Created in 2021, the initiative is a significant and strategic investment into translational quantum engineering research – especially in the field of quantum sensing, which has been a strength in the college for years. QEI specifically includes educational components, faculty hiring efforts, and dedicated lab space for collaboration with partners both on and off CU Boulder’s campus.
CU Boulder and the coming quantum revolution
QEI is a new arm of the campus wide CUbit Quantum Initiative, which supports the university and state of Colorado’s prominence in quantum information science and technology.
QEI’s roots date back to 2019, when the College of Engineering and Applied Science created an Interdisciplinary Research Theme around quantum to provide seed grants, help with team formation, and hire additional faculty members towards developing translational research. Initial work done by that group helped campus land a $25 million center in 2020. Q-SEnSe aims to advance quantum science and is funded by the National Science Foundation in partnership with 11 other organizations around the U.S. and abroad.
The college took another bold step forward in the field in 2021 by hiring Professor Scott Diddams and other prominent quantum researchers. Diddams has served at NIST for the past two decades and conducted prominent experimental research in the field of optical frequency combs and quantum metrology with application to atomic clocks and sensors.
Other recent hires into the college in the field of quantum include Assistant Professor András Gyenis and Assistant Professor Josh Combes. All three professors are based in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and are part of a multi-year faculty recruitment plan.
Today, CU researchers and their collaborators continue to lay the groundwork, with research centers like STROBE and Quantum Systems through Entangled Science and Engineering (Q-SEnSE). These efforts are helping to transform the state into a new Silicon Valley, only this time, a Quantum Valley.