Perimeter Founding Faculty member named to Order of Canada

Raymond Laflamme, a founding Perimeter Faculty member and longtime director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, has been granted one of Canadas highest civilian honours.

Raymond Laflamme has been a driving force in Canadas emergence over the past two decades as a global leader in quantum information science. 

His recent appointment to the Order of Canada celebrates his “outstanding achievements as an administrator and researcher who has advanced quantum science and technology in Canada.”

Laflamme was among 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada, announced in late December by Governor General Julie Payette. 

“I am deeply honored by this recognition, and it should be shared with the team that has contributed to make it possible and who have inspired me,” Laflamme told the Waterloo Region Record.
Laflamme is a pioneer in quantum information processing who spent nearly a decade at the Los Alamos National Laboratory before he was recruited in 2001 to become one of Perimeters founding faculty members, and to become founding Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo in 2002. 
In the ensuing 15 years, under Laflamme’s leadership, IQC has grown from an idea to a world-leading centre for multidisciplinary research that is harnessing the quantum laws of nature to create the next generation of transformational technologies.
Laflamme has been a driving force in the establishment of the “Quantum Valley” ecosystem in Waterloo Region, which spans foundational theory (Perimeter Institute), experiment (IQC), commercialization (Quantum Valley Investments), and entrepreneurship (the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University). 
In his scientific work, Laflamme pioneered theoretical and experimental approaches to quantum information processing and quantum error correction. In subsequent work he pioneered approaches to quantum computing using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and linear optics. 
Prior to his groundbreaking work in quantum computing, Laflamme studied cosmology at the University of Cambridge under Stephen Hawking (and changed Hawking’s mind about the “arrow of time,” as recounted in Hawking’s bestseller A Brief History of Time).  
The appointment to the Order of Canada ends 2017 on “an incredibly positive note,” said Laflamme, who spent much of the year recovering from chemotheraphy and ratiation treatments for lung cancer. 
In September, it was announced that Laflamme will hold a new research chair into quantum error correction at the University of Waterloo. His term as executive director at IQC ended in the summer.
Laflamme also holds the Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information, and remains a founding Associate Faculty member at Perimeter Institute.
Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok described Laflamme as “a pioneering scientist and a builder, not only of a pathbreaking institution in IQC, but of our entire unique community. His brilliance, humility, personal warmth, and generosity make Ray a true Canadian treasure.”

Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique

L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.


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“For his outstanding achievements as an administrator and researcher who has advanced quantum science and technology in Canada.”


– Order of Canada citation for Raymond Laflamme