The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has become the first academic institution to be connected to EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk. In late 2022, EPB and Qubitekk jointly launched the nation’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network for running equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment. UTC is connected to the network via a node within a quantum technology laboratory on campus.
“We appreciate the collaborative relationship with EPB and Qubitekk leading to this extraordinary milestone in the development of our education and research programs,” said UTC Chancellor Steven R. Angle.
EPB CEO and President David Wade cited the importance to the company of UTC’s involvement.
“Having UTC connected to EPB Quantum Network is integral to our strategy to prepare our community with the education they need to be successful in the quantum age,” Wade said. “Amazing work is being done in universities across the country and here at UTC. Having a path to move research from academia and into practical application is possible with a quantum-prepared workforce like the one we’re developing in Chattanooga. This could put our city at the forefront when quantum companies consider where to locate their operations.”
Qubitekk Co-Founder, President and CTO Dr. Duncan Earl added, “Having a node on EPB Quantum Network makes UTC the first university in the country with access to a commercially managed quantum network, exclusively available in Chattanooga. Moreover, UTC’s quantum node allows them to continue growing their quantum program and establishing R&D collaborations with quantum players from around the country.”
UTC’s quantum technology lab is in the University’s Multidisciplinary Research Building on East ML King Boulevard, co-located with activities of the UTC Research Institute, Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology Lab and doctoral program in computational science.
Quantum optics expert Dr. Tian Li joined UTC in 2022 because of the University’s strategic focus on quantum science and creating “quantum opportunities.” Prior to UTC, Li was an associate research scientist in the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University.
“We are excited about making use of the EPB network to advance experiential learning in quantum technology, including quantum sensing applications,” said Li, who specializes in experimental quantum optics and is a UTC assistant professor of physics.
Dr. Ahad Nasab, interim dean of the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science, described the connection to EPB Quantum Network as a resource to support the University’s education and research mission.
“This infrastructure asset at UTC will be important for continued development of our teaching and applied research and development efforts in the engineering and computer science programs,” Nasab said.
In 2022, UTC started an institutional initiative in quantum information science and technology with a goal of establishing a program known for excellence in education, innovation and economic development enabled by quantum technology.
“The effort develops cross-disciplinary teams that perform applied research and development and deliver an effective education program of great value to students and individuals already in the workforce,” said UTC Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research Reinhold Mann. “Of particular interest are use cases of the technology in advanced energy systems and in smart city applications.”
The initiative engages departments and programs in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) and non-STEM disciplines—communications, sociology, economics, entrepreneurship and more—and it will advance collaborations with partners in Chattanooga, in academia and industry.
More on the UTC Quantum Initiative is HERE.