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QSC director and ORNL scientists featured at IEEE Quantum Week

QSC Director David Dean. Credit: Jason Richards/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

David Dean, director of the Quantum Science Center headquartered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, gave a keynote address in late October at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ second annual International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering, also known as IEEE Quantum Week.

One of 10 invited keynote speakers, Dean was part of a group that included experts from QSC member institutions Microsoft, IBM and Harvard University. In his talk, titled “Pursuing the Scientific Grand Challenge of Developing Quantum Information Science,” he explained how researchers at the QSC are accelerating the development of new quantum technologies and training the next generation of the quantum workforce.

Through these efforts, the Center helps strengthen national security, ensure economic competitiveness and facilitate breakthroughs in fundamental physics, materials science and energy production and distribution.

“One of the grand challenges in quantum information science is protecting quantum information from environmental noise,” Dean said. “The QSC is developing topological materials that we believe will do just that, thus enabling scalable and more robust quantum computing. Quantum Week is one of the most exciting venues to discuss our research.”

The QSC, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, is one of five DOE National Quantum Information Science Research Centers launched in 2020 to combine resources and expertise from universities, companies and national laboratories. Dean also participated in a panel discussion along with the directors of the other centers.

Additionally, QSC Deputy Director Travis Humble took part in multiple panel discussions and paper presentations, as well as birds-of-a-feather sessions. He also moderated two keynote talks and served as chair for the IEEE Quantum Week workshops program.

“ORNL and its QSC partners touched on every aspect of the quantum ecosystem at Quantum Week,” Humble said. “It was really exciting to see our team on the global stage of quantum science and engineering.”

Other contributors included ORNL staff members Dmitry Liakh, Thien Nguyen, Alexander McCaskey, Prasanna Date, Kathleen Hamilton, Andrea Delgado, Phil Lotshaw, Raphael Pooser and Ryan Bennink, as well as QSC collaborators Rebekah Herrman, Meena Gowrishankar, Daniel Claudino, Paul Kairys and David Quiroga.

They covered a wide range of topics — including quantum computing, advanced simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, algorithms, applications and performance benchmarks — at workshops, poster presentations and other sessions.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit— Elizabeth Rosenthal