Member Profiles

Many of our members have been kind enough to share details about their work and their views on being members of the network in their own words. This will be continuously updated – read more about them below!

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

Makan Mohageg, Nan Yu

Makan Mohageg is the group lead for the Optical & Quantum System Engineering group at JPL.  They support the engineering & delivery of quantum technologies for use in space systems.  Some examples of their work include the Cold Atom Lab on International Space Station, which has been producing Bose Einstein Condensates in orbit since 2017, and continues to operate to this day – you can read more about this here!

One of the cool things about CAL is that it is engineered to support modular upgrades.  Since it’s initial launch and commissioning, enhanced capabilities have been added to the system.  One example of this is support of spin-state interferometry in orbit.  

Another project they work on is the Space Entanglement and Annealing Quantum Experiment (SEAQUE), which will deploy an integrated-optical source of entangled photons to the International Space Station and test laser-annealing of photodetectors.  SEAQUE integration and delivery is led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, under principal investigator Paul Kwiat.  Here is a press release on the project!

The new launch date for SEAQUE is February 2023.

In addition to quantum flight systems, they also support classical optical technology development and ground systems.  Here is a recent conference proceeding for the “RF/Optical Hybrid Telescope”.  RFO adds optical communication capabilities to microwave antennas, to improve the data downlink capabilities of NASA’s Deep Space Network.

INSQT Network is an important initiative to be part of.  Building a global quantum-internet, where quantum information can efficiently flow across continents, requires global cooperation.  INSQTNetwork allows the framework for both formal and informal discussions between participants, which will contribute to the efficient architecting of a future, global quantum network.

Makan Mohageg

The University of Warwick

Animesh Datta

The team at Warwick are interested in most aspects of quantum information science. They investigate topics theoretically with fundamental aspects in mind, but are also driven by experimental challenges and technological ramifications that require new theoretical rethinking. You can read more about them on their website, here!

Quantum Communications Hub, (advisory)

Prof. Timothy Spiller

Professor Tim Spiller has spent over 40 years researching quantum theory, superconducting systems and quantum hardware and technologies, and currently holds a Chair in Quantum Information Technologies at the University of York. He has substantial experience of working in industry and commercialisation. At HP Labs Bristol he was Director of Quantum Information Processing Research and a consultant on networking, communications and nanotechnology. Since 2014, he has been the Director of the Quantum Communications Hub, one of a network of four UK Technology Hubs funded through the National Quantum Technologies Programme. The Hub aims to deliver future-proof, practical, secure communications with commercialisation potential, by developing existing prototype quantum secure technologies beyond their current limitations; to thus contribute to the establishment of quantum communications technology industries in the UK; and to feed their future expansion, competitiveness, diversification and sustainability.

The importance of space quantum technologies is clearly growing worldwide. Indeed, in the UK Quantum Communications Hub we are contributing to this, with a CubeSat demonstration of QKD. INSQT provides an excellent forum for discussion of activities worldwide, and thus future collaboration opportunities.

Prof. Tim Spiller

University of Leeds

Prof. Mohsen Razavi

Since September 2009, Professor Mohsen Razavi has been a Faculty Member at the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds, and currently serves as Director of Post-Graduate Research Studies and the Engineering, Technology and Business Management Programme Manager. Prof Razavi is a recipient of the MIT-HP Alliance Fellowship and the Marie-Curie International Reintegration Grant. He chaired and organized the first International Workshop on Quantum Communication Networks in 2014. He also coordinated the European Innovative Training Network, QCALL, which aimed at providing quantum communications services to all users.  Prof Razavi has authored an introductory book on quantum communications networks published as part of IOP Concise Physics series. His research interests include a variety of topics in quantum and classical optical communications, quantum optics,  quantum key distribution, quantum repeaters and quantum communications networks.

Quantum connectivity requires both satellite-based and terrestrial networks. It’s exciting to be part of a network that contributes to efforts on making quantum communications globally accessible.

Prof. Mohsen Razavi

SpeQtral Pte Ltd

Dr. Robert Beddington

Dr Robert Bedington is co-founder and CTO of SpeQtral Pte Ltd, a Quantum Communications company based in Singapore and specialising in satellite quantum key distribution. SpeQtral is a spin-out company from the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore where Robert was previously a senior research fellow and satellite team lead for the SpooQy-1 CubeSat mission which launched in 2019. In the same year Robert was recognised by MIT as one of ten Innovators under 35 for the Asia Pacific region. Previously he worked as a JSPS fellow researching the miniaturisation of satellite instrumentation for plasma analysis at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and for his PhD at University College London he developed a miniature plasma analyser that was launched on the PoleCATS sounding rocket mission. He has a Physics degree from the University of Durham.

I’m in the network to learn more about new research and developments in the field and to look for partnerships and other opportunities for SpeQtral.

Dr. Robert Beddington

University of Western Australia

Prof. Michael Tobar

Professor Tobar leads the Quantum Technologies and Dark Matter Research Laboratory at the University of Western Australia. The lab is part of two nation-wide Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence, the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems and the Centre for Dark Matter Particle Physics. His broad research interests encompass the disciplines of frequency metrology, precision and quantum measurements, low temperature, condensed matter and quantum physics. Over his career he has developed a variety of measurement tools, allowing investigations in many areas of Physics and Engineering, leading to many prestigious awards. In particular, he has developed technologies to undertake precise tests of fundamental physics and has also adapted such technology to the commercial sector, which includes 12 patents on precision radar and detectors and over 300 refereed journal publications. He also leads the well-known ORGAN axion Dark Matter detector collaboration co-funded by both Centres, and in 2019 his group become an official collaborator of the famous Axion Dark Matter eXperiment situated at the University of Washington, Seattle.

