8 April 2022

Sydney Quantum Academy’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program has wrapped up for another year, with 20 outstanding students completing the program over summer.

Nearly double the number of students participated in the 6-week program in 2022 compared to 12 in 2021.

Partially funded by technology company NEC, the 2022 Undergraduate Research Scholarship program provides successful applicants from SQA’s four partner universities (University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, and Macquarie University) with an invaluable opportunity to gain practical research experience.

Undergraduate students at the Quantum Terminal in Sydney.

Principal Researcher Quantum Computing at NEC Australia, Dr David Garvin, says NEC encourages students to "pursue a career in the quantum sciences in order to help the development of Australia’s quantum technology capabilities. Sydney universities are recognised for undertaking world-leading research in quantum techniques. This partnership with the SQA was a great opportunity for NEC to help foster growth and build connections within the Australian quantum ecosystem.”

The 2022 Program saw undergraduate students undertake research with leading academics from the Sydney quantum community. This year, 10 academics were involved in supervising students interested in exploring quantum technologies. SQA’s CEO, Professor Peter Turner, supervised the project ‘Partially distinguishable photons — neither Bosons nor Boltzons’, and SQA Fellows, Dr Maria Kieferova and Dr Ting Rei Tan, were also among the many supervisors who guided students through their quantum-focused research program.

Dr Ting Rei Tan, from the University of Sydney’s Quantum Control Laboratory, said it was the first time that their summer student, Bailey Shao, conducted research in a professional research group.

“Bailey enjoyed applying knowledge from his engineering classes to the research project, augmenting the functionality of our in-house trapped ion quantum computer.

“I was very happy with his research outcome of assembling a fully functioning ‘automated trapped-ion qubit loading system’; but more importantly it was great to see students having fun working in a research team, interacting with other team members, and learning first-hand cutting-edge experimental quantum computation techniques,” said Dr Tan.

Jacinta May presenting at an undergraduate catch up.

As part of the program, undergraduates can undertake a project at another university from where they are completing their current degree. One student, Jacinta May of the University of Sydney, completed her research project with Professor Alexander Hamilton at UNSW’s FLEET Centre. Her project focused on investigating phenomena of the superconducting spin gap in 1D quantum point contacts.

“I had the honour of taking part in Professor Alex Hamilton’s work as a part of my SQA Summer Scholarship this summer, probing and constructing quantum environments that give rise to exotic spin gap physics. The breadth of skills I developed in characterisation, fabrication and low-temperature measurement was matched only by the quality of the extraordinary researchers at UNSW,” says Jacinta.

Late last month, six students presented their research project at a catch up at the Quantum Terminal for all students who have completed the program over the past two years.

2022 Research programs varied across quantum specialisations, with projects including:

  • Compact holographic optical trap design for short range force sensing with optically levitated nanoparticles (Dr. Eric Howard, Macquarie University)
  • Partially distinguishable photons -- neither Bosons nor Boltzons (Professor Peter Turner, SQA/  Macquarie University)
  • Simulating chemical dynamics on trapped ions (A/Prof. Ivan Kassal, University of Sydney)
  • Trapped Ion Crystals and Large-Scale Entanglement (Dr Robert Wolf, University of Sydney)
  • Trapped-Ion Quantum Computation (Dr Ting Rei Tan, University of Sydney)
  • Quantum Networks In Space (Professor Robert Malaney, UNSW)
  • Semiconductor hole spin qubits (Professor Alexander Hamilton, UNSW)
  • Simulation of hole qubits in Si and Ge (A/Prof Rajib Rahman, UNSW)
  • Simulations of III-V nanowires (A/Prof Rajib Rahman, UNSW)
  • Simulations of silicon qubits (A/Prof Rajib Rahman, UNSW)
  • Topological transport in 1D quantum point contacts (Professor Alexander Hamilton, UNSW)
  • Qubit mapping based on subgraph isomorphism (Professor Sanjiang Li, UTS)
  • The computational power of Marvel Cinematic Universe (Dr Maria Kieferova, UTS)

Applications for 2023
Applications for the next round of Undergraduate Research Scholarships are due to open in September 2022. Sign up to SQA’s mailing list to be notified as applications open.

Opportunities for sponsors
We're seeking sponsors for our 2023 program. Your contribution can help talented undergraduate students gain valuable experience in quantum research. If you would like to get involved, contact info.sqa@sydney.edu.au.

2022 Sydney Quantum undergraduates from left Marcus To, Jacinta May and Krittika Kumar, via FLEET Centre.