Training and Education

As the field of quantum information continues to expand, so will the demand for quantum engineers in industry, government, and at universities.


Educating tomorrow’s quantum engineers

As premier research institutions, UChicago, UIUC, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison play an important role in the education of future quantum scientists and engineers. Both institutions provide undergraduate students opportunities to discover and develop knowledge in quantum related fields.

The University of Chicago offers bachelor’s and PhD degrees in quantum information science (QIS) fields through the Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) and the Physical Science Division (PSD). Undergraduate majors include physics, chemistry, computer science, and molecular engineering. The quantum track of IME’s molecular engineering major is one of the first initiatives worldwide to formally educate quantum engineers at the undergraduate level, and is offered in close collaboration with the PSD. The IME graduate program is also one of the first in the nation to offer a quantum engineering focus. Former students in the IME’s quantum engineering program have gone on to careers with leading organizations such as Google, IBM, and Intel. Graduate students train with faculty members across the IME, the James Franck Institute, the Department of Physics, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Computer Science. 

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) is establishing Quantum Information Science-focused educational programs that will prepare tomorrow’s quantum-smart workforce to meet technological challenges beyond the digital age. Additionally, students currently pursue degrees that focus on QIS within the university’s physics, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and math departments—tackling a variety of QIS-related topics.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is training students to have a broad base of expertise that will equip them to make a high impact in QIS. In addition to a Ph.D. program, the UW–Madison offers a master’s degree in quantum computing, which welcomes its first class in the fall of 2019 and is the first such program in the United States, will help fill a growing need of the tech industry.

Many of these students participate in collaborations at Fermilab and Argonne. Both labs are also home to hundreds of postdoctoral researchers working in every field.


IBM Postdoctoral Trainees

The IBM Postdoctoral Quantum Researchers program nurtures the next generation of scientists through mentoring, independence, and opportunities to five promising postdoctoral scientists. These postdoctoral trainees are recruited to the Chicago Quantum Exchange and, once on board, provided with the freedom to work with different research groups across the CQE, and annual discretionary funds. Applicants with research interests in quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing, and quantum algorithms will be prioritized, as well as those of mutual research interest for CQE and IBM, such as research that leverages IBM Q.

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Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network

The CQE further helps to develop a national workforce of quantum scientists and engineers through the Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network (QISE-Net). Launched with support from the National Science Foundation and in partnership with Harvard University, QISE-Net enables approximately 20 students to conduct their doctoral research jointly with industry or a national laboratory.

The program pairs graduate students with both an academic adviser and a collaborator from a leading technology company or national laboratory. Over the course of four years, the “triplets” will each address a pressing research question for both academia and industry. The students serve as the principal “communicators-in-residence” at both universities and industry, translating ideas into research results.

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