High-school student Carla Caro Villanueva recently got awarded the first prize of the competition XXXII Certamen Jóvenes Investigadores that is called out annualy by the Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE). The prize rewards excellence in the scientific projects of Spanish high-school students nationwide. Carla indepdentently conducted her research project co-supervised by David López-Núñez from our group and presented her work with the tile ‘To what extent do quantum annealing computers outperform classical computers?
This week the latest batch of newcomers arrived and started working in our group. Hence, we welcome aboard Alba Torras and Luca Cozzolino. Both just recently finished their Master’s and will continue to work on a PhD. Alba studied at UAB and UPC while Luca completed his studies at Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.
We welcome the new PhD student and “la Caixa” fellow Boris Nedyalkov to our team. Boris holds a BSc in Physics from Sofia University and recently finished his graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at Tokyo University.
We congratulate our group leader, Dr. Pol Forn-Díaz, on receving the prestigious Ramón y Cajal fellowship by the Spanish Ministries of Universities, and Science and Innovation. The award is given to young researchers to aid them consolidate their early-stage careers at a public Spanish research institution. With this award, Dr. Forn-Díaz will continue to establish the QCT group at IFAE and extend its network of collaborators. The fellowship will start in 2021 and will last 5 years, including a research budget.
Despite the current situation due to COVID-19, which unfortunately did not allow for everyone’s attendance, we recently celebrated the 3rd year of existence of our interinstitutional Quantic group. Found in 2017 on June 1st as a collaboration between Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the Quantic group has expanded and now includes also the Institut de Fisica d’Altes Energies (IFAE), where we are currently setting up our quantum computing laboratory.
We welcome aboard our this year’s summer interns, Queralt and Raquel, who already started working on their research projects. Queralt Portell is a 3rd year undergraduate student in Physics and Math from UAB and is working on FPGA programming to acquire qubit states faster. Raquel Garcia is in her 4th year of undergraduate studies in Physics and Math likewise at UAB. Her project is on programming scripts to calibrate qubits.
We are pleased to welcome Sara Martínez de Salinas Uzquiza to our growing family. Sara joins IFAE’s Project Management Unit to support our group in the coordination of several European research projects. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from the Universidad de Oviedo and worked previously as PostDoc at the Institut Català d’Investigació Química (ICIQ) in Tarragona.
This month marks the official start the European project SiUCs (Superinductor-based Quantum Technologies with Ultrastrong Couplings), which was succesfully granted in the 2019 QuantERA call. The kick-off meeting is supposed to take place on May 4th, 2020.
The SiUCs project consortium follows a radically new approach to quantum computing: we will harness the potentiality of very large light-matter coupling - often referred to as ultra-strong coupling (USC) - instead of fighting it.
Our group was succesfully granted the coordination of the project AVaQus (Annealing-based VAriational QUantum processorS), one of 49 projects selected by the European Commission to receive the FET-Open grant in the 2019 call. The project consortium brings together European research groups and companies to develop a quantum processor based on superconducting quantum circuits in order to demonstrate coherent quantum annealing and its potential to solve real-life optimization problems.
AVaQus is the first European-funded large-scale project on quantum annealing and it will lead to the consolidation of quantum annealing hardware as a research field in Europe, and potentially as a future European quantum technology.
This week, we had two visitors from Germany at IFAE. On Tuesday, February 18, Ioan Pop from KIT gave a talk on “Ionizing Radiation: A Dominant Source of Non-Equilibrium Quasiparticles in Superconducting Quantum Circuits”. A day later on Wednesday, February 19, Frank Wilhelm from Saarland University presented the European roadmap for quantum computing with his talk “Quantum computing - state of play, prospects, and a European perspective”. We thank both of them for their very interesting presentations!