When the Nasdaq market exchange rang its closing bell in New York City’s Times Square in the afternoon of July 20, Stevens Institute of Technology was front and center in the national spotlight — showcasing leading-edge university research commercialized and translated to the technology marketplace.
Center for Quantum Science and Engineering director Yuping Huang and School of Engineering and Science Dean Jean Zu stood on the Nasdaq stage with leadership from the Virginia-based quantum technology firm Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) as they pressed the circular button sounding the bell to end daily trading. The event highlighted QCI’s recent acquisition of Huang’s Stevens-based photonics venture QPhoton.
QPhoton will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of QCI, with Huang joining QCI as a director and in the role of Chief Quantum Officer. The companies have worked to jointly develop, market and sell quantum and photonic products, solutions and services including ready-to-run, full-stack quantum systems.
“Stevens Institute of Technology is immensely proud that Professor Huang, QPhoton and QCI have reached this exciting point in their goal to make quantum capabilities broadly accessible to many industries,” said Stevens President Nariman Farvardin. “Dr. Huang is a talented researcher and entrepreneur and a product of the fertile environment at Stevens that supports faculty in creating new technologies that have the potential to be major disruptors in industry and society.”
“As a quantum innovator, QPhoton leverages two decades of leading quantum studies to bring significant quantum value to the market,” added Robert Liscouski, CEO of QCI.
Hardware innovation, joined with software expertise
Since 2014, Huang has developed quantum technologies at Stevens with robust funding and research support from industry and government partners, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA.
His research primarily focuses on room temperature, practical quantum and photonic hardware capable of quantum computing, networking, communication, imaging, sensing, processing, and security. The work includes the development of novel quantum optical systems, nanophotonic chips, sensors and cybersecurity systems to power applications in finance, cybersecurity, defense, supply chain management, healthcare, climate science and other areas of significant importance to industry, economy and national security.
“The big idea,” he explains, “is making quantum technology easy to use for everyone, to develop applications that harness it in ways that benefit all of us on a daily basis.”
Virginia-based QCI is focused on quantum-optimization software and algorithms for newly developing quantum computing platforms, with an eye toward applications in logistics, supply chains and other challenges involving big data.
“Working with QPhoton,” said Liscouski, “we will create an integrated quantum solution that offers the opportunity to better solve these types of problems with a suite of highly integrated and optimized quantum technologies, including quantum sensors, quantum processors and quantum software.”
Zu noted how the partnership will leverage Stevens’ strengths in physics and quantum science.
“Stevens has been at the cutting edge of physics education and research since we established our first physics teaching lab in 1872,” she said. “Quantum science and engineering is a premier research area in our school, with some of our best and brightest researchers. Recently we have established a new master’s program in quantum engineering, which is one of the few programs in the nation that will educate the first qualified industry leaders in the new quantum workforce.”
“I am honored and truly excited to partner with QCI in this effort,” added Huang. “It is my dream and life’s work to bring quantum advantages to everyday technology users and to make it widely available to disciplines across industries. QPhoton’s merger with QCI is a major step forward in achieving this vision.”
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