April 2, 2021
Purdue researchers named Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network triplet awardees
Two Purdue researchers have been selected as Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network (QISE-NET) triplet awardees. The “triplets” – a group consisting of a university principal investigator, an industrial or national laboratory mentor, and a graduate student – come from a variety of disciplines relevant to advancing the development of quantum technologies such as materials science, chemistry, device engineering, physics, computer science and industrial research.
Prospective candidates were required to submit a short and focused proposal that represents leading-edge research topics in quantum information science/engineering with potential for growth and follow-on work between the student, company or national laboratory and academic groups.
The members of the first winning triplet are Andrew Weiner, the Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who will serve as the university PI; graduate student Karthik V. Myilswamy; and Joseph Lukens of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who will be the national laboratory mentor. Lukens earned his PhD from Purdue in electrical and computer engineering in 2015.
The group’s proposal, titled “Integrated Quantum Photonics for Quantum Networking,” outlines a promising way to revolutionize computation and secure communication. The proposal focuses on exploring different aspects of quantum networking on integrated photonic platforms.
“The QISE-NET fellowship would support our collaboration in the endeavor to tackle technological bottlenecks with more independence,” Myilswamy says. “I also believe QISE-NET would provide me with a wonderful networking platform, letting me interact with a broader research community and potentially get inspired and explore new ideas too.”
The second winning triplet is university PI Sunil Bhave, professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate director of operations at Birck Nanotechnology Center; graduate student Ozan Erturk; and industry partner IBM. Their project will adapt RF MEMS technology to advance quantum computers.
“This opportunity will let me interact with industry experts in quantum science and engineering that are outside of my conventional MEMS research ecosystem,” Erturk says. “This will enable me to be a part of a great cutting-edge science discussion.”
Both proposals build on the work and support from colleagues and collaborators of Purdue and Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute (PQSEI). Weiner and Bhave are faculty affiliates of PQSEI, which fosters the development of practical and impactful aspects of quantum science. PQSEI is located in Discovery Park.
The primary motivation for the QISE-NET initiative is the missing quantum pipeline: The U.S. is currently not educating sufficient numbers of students with the knowledge, understanding and expertise in multiple convergent fields to serve the second quantum revolution. The secondary motivation arises from the need to increase convergent academia-industry and academia-national laboratory interactions to advance the technological goals of the National Science Foundation’s Quantum Leap Initiative.
Through cross-sector sharing and leveraging of facilities, expertise, and scientific and technical challenges, QISE-NET will provide a unique, critically needed student experience in quantum science. Students are the primary recipients of support, working within a focused academic-industry and academia-national laboratory collaboration that includes thesis development, specific research goals, extended visits at the industrial partner’s site, and network-level mentoring opportunities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to obtain diverse, world-class training in quantum science and engineering,” Weiner says. “This builds upon Purdue’s commitment to meet the workforce needs of a growing quantum industry, while also strengthening our partnerships with national laboratories like Oak Ridge and industry partners such as IBM.”