Microsoft to double headcount of Sydney quantum computing lab

Microsoft is seeking to double the size Station Q quantum computing lab in Sydney with 20 new hires.

Around 20 researchers are currently working at the lab, which is based within the Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory at the University of Sydney.

Over the next six months, 20 more employees will join its ranks as the company “doubles down” on its efforts to build a scalable quantum computer based on topological qubits.

Microsoft’s Sydney lab – one of eight worldwide – is focused on the interface between quantum systems and their specialised classical control and readout hardware.

“We're in significant ramp up phase,” lab director, Professor David Reilly told Computerworld.

“We'll be bringing on more than an additional 20 engineers or so to this group in the next six months. And then beyond that you know I would expect that things will continue to ramp up. We're hiring.”

Reilly officially joined the company in November, one of four big name academic hires announced at the time, tasked with exploring many of the engineering challenges for reading out and controlling qubits in scaled-up architectures.

The guitar-wielding experimental physicist, said the jobs on offer represented a unique opportunity.

“For me it's a dream come true because it is one foot in the most fundamental, deeply interesting, almost philosophical, mathematical, beautiful things that nature has to offer. I think in quantum physics and aspects of quantum mechanics which we're still trying to grapple with there are a lot of unknowns. It's a frontier, blue sky, open research,” he said.

“And then the other foot is about realising something, having an impact, building a technology that let's face it, as corny as it sounds, when these machines switch on and come into existence they're going to change the world.”

“So any of your readers are curious about getting involved in the field should be aware, and be looking now to see an opportunity,” Reilly added.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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