UNSW to offer first quantum engineering undergrad degree

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UNSW to offer first quantum engineering undergrad degree
Dr Guilherme Tosi and Prof Andrea Morello at the UNSW quantum computing labs.
Quentin Jones/UNSW

As CSIRO calls for more training options.

UNSW is set to offer what is says is the world’s first bachelor’s degree in quantum engineering to meet growing demand for skills in the nascent industry.

Students in the Bachelor of Quantum Engineering (Honours) program will be trained in advanced electronics and telecommunications engineering with a focus on how to design and control complex quantum systems.

Courses in nanoelectronics, microwave engineering, quantum technologies for advanced sensors and secure communications will also be included in the degree.

UNSW Scientia Professor Andrea Morello, who helped develop the undergraduate course, said the degree will be an important part of establishing a quantum-ready workforce in Australia.

“As it stands, there simply aren’t enough qualified engineers to fill the jobs needing quantum skills in Australia - or anywhere in the world, in fact,” Morello said in a statement.

“It is not science fiction: you can already buy quantum-dot TVs and quantum-enabled mobile phones in the shops, right now.

“Developing and applying the cutting-edge technologies in these fields demands a deep understanding of their quantum nature.

“Moreover, this understanding can also be used to develop devices and capabilities that have no precedent, like quantum computers and quantum secure telecommunications. This is why we created the new degree.”

The CSIRO predicts quantum technology industries could generate $4 billion in revenue for Australia by 2040, creating over 16,000 jobs in the process.

CSIRO chief scientist Cathy Foley said the nation already has a track record for researching and developing new quantum technologies, but more workers are needed to capitalise on that progress.

“Australian science has been breaking new ground in quantum technologies for almost three decades,” Foley said.

“To maintain this position of leadership and ensure we capture our share of this high tech, high value opportunity, it’s crucial that education providers expand their quantum offerings.

“We need to build a quantum technology workforce in Australia that can translate our world-leading research into solutions to real-world challenges.

"So, I commend UNSW for creating the world’s first quantum qualification open to undergraduates.”

UNSW and other members of the Sydney Quantum Academy - including the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney - are also working to develop other quantum education initiatives.

The new stream of courses will also be available as a dual Bachelor of Engineering (Quantum Engineering)/ Bachelor of Advanced Science, with the first intake of students commencing in September for Term 3.

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