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The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program awards a total of $3M Collaborative Grant for Quantum Networks Training and Research Alliance in the Southeast to the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

July 6, 2022

Yohannes  Abate (Physics) is the Principal Investigator and at UGA Co-Principal Investigators are Michael Geller (Physics), Peter Kner (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Tina Salguero (Chemistry), and Xianqiao Wang (College of Engineering)

The Project

Abstract: Quantum networks enable more efficient information processing, promising functionality that is faster and more secure than the classical networks that undergird current communication technologies. Research on quantum networks has the potential to contribute to fundamental discoveries in quantum science as well as key applications in cybersecurity, quantum sensors, and quantum computing. However, to realize the promised advantages of a quantum Internet, many fundamental science and engineering challenges must be overcome. Tackling these challenges will require a convergence of expertise from science and engineering disciplines and the development of a well-trained, interdisciplinary quantum networks workforce. The overarching goal of this NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) project is to advance the design and development of components and applications of quantum networks, and to establish the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary quantum information science and engineering (QISE) training program in the Southeast. Representing a collaboration between the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, this training program is expected to serve fifty-four masters and doctoral students, including thirty-four funded trainees in science and engineering.

This project will carry out quantum networks research in three key areas. The first centers on quantum network building blocks: single photon emitters, qubit realization, quantum photon measurement, quantum information theory, and cybersecurity. The second encompasses quantum devices: networked quantum computing, networked quantum sensors, and materials for quantum network components. The third area considers scientific and engineering applications: space-based entangled photon sources, quantum random number generators, the power grid, quantum resource estimation, and on-chip technology. These three research thrusts will be bridged by three cross-disciplinary research perspectives: experimentation, simulation, and engineering. The training program and workforce development will significantly contribute to fulfilling the pressing need for a skilled QISE workforce in academia, national laboratories, and industry. It will include components uniquely designed to increase the involvement of diverse students in QISE. It will strengthen existing ties that the two collaborating institutions have with historically black colleges and universities, and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Leadership and Academic Enhancement Program, for robust recruitment, mentoring, and retention of women and minority students from groups underrepresented in the field. In addition, it will engage potential undergraduate recruits with QISE topics via introductory QISE courses that can be taken for credit across institutions. This traineeship model will create an interdisciplinary, workforce-aligned program integrating experimental, simulational, and engineering experiential learning to galvanize a diverse community of graduate students toward careers in QISE.

The Team

  • Yohannes-Abate_big.png

    Yohannes Abate, Physics and Astronomy

    Principal Investigator

  • Michael Geller

    Michael Geller, Physics and Astronomy

    Co-Principal Investigator

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    Peter Kner, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Co-Principal Investigator

  • SalgueroTina.jpg

    Tina Salguero, Chemistry

    Co-Principal Investigator

  • wang_312x312.jpg

    Xianqiao Wang, College of Engineering

    Co-Principal Investigator

The NSF Research Traineeship Program

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced 22 new awards through its NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program. The $58 million investment, including $6.9 million of support from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, expands the program to comprise 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This NSF program supports graduate students, educates the STEM leaders of tomorrow and strengthens the national research infrastructure. The awardees will focus on research and development in artificial intelligence and quantum information science and engineering -- both national priorities of utmost importance.

The NRT program advances research by training graduate students in interdisciplinary or convergent research areas through a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based and aligned with evolving workforce and research needs. The institutional support provided through the program creates opportunities for transformative research.

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