HomeCongressLawmaker, Energy Secretary Announce $1.8 Million Research Grant for UMass Lowell

Lawmaker, Energy Secretary Announce $1.8 Million Research Grant for UMass Lowell

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Investment is part of 29 projects led by national labs and universities for materials and chemical sciences research to advance quantum science and technology

Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced on July 23, funding of $1,845,000 for UMass Lowell, intended to advance quantum information science (QIS) research to help scientists better understand the physical world and harness nature to benefit people and society.

“Researchers at UMass Lowell have been doing cutting-edge work, especially in the material science space such as quantum mechanics, and bolstering the university’s reputation as a premier research institution. This Department of Energy award is a testament to their work and it’ll prove instrumental in the progress being made at UMass Lowell on some of the largest challenges we face,” said Trahan.

“Quantum science represents the next technological revolution and frontier in the Information Age, and America stands at the forefront,” said Granholm. “At DOE, we’re investing in the fundamental research, led by universities and our National Labs, that will enhance our resiliency in the face of growing cyber threats and climate disasters, paving the path to a cleaner, more secure future.”

UMass Lowell’s project, titled “Next-Generation Parametrically-Induced Quantum Engineering,” will be spearheaded by Assistant Professor Archana Kamal of the Department of Physics and Applied Physics. She has been conducting research on the development of next-generation quantum computing technologies with processors that can outperform supercomputers currently tasked with solving highly complex problems.

“The DOE funding will give a huge impetus to our ongoing research on scalable multi-qubit architectures,” said Assistant Professor Kamal. “This particular program focuses on creation, control and characterization of quantum entanglement in such systems, an ambitious effort that involves answering both fundamental and applied questions. The program accordingly brings together a triangulated effort spanning academia, industry and national labs, including UMass Lowell, NIST Boulder and Air Force Research Laboratory, along with other partners.”

This isn’t the first time Kamal’s research has been recognized and supported by federal investments. Earlier this year, UML announced more than $1 million from the U.S. Air Force and the National Science Foundation to support “her research on quantum information processing with open quantum systems.”

The UML project is one of 29 projects announced last week that will study the materials and chemical processes needed to develop the next generation of quantum smart devices and quantum computing technology – critical tools to solving the most pressing and complex challenges, from climate change to national security.

QIS helps researchers discover new ways to measure, analyze, process, and communicate information and could drive the next generation of computing and information processing. Potential applications for this work range from quantum computers to enable complex power forecasting to prevent outages during extreme weather events, to quantum devices to enable new smart windows, clothes, and buildings that can change their properties on demand.

Friday’s funding announcement totals $73 million for projects lasting up to three years in duration. Awardees like UML will pursue fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels. These projects include controlling atomic defects, light-matter interaction and the transfer of coherent quantum information.

Projects were chosen based on peer review under the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) “Materials and Chemical Sciences Research for Quantum Information Science” funding opportunity. The DOE’s Office of Science efforts in QIS are informed by community input and target mission-focused applications including quantum computing, quantum simulation, quantum communication, and quantum sensing. DOE’s Office of Science supports five National QIS Research Centers and a diverse portfolio of research projects that includes recent awards to advance QIS in areas related to nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences.