Artist conception of quantum computing.WSU recently joined the Northwest Quantum Nexus (NQN), a regional coalition of organizations working to advance quantum information sciences (QIS) that includes IonQ, Microsoft, University of Washington, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“Through our growing quantum research that spans from physics to engineering, WSU is unlocking new discoveries that will aid in our understanding of complex computing challenges. Together with our NQN partners, we are committed to advancing QIS research,” said Michael Forbes, associate professor of physics at WSU.

The NQN serves as a central hub for a variety of activities to increase QIS research and development, and workforce development in the Northwest. QIS workforce development activities include new curriculum design and training that spans undergraduate to continuing education. The NQN facilitates the coordination of interns with research opportunities in academia, industry, and government.

WSU’s growing quantum research focus is currently directed at fundamental quantum science, quantum technologies, and the interconnect between different quantum and classical technologies. In addition, a university-wide effort is being made to identify transformative applications of quantum technology and computing, including imaging technology, cryogenics, solid-state and superconducting cryoelectronics, material science, chemistry, and quantum enhanced sensors with key members in the departments of physics, electrical engineering and computer science, chemistry, and mathematics and statistics, as well as with external partnerships with NQN members, through the Washington International Trade Association, and with strong industrial connections.

“Through collaborations with NQN partners, WSU will be able to leverage individual researcher expertise to generate advances in quantum computing algorithms, computing, and materials for QIS. This growing ecosystem of QIS research and development will become increasingly critical to our national competitiveness in information technology during the coming century,” said Christopher Keane, WSU vice president for research and vice chancellor for research at the WSU Pullman campus.

NQN partners are co-developing hardware and software for quantum computing devices, evaluating new quantum-enabled materials, and creating the curricula that will prepare tomorrow’s students to work in the growing QIS economy. NQN sponsors workshops, symposia and seminar series, bringing together the brightest minds in QIS for intellectual exchange.

“We are excited to join the Northwest Quantum Nexus in its effort to advance research and development in quantum information sciences and train the QIS workforce in the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said Keane.

By Karen Hunt, WSU Insider