The programme has PhD positions available across the three themes of Quantum Measurement and Sensing, Quantum Communications and Networking and Quantum Computation and Simulation.  Each institution will have a variety of projects across these themes and the topical focus can range from fundamental science to practical applications.

Open Positions


University of Strathclyde


Acceleration Sensing Using Optomechanical Droplets

Supervisor: Dr Gordon Robb;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

A Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) illuminated by light and its retroreflection from a  mirror can produce stable, soliton-like atom/light structures known as optomechanical droplets. The stability of these droplets is due to a balance between the mechanical effect of light and the quantum pressure in the BEC.

The project will involve developing recent theoretical work which suggests that these droplets could form the basis of new schemes for sensing acceleration of a BEC [1]. The BEC component of the droplet, possessing mass, can be accelerated due to e.g. gravity. Monitoring the trajectory of the light from the optical component of the droplet allows determination of the droplet acceleration. The project will involve theoretical studies of quantum and nonlinear physics involving development of computational models describing the interaction between light and BECs.

[1] J.G.M. Walker, G.R.M. Robb, G.-L. Oppo, and T. Ackemann, Phys. Rev. A 105, 063305 (2022).

Acceleration Sensing Using Optomechanical Droplets - Dr