Training & Skills Hub in Quantum Systems Engineering: innovation in Quantum Business - Applications, Technology and Engineering (InQuBATE)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: London Centre for Nanotechnology


Quantum technologies promise a transformation of measurement, communication and computation by using ideas originating from quantum physics. The UK was the birthplace of many of the seminal ideas and techniques in this area; the technologies are now ready to translate from the laboratory into industrial applications. Since international companies are already moving in this area, and technology transfer in the UK is being accelerated through a substantial national research and development programme, there is a critical need for highly-skilled researchers who can work with the new technologies at the level of whole systems to provide products that solve real-world problems.

Our proposal is driven by the need to train this new generation of leaders. They will need to be equipped to function in the complex research and engineering landscape where quantum hardware (with the attendant challenges in cryptography, complexity and information theory, devices, materials, software and hardware engineering) meets real devices, real applications and real customers.

We propose to train an additional cohort of leaders to meet these challenges within the highly interdisciplinary research environment provided by UCL, exploiting the existing training programmes of two highly successful EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training, in Delivering Quantum Technologies and Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, along with the UCL Centre for Systems Engineering and their commercial and governmental laboratory partners.

We will provide a new doctoral training route for outstanding engineers. In their first year the students will obtain a background in devices, information and computational sciences through three concentrated modules organized around current engineering challenges. They will complete a team project and a longer individual research project, preparing them for their choice of main research doctoral topic at the end of the year. They will then move into doctoral research either within UCL or in the wider national Quantum Technologies Programme. Cross-cohort training in communication skills, technology transfer, enterprise, teamwork and career planning will continue throughout the four years. Peer to peer learning will be continually facilitated not only by organized cross-cohort activities, but also by the day to day social interaction. Following their co-location at UCL during training we expect the Skills Hub cohort to form a national network to advance the application of quantum technologies.

We will also provide opportunities for the best graduates to develop their ideas beyond the PhD stage and to accelerate new concepts towards applications, while at the same time offering continuing training to those already working in industries ripe for applying quantum technologies.

Planned Impact

Quantum technologies promise a transformation of the fields of measurement, communication and information processing. They present a particular opportunity since they are disruptive technologies: not only do they offer a chance for rapid growth but they also allow lesser participants in a field (such as the UK in IT) to become major players through appropriate risk-taking and manpower development. Students graduating from the InQuBATE Skills Hub will have the right mindset to work in the industries where quantum technologies will be applied, and help to break down the traditional barriers between those sectors to make this transformation happen. They will have all the necessary technical and transferable skills, plus a network of contacts with our partners, their fellow cohort members and the academic supervisors.

Our commercial partners are keen to help our students realise their potential and achieve the impact we expect of them, through the training they offer and their contributions to the centre's research. They include companies who have already developed quantum technologies to products in quantum communication (Toshiba) and optimization (D-Wave), large corporates who are investing in quantum technology because they see its potential to transform their businesses in aerospace, defence, instrumentation and internet services (Lockheed Martin, Google,) and government agencies with key national responsibilities (NPL). We want to see the best communication of our students' research, so our students will benefit from the existing training programme set up with a leading scientific publisher (Nature Publishing Group); we also want to see more of the future companies that lead this field based the UK, so we have partnered with venture capital group DFJ Esprit to judge and mentor the acceleration of our students' innovations toward the market.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510270/1 31/03/2016 30/08/2022
1781307 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 30/03/2021 Gareth Sion Jones
1902953 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 30/03/2021 Maria Eftaxia Stasinou
2178675 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 01/02/2019 Abdulah Darwish Fawaz
1781318 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 30/03/2021 Jamie Alexander Potter
1902947 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 30/03/2021 Thomas Muir Hird
1781317 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 28/02/2021 James Robert Seddon
1781320 Studentship EP/P510270/1 25/09/2016 30/03/2021 Conor Mc Keever
1927649 Studentship EP/P510270/1 17/09/2017 17/12/2021 Jake David Tommey
2075659 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 29/09/2021 Oliver Harry Lunt
1917123 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 29/09/2021 Charles Nicholas Derby
1937062 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 30/03/2022 Sofia Marjatta Patomäki
2075664 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 30/03/2022 Alexander Philip Owens
1918352 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 04/08/2022 Andrew Patterson
2075657 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 30/03/2022 Fagin Hales
1918300 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 30/03/2022 Lindsey Frances Keary
1937065 Studentship EP/P510270/1 24/09/2017 31/12/2021 JINGYU DUAN