By Wayne Gillam | UW ECE News
Quantum computing systems hold the potential to spur significant breakthroughs in science, medicine and engineering by approaching complex problems in new ways. These breakthroughs could impact many aspects of our lives, leading to improvements in data and online security, healthcare, energy production and finance. The University of Washington Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering is committed to pioneering the development of quantum-enabled technologies through participation in the UW’s interdisciplinary QuantumX Initiative and through several associated research projects led by UW ECE faculty.
Now, the Department is proud to welcome two new faculty members who specialize in quantum information science and technology, or QIST. Sara Mouradian and Rahul Trivedi will join UW ECE as assistant professors in March 2022 and January 2023, respectively. Their new positions are supported by a UW College of Engineering cluster hiring initiative in QIST, which also includes new faculty hires in the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering, UW Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.
“Our vision is for the UW to have expertise across the full quantum stack,” said UW ECE and UW Department of Physics Associate Professor Kai-Mei Fu, who is co-chair of the Quantum X Initiative. “Our future colleagues in ECE, ME, MSE and CSE will help the UW address the key QIST engineering challenges of performance and scalability. We want to help develop a Quantum Silicon Valley in the Pacific Northwest, and we want the UW to be the number one place in the world for students to come and build their skills in QIST.”
Mouradian and Trivedi are both highly accomplished scholars and educators, and according to UW ECE Professor and Chair Eric Klavins, they will significantly enhance the Department and add great value to the University community.
“We are thrilled to have Sara and Rahul join UW ECE,” Klavins said. “Sara brings new technology and experimental methods, while Rahul brings theoretical and algorithmic foundations. Both will help connect physics to engineering, enabling QIST to fulfill its potential as a game-changing technology.”
Sara Mouradian is an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, where she is working to demonstrate a multi-register optical control system for trapped-ion quantum sensing. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 2010, 2012, and 2018, respectively. She began her research in quantum computing as an undergraduate while completing a senior research project. Mouradian’s research interests include engineering control infrastructure for large trapped-ion quantum systems without degrading the quantum memory storage time. Her academic interests range from nanophotonics to atomic physics.
“I’m excited to join the growing community of quantum researchers at ECE, UW and the Seattle area at large,” Mouradian said. “I’m also looking forward to teaching and working with the undergraduate and graduate students and to exploring the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.”
Rahul Trivedi is a postdoctoral scholar at the Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for Quantum Optics, working with Professor J. Ignacio Cirac. He obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2020 and Bachelor of Technology in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2016. Trivedi’s current research focuses on understanding the limitations of near-term quantum computers and simulators, as well as using them to aid simulation and design of next-generation quantum devices. He has previously worked on computational electromagnetics, nanophotonics simulation and design, and theoretical quantum optics.
Trivedi said, “I am looking forward to joining UW ECE, being a part of its diverse and multidisciplinary community and working toward solving both scientific and technological problems in quantum information sciences and beyond.”
UW ECE would like to thank the faculty search committee, which was chaired by UW ECE Professor Georg Seelig. The Department appreciates the committee members’ careful reviews, engaged participation and generous welcome toward the candidates.