UCLA has received a five-year, $3 million Ph.D. traineeship grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the interdisciplinary frontiers of quantum science and engineering.

This campus-wide effort, coordinated through the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, or CQSE, will accelerate training in quantum computation, communications and sensing, supported by the pillars of materials science, physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics, said principal investigator, Chee Wei Wong, who holds the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr. Endowed Term Chair in Engineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering.

The research effort, called Accelerating Interdisciplinary Frontiers in Quantum Science and Technologies, consists of “four research thrusts of atomic qubits to model novel chemistry, long-coherence materials for quantum computation, high-dimensional optical qubits for communications and many-body qubits to uncover quantum correlations,” Wong said.

This grant will support 12 doctoral fellowships per year, with a focus on recruitment and mentorship of under-represented diverse groups in STEM, and will help to build a diverse workforce. 

“This NSF investment will allow UCLA to train the best doctoral students in quantum science and engineering, spanning across traditional fields of leadership at UCLA, with an emphasis on building diversity and mentorship,” said co-principal investigator Eric Hudson, a UCLA professor of physics and co-director of the NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Present and Future Quantum Computation.

“This NSF grant enhances the budding workforce training between academia, industry and national laboratories, and builds an innovative ecosystem in quantum science and engineering at UCLA,” said co-principal investigator Kang Wang, Raytheon Company Professor of Electrical Engineering.

This training effort complements a newly-launched and courses, added Wong, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and fellow of the American Physical Society, among his other honors.