Researcher secures grants to further quantum computing at BU

May 16, 2017

Sarah Plosker reads a book while standing in front of a white board with equations written on it
Dr. Sarah Plosker is the new Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information Theory. She will also be setting up a new Quantum Computing Lab at Brandon University.

BRANDON, Man. – Quantum computing at Brandon University (BU) will get a major lift thanks to two major federal grants earned by a member of the Faculty of Science.

Dr. Sarah Plosker has been selected as a Chairholder under the Canada Research Chair (CRC) Program. Plosker will be awarded $500,000 over the next five years as the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information Theory. She has also received a one-year grant, worth $66,295, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for the establishment of a Quantum Computing Lab at BU.

“I am honoured to receive these prestigious awards,” said Plosker. “The CRC is not only validation of my contributions to my field of study thus far in my early career, but also represents confidence from my peers and from the Government of Canada in the significance of my future work.”

The CRC funding will allow Plosker to focus on her research and develop a world-class quantum computing research program at BU.

She becomes the University’s third current Chairholder, joining Dr. Jonathan Allan, a Tier 2 CRC in Queer Theory, and Dr. Yvonne Boyer, a Tier 2 CRC in Aboriginal Health and Wellness.

“We are proud of the diversity and breadth of research represented by our Chairholders,” said Dr. Steven Robinson, Vice-President (Academic & Provost) at BU. “These researchers are all leaders in their respective fields, working on projects that make a profound difference in the way we view and interact with the world around us.  Dr. Plosker is a wonderful addition to this group, having demonstrated the knowledge, curiosity and commitment of an outstanding researcher.”

Quantum computing relies on the laws of quantum mechanics to process information at a speed and complexity far beyond the limits of current computers. The Quantum Computing Lab at BU will advance Plosker’s research while attracting and training newer researchers in the rapidly growing and advancing field.

“The groundbreaking work in the field of quantum communication being done by one of our graduates, Christopher Pugh, and his team at the University of Waterloo has recently drawn national recognition and provided great inspiration for us at BU,” said Dr. Austin Gulliver, Acting Dean of Science at BU.

“With the establishment of a Quantum Computing Lab, and talented researchers like Dr. Plosker leading the way, exciting new opportunities are being created for students to pursue their goals in Science at BU.”

Brandon University had an exceptional year of research in 2016, with faculty members involved in projects that generated more than $6.2 million in federal Tri-Agency grant money. That success has continued in 2017, with Plosker’s CRC appointment among the highlights early in the year.

“The secret is out that great research is being done at Brandon University,” said Dr. Heather Duncan, BU’s Associate Vice-President (Research). “Our faculty members are proving that small universities are capable of big achievements, and I look forward to many more exciting research projects to come.”