Particle physics research

$5 million from Boeing will support quantum science and technology research at UCLA

Marc Roseboro/UCLA California NanoSystems Institute

Members of the Quantum Innovation Center at the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering.

UCLA received a $5 million pledge from Boeing Co. to support faculty at the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering.

The center, which is jointly operated by UCLA College’s Physical Sciences Division and the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, brings together scientists and engineers at the forefront of quantum information science and technology. Its members have expertise in disciplines spanning physics, materials science, electrical engineering, computer science, chemistry and mathematics.

“We are grateful for Boeing’s strong commitment, which will help drive innovation in quantum science,” said Miguel García-Garibay, dean of physical sciences at UCLA. “This remarkable investment demonstrates the confidence that UCLA’s renowned faculty and researchers will drive progress in this emerging field.”

UCLA professors and researchers are already working on exciting advances in quantum science and engineering, García-Garibay said. And the division’s new one-year master’s program, starting this fall, will help meet the huge demand for professionals trained in quantum technologies.

Quantum science explores the laws of nature that apply to matter at the smallest scales, such as atoms and subatomic particles. Scientists and engineers believe that controlling quantum systems has vast potential to advance fields ranging from medicine to national security.

“Harnessing quantum technologies for the aerospace industry is one of the great challenges we will face in the years to come,” said Greg Hyslop, Chief Engineer and Executive Vice President of Engineering, Testing and technology from Boeing. “We are committed to growing this field of study, and our relationship with UCLA pushes us in that direction.”

In addition to its uses in aerospace, examples of quantum theory already in action include superconducting magnets, lasers, and MRIs. The next generation of quantum technology will enable powerful quantum computers, sensors and communication systems and will transform clinical trials, defense systems, drinking water systems and a wide range of other technologies.

“Quantum information science and technology promises societal-changing capabilities in everything from medicine to computing and beyond,” said Eric Hudson, Presidential David S. Saxon Professor of Physics at UCLA and co-director of the center. “However, there is still a lot of work to be done to realize these benefits. This work requires a serious partnership between academia and industry, and Boeing’s commitment will be of tremendous help both in supporting cutting-edge research at UCLA and in creating the necessary relationships with stakeholders in industry.

Boeing’s donation complements recent support from the National Science Foundation, including a $25 million award in 2020 to the multi-university NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Current and Future Quantum Computing, which Hudson co-leads. And in 2021, the UCLA center received a five-year, $3 million internship award for NSF doctoral students.

Founded in 2018, the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering draws on the talents and creativity of dozens of faculty and students.

“Boeing’s support is a huge boost for quantum science and engineering at UCLA,” said Mark Gyure, the center’s executive director and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Science. Engineering. “The enhanced Center for Quantum Science and Engineering will attract additional world-class faculty to this rapidly growing field and, together with Boeing and other area companies, will make Los Angeles and Southern California a hub major in quantum science and technology.”

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