams and Rieker by email.