The U.S. is currently not educating sufficient numbers of students with the knowledge, understanding and expertise in multiple convergent fields serving the second quantum revolution. There is also a significant need to increase convergent academia-industry and academia-national laboratory interactions to advance quantum science and technology by cross-sector sharing and leveraging of facilities, expertise, and scientific and technical challenges.
The Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network (QISE-NET), co-led by the University of Chicago and Harvard University, addresses these needs. The network is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. It comes out of the NSF’s Quantum Leap – one of the agency’s 10 Big Ideas, which catalyze interest and investment in fundamental research to support emerging opportunities for US leadership. QISE-NET is managed by the Chicago Quantum Exchange, a leading national hub for the science and engineering of quantum information and for training tomorrow’s quantum workforce.
Students selected for the program receive up to three years of funding.
Each cohort in the network includes sets of triplets, with each triplet comprising the graduate student, mentor from industry or a national laboratory, and the university PI.
This network of triplets provides a unique, critically needed student experience in quantum science. Students work within a focused academic-industry and academia-national laboratory collaboration, which includes thesis development, specific research goals, extended visits at the industrial partner’s site, and network-level mentoring opportunities. Together, the student and their mentors take on a pressing research question that they pursue during their course of study.
This novel approach to integrating research, education and technology transfer is highly convergent and cross-cutting in nature. These triplets originate from a variety of fields, including materials science, chemistry, device engineering, physics, computer science, and industrial research.