Towards professionalization of quantum science and technology

Acadèmic

Europe supports quantum science through the program Quantum Technologies Flagship , created to bring transforming advances to science, industry and society, and launch a solid industrial base based on the European tradition of excellence in quantum research. In this context, the 2021/2022 academic year launches the new master’s degree on Quantum Science and Technology.

Coordinated by the University of Barcelona, this master’s degree is the second one in Spain and the first one in Catalonia to major in this field. Among the participants are the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Technical University of Catalonia, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS), the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). The program, to be taught in English, is aimed at graduated students in Physics, Physics Engineering or related degrees, who want to continue their studies in this field. It will provide advanced knowledge to develop cutting-edge research on quantum science, from the theoretical side and the experimental branch in simulation, computing, sensors and communications.

On the one hand, communications and quantum sensors are part of the current economy, with products and services offered by specialized companies, which open new applications and new markets. On the other hand, computing and quantum simulation are under a research phase, but there are technological companies that are working on the first quantum computers for commercial uses that combine quantum computing and traditional ones. "Quantum physics will play an important role in the development of the near future, in our ability to estimate, communicate and measure in detail. For this reason, having a solid training in quantum sciences will be essential for promoting the limits of our knowledge and to develop new industrial products to benefit from the quantum properties", notes Bruno Julià, lecturer at the Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics of the UB and coordinator of the master. "This master is the seed of a professional future in the field of quantum science", adds the expert.

Apart from direct links to the industry through the QuantumCAT community, the new studies have the grouping of quantum technologies in Catalonia, which aim to promote synergies between different research centres and universities to strengthen the position of Catalonia as a distinguished region in quantum technologies. This link has enabled the participation of technological companies in the teaching program, as well as the promotion of the annual symposium of professional careers to facilitate the future integration of the students in the academic and the industrial sectors.

The fundamental objectives of the master’s degree are "on the one hand, to provide a solid education in theoretical physics and quantum information theory, and on the other, to offer a wide range of optional subjects to create a forward-looking study syllabus", notes Julià, also member of the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the UB.

The pre-enrolment period for the master’s degree is open until June 26. It also offers several grants. The course will start in September 2021 at the Faculty of Physics of the UB and will last a year (60 ECTS).


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