We are interested in networks that can connect laboratories to enable synchronisation of experiments for practical applications and tests of fundamental physics.

We also build low phase noise oscillators, which have been used to operate atomic clocks at the quantum limit in labs in Europe and Asia, and are also used in high precision radar. We are interested in sharing our expertise within the network.

Professor Michael Tobar

University of Alberta

Dr. Linsday LeBlanc

At the University of Alberta, Dr. LeBlanc runs the Ultracold Quantum Gases Laboratory, which focuses on both fundamental research and practical applications using atomic physics techniques. With her team, she is currently engaged in three research directions: quantum simulations with ultracold atoms; quantum memories in atomic systems; and hybrid quantum systems, with a focus on microwave interactions and technologies.  In their quantum simulation work, the group uses light-matter interactions to design synthetic spin-orbit couplings and other spin-momentum correlations, and is currently working on simulating systems with non-trivial topologies.  In their quantum memory experiments, the team is exploring the implications of their recently proposed and demonstrated “Autler-Townes Splitting” protocol in cold and ultracold samples, and is currently working towards demonstrating storing, retrieving, and manipulating true quantum information.  In their work on hybrid quantum systems, the group is currently using warm vapours of alkali atoms inside a high-quality microwave cavity and investigating the mediation of optical and microwave signals by the atoms.

Covesion Ltd.

Stuart Coomber

Covesion are world leaders in the research, development and manufacture of MgO:PPLN crystals and waveguides for highly efficient, non-linear frequency conversion. With over 20 years’ experience in the manufacture of PPLN technologies, experts at Covesion are well equipped to provide insight and guidance on the design of systems for generating visible and IR light.

They work closely with collaborating partners to provide highly technical and exacting PPLN solutions for the space and quantum industries. Covesion engineers have developed frequency conversion technologies for a diverse number of applications including countermeasure systems, communications (earth to satellite and ground based), LIDAR, and a range of other sensing devices.

Covesion PPLN solutions are an essential component in many emerging applications in the quantum science field. Their range of bulk crystals and waveguides are commonly used in quantum systems where narrow linewidth lasers are needed to access specific atomic transitions. Their proprietary PPLN crystals can be used for atom cooling and trapping (including Rb, Sr, Be and Ca), as well as: entangled photon generation, upconversion sensing & detection, quantum key distribution and quantum computing applications.

Covesion provide off-the-shelf and custom crystals: from R&D requests to high volume OEM designs. Their team of PPLN engineers provide technical consultation and advice to assist in finding the right solution for each application. Their also support our customers with a range of PPLN crystal clips, ovens, temperature controllers and mounting accessories, providing a complete PPLN system for easy integration into optical arrangements.

Membership of INSQT will be of benefit to Covesion by providing a forum for the discussion of SQT development and we will use this forum to both inform our product development activities and actively contribute to the setting of technology strategy. We look forward to developing existing relationships and establishing new collaborations amongst the INSQT membership.

Dr. Stuart Coomber

Aquark Technologies

Andrei Dragomir

Aquark Technologies is a cutting-edge start-up in quantum technologies that promises to radically enhance our ability to sense, measure and compute on a mass-market scale. Aquark aims to create a break-through system to capture, manipulate, and exploit the quantum characteristics of atoms by way of a low-cost, low-power module based on ultra-cold atoms.

Aquark Technologies is a start-up from the University of Southampton that commercialises over a decade of research done by the Integrated Atom Chip group into shrinking the size, weight, power and cost of cold atom systems. It is our aim to take “quantum” out of quantum technology by making it widely available as a sensor technology for time, gravity, magnetic, electric, acceleration and rotational sensing as well as optimize computing and communication platforms.

They create cold atom engines for sensing that uses our revolutionary way of trapping and cooling atoms without the need of magnetic fields at its core. This unlocks a simplified and efficient design that offers disruptive capabilities to any system working with cold atoms.

Aquark Technologies has developed a miniaturized, plug-and-play cold-atom system that, as an enabling technology, will be used to enhance quantum applications, including atomic clocks, sensors,and navigation systems. Currently, cold atom systems are difficult to implement in commercial applications given their size and the environmental conditions required for their implementation. Aquark Technologies has developed a technique to miniaturize these cold atom systems using unique laser geometry that is based on more than 10 years of proprietary research at the University of Southampton.

“We believe that quantum technologies will have amazing applications in space and if we are to see the impact of this technology, it will be through collaboration. INSQT will have, therefore, a huge impact in getting industrial and academic partners with a similar goal together. We are excited to be part of such an expert initiative to learn how to better tailor our products to what the industry needs and to be part of the effort on using quantum technologies in space.”

Andrei Dragomir

Heriot-Watt University

Ross Donaldson

Heriot-Watt University plays a major role in the UK’s National Quantum Technology Programme, demonstrated through its leadership roles in the QuantIC and QuComms Research Hubs, leadership of independent EPSRC programme and international collaboration grants, and participation in over six quantum-themed industrial strategy challenge fund projects.

Academic teams within the University are involvement in the space segment of quantum technology through three quantum themed UK Space Agency projects and the QuComms Hub’s In-Orbit Demonstrator mission. The research focus in the space segment revolves around source (entanglement, single-photon, and weak-coherent pulse) and receiver development for both satellite and optical ground station platforms. Their major role within the UK is the development of a research-orientated optical ground station for satellite quantum communications, which will be an essential test-bed for planned and future missions.

Through this EPSRC Networking Grant, we hope to gain more visibility of international activities and how we can support and engage with them.

Ross Donaldson