We are always on the lookout for high-quality PhD students or postdoctoral researchers to work within the research groups here within the Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics Group.


PhD Studentships

PhD students typically begin in October, however applications are accepted throughout the year. Students will join a vibrant cohort of over 30 students working on both fundamental and applied quantum technologies and receive focused graduate training in experimental atomic physics and quantum optics.

Students (including non-European students) with an excellent track record can apply for a SUPA prize PhD studentship with us and other PhD scholarship options at Strathclyde are shown here. Below, we give details of current fully-funded projects available. If you would like to know more about the projects in a given area or to work in something not listed below, please email the relevant member of academic staff for details.

Available studentships

The available projects listed below are fully-funded for the October 2019 intake, however there is some flexibility for a deferred start. Please contact the named academic supervisor for information.

Scalable Qubit Arrays for Quantum Computation and Optimisation

Quantum computation offers a revolutionary approach to information processing, providing a route to efficiently solve classically hard problems such as factorisation and optimisation as well as unlocking new applications in material science and quantum chemistry that could in future be scaled up to accelerate drug design or optimised materials for aerospace and manufacturing. Whilst large-scale applications will require thousands of qubits, in the near-term small (100 qubit) quantum processors will reach a regime in which the quantum hardware is able to solve problems not accessible even on the largest available conventional supercomputers.

This project will develop a new platform for quantum computing based on scalable arrays of neutral atoms that is able to overcome the challenges to scaling of competing technologies. We will develop new hardware to cool and trap arrays of over 100 qubits that will be used to perform both analogue and digital quantum simulation by exploiting the strong long-range interactions of highly excited Rydberg atoms. Together with the quantum software team lead by Prof. Andrew Daley, we will design new analogue and digital algorithms tailored for the neutral-atom platform to target industrially-relevant computation and optimisation problems.

Contact Dr Jonathan Pritchard – jonathan.pritchard@strath.ac.uk

Compact, laser-cooled atomic clocks

Atomic clocks are a shining example of the power that technology based on atomic physics can have. In the last decades, using atoms laser cooled to the microKelvin regime, the sensitivity of atomic clocks has increase to now being better than one second over the age of the universe. This project, a key node in the UK Quantum Technologies Hubs, is focussed on the development of an atomic clock in a compact and robust package, utilising holographic grating-MOT technique developed in our group at Strathclyde. The resulting device will challenge current state-of-the-art in commercial atomic clocks in cost, size, and stability. The successful candidate will gain cutting edge experience in atomic physics, lasers, optics, and vacuum technology.

Contact Dr Paul Griffin – paul.griffin@strath.ac.uk

Atom-interferometry for inertial sensing of rotation

The possibility of using interference of coherent matter-waves offer tantalising levels of potential accuracy for measurement devices. A particular application of interest is that of rotation sensing with applications in quantum-based, autonomous navigation devices. The student will join an research programmes in BEC interferometry at Strathclyde in the development of a Bose-Einstein condensate atom interferometer device. A key aim is the demonstration of an integrated optics and BEC interferometry. This project would ultimately inform the translation of chip-based BEC technology into a practical navigation tool.

Contact Dr Aidan Arnold – aidan.arnold@strath.ac.uk

Ultra-precise atomic magnetometry for unshielded measurements

This project builds on the experience at the University of Strathclyde in developing atomic magnetometers with sensitivities better than 1pT. Using compact, room temperature, atomic samples the new lab will compete directly with superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) based systems that require prohibitively expensive cryogenic environments. Here, we will develop new robust systems, including hardware an algorithms, for field-ready magnetic measurements in a battery-power device. The outcomes of the project will be immediately applied to measurement of real-world systems. Key targets are in measuring the bio-magnetic fields produced by the neuronal electrical activity of the human brain, and in deploying devices on unmanned land, air, and sea vehicles.

Contact Prof Erling Riis – e.riis@strath.ac.uk

A practical source of high brightness single photons for quantum illumination

Quantum illumination exploits correlations or entanglement in the emitted light to enable significant improvements in target discrimination and range-finding for radar or lidar applications compared to standard classical techniques. This approach simultaneously provides excellent noise rejection meaning the technique is robust to jamming and able to operate with emitted light levels well below the noise background to prevent detection by an eaves-dropper.

In this project the student will develop a compact, high brightness source of correlated single photons for performing experiments on quantum illumination to test and benchmark new protocols for un-jammable quantum radar. These protocols will be tested against the best classical detection strategies and will be developed in parallel with a theory student working on theory of quantum illumination and radar. The hardware developed in the project will enable future scalable implementation of quantum lidar with applications for autonomous vehicle navigation and covert sensing and detection.

Contact Dr Jonathan Pritchard – jonathan.pritchard@strath.ac.uk (Experiment) or Prof. John Jeffers john.jeffers@strath.ac.uk (Theory)

Ultracold atoms in an optical lattice

In this project the student will work on a quantum-gas microscope which allows us to image fermionic potassium atom by atom, lattice site by lattice site. This exciting new tool will open the path to the study of strongly correlated fermionic quantum systems in optical lattices with unprecedented insight into their local properties.

Contact Prof. Stefan Kuhr – stefan.kuhr@strath.ac.uk


Postdoctoral researcher vacancies

We are always keen to recruit motivated post-doctoral researchers and typically have funding available for excellent candidates. Current vacancies are listed below, however if you don’t see a vacancy for the research project you are interested in please contact the lead academic for information on current and future opportunities to join our teams.

Research Associate in Experimental Quantum Computing

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate to work on a new project to establish a novel platform for quantum computing based on scalable arrays of neutral atoms. The project, in collaboration with M Squared Lasers, will develop new hardware to cool and trap arrays of over 100 qubits that will be used to perform both analogue and digital quantum simulation by exploiting the strong long-range interactions of highly excited Rydberg atoms.

We are seeking highly a motivated experimental researcher who will be responsible for the design and construction of the experimental platform, as well as benchmarking new techniques and protocols for implementing quantum algorithms targeting industrially relevant problems ranging from optimisation to quantum chemistry.

The successful applicant will be based in the Department of Physics under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Pritchard, an EPSRC Quantum Technology Fellow, within the Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics group at Strathclyde, working in collaboration with researchers developing quantum software and algorithms targeted to the neutral atom platform lead by Andrew Daley. Candidates will have a PhD (or close to completion) in experimental atomic physics, quantum computing or have equivalent experience. Technical knowledge of electronics, lasers, vacuum systems and data analysis would be of advantage. An ability to prepare scientific publications and present research outcomes at local, national and international research meetings is expected. For more information contact jonathan.pritchard@strath.ac.uk or see the official advert.