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Heriot-Watt University has won two prestigious Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Fellowships in Quantum Technology, namely an Established Career Fellowship for Professor Gerald Buller (worth £1.4 million) and an Early Career Fellowship for new academic Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi (worth £1.2 million).

Professor Gerald Buller is the founding Director of Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Science, where Heriot-Watt’s activities in this field are based. Having been a leading pioneer in the subject for over twenty years, the Established Career Fellowship will concentrate on Professor Buller’s research in quantum enhancement of next generation imaging systems.

Commenting on the fellowship, Professor Buller said, “This fellowship will allow our group to take our quantum-enhanced imaging research to the next level, beyond laboratory work.”

An expert in photonic quantum technology and its application to quantum computing, communication and simulation, Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi’s. Early Career Fellowship will study ultra-fast quantum cluster states for next generation quantum photonics and he joins the University from the University of Queensland.

Dr Fedrizzi said, “To have won the fellowship just prior to arriving will drastically accelerate my quantum technology programme at Heriot-Watt.”

Over the past year, Heriot-Watt quantum technologists have gained a total of more than £8.5m in new research contracts, as the University establishes an international centre of excellence in the field. These fellowships were awarded as part of the £270 million Government-funded UK Quantum Technologies Programme which aims to tackle the key technological challenges that must be overcome to realise the potential of the new generation of quantum technologies.

The Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Steve McLaughlin said, “To have gained a single fellowship would have been a genuine achievement, but to have gained two of these prestigious fellowships is a stunning success for the University, and is a testament to the progress of the institution in the last few years. Professor Buller and Dr Fedrizzi are two exceptionally gifted and active leaders in quantum technology research and both thoroughly deserve their successes.”

In total the programme has funded a total of nine fellowships across the UK.