Associate faculty members receive CREATE training grants

Perimeter Associate Faculty members David Cory and Michele Mosca, both jointly appointed with the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo, have received major federal grants worth $1.65 million each to launch cutting-edge training and mentorship programs for young Canadian scientists.

The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) grants support the training of exceptional students and postdoctoral fellows by encouraging and improving collaboration, and gaining professional skills and relevant experience while addressing important scientific challenges. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funds these grants.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced the awards at an event held at IQC on June 26. "Our government recognizes that these investments in scientists, researchers, and innovators are investments in our future," said Goodyear.

Cory, who joined Perimeter in 2010 and holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing, will use the CREATE funding to launch a project called the Program on Neutron Science and Engineering of Functional Materials. The project will train graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduates in the use and development of quantum information processing and neutron methods. "Neutron physics, and particularly neutron interferometry, is a natural test-bed for quantum information processing," Cory explained. "Today, research into quantum information processing can help transform neutron interferometry into a practical tool for characterizing materials, including magnetic and biochemical samples." Cory said the training program will "create a cohort of young, uniquely skilled, multidisciplinary researchers" whose expertise will take neutron and quantum information science "out of the lab to do important things for society."

Mosca, who is a founding member of Perimeter and the co-founder and Deputy Director of IQC, will lead a project entitled Building a Workforce for the Cryptographic Infrastructure of the 21st Century (BWCI-21). The program will bring together research teams, organizations, and industry from across Canada to prepare a new generation of researchers to pioneer a new global infrastructure for ultra-secure cryptography in the quantum era.

"Future technologies, such as quantum computers, will be powerful enough to break codes we currently rely on to protect private data, so we must harness and deploy new cryptographic tools that will be secure in a quantum world," said Mosca. "This CREATE program will give the next generation of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers unprecedented training and opportunities in this fast-changing field. The goal is to better prepare our students to make a positive difference in the workforce after they complete their BWCI-21 training."

Additional support from other sources doubles Mosca's total research funding for the project to $3.3 million and increases Cory's funding to more than $2.25 million. Several other Perimeter-affiliated researchers will be involved in the projects. Overall, through the CREATE program, 17 projects will receive a total of $28 million over six years to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements. In its first two years (2009-11), it has already supported 40 teams of researchers and more than 1,500 students and postdoctoral fellows.

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

For more information, contact:
Mike Brown
Manager, Communications & Media
519-569-7600 x5131