IQC researchers David Cory and Michele Mosca have received prestigious federal grants worth $1.65 million each to launch cutting-edge training and mentorship programs for young Canadian scientists.
The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) grants support the training of exceptional students and postdoctoral fellows by encouraging and improving collaboration, and gaining professional skills and relevant experience while addressing important scientific challenges.
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced the awards Tuesday morning at an event at the Institute for Quantum Computing.
"Our government recognizes that these investments in scientists, researchers and innovators are investments in our future," Goodyear said during the event.
Professor David Cory will use the CREATE funding to launch a project called the Program on Neutron Science and Engineering of Functional Materials. The project will train graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and undergraduates in the use and development of quantum information processing and neutron methods. Cory is a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing.
“Neutron physics, and particularly neutron interferometry, is a natural test-bed for quantum information processing,” Cory explained. “Today, research into quantum information processing can help transform neutron interferometry into a practical tool for characterizing materials, including magnetic and biochemical samples.”
Cory said the training program will "create a cohort of young, uniquely skilled multidisciplinary researchers" whose expertise will take neutron and quantum information science "out of the lab to do important things for society."
Professor Michele Mosca received the funding for his project, Building a Workforce for the Cryptographic Infrastructure of the 21st Century (BWCI-21). The program will bring together research teams, organizations and industry from across Canada to prepare the new generation of researchers to pioneer a new global infrastructure for ultra-secure cryptography in the quantum era.
“Future technologies, such as quantum computers, will be powerful enough to break codes we currently rely on to protect private data, so we must harness and deploy new cryptographic tools that will be secure in a quantum world,’” said Mosca, IQC deputy director and co-founder.
“This CREATE program will give the next generation of mathematicians, scientists and engineers unprecedented training and opportunities in this fast-changing field. The goal is to better prepare our students to make a positive difference in the workforce after they complete their BWCI-21 training.”
Additional support, including funding from Waterloo, doubles Mosca’s total research dollars to $3.3 million, and increases Cory’s funding to more than $2.25 million in order to carry out their research as members of IQC.
“Waterloo researchers are known internationally for being among the best in the world,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “The CREATE grants promote the cultivation of excellent research talent, and this funding will assist these leaders in making meaningful scientific discoveries while training the next generation of great research talent.”
Seventeen projects will receive a total of $28 million over six years to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements. In its first two years (2009-2011), the CREATE program supported 40 teams of researchers and more than 1,500 students and postdoctoral fellows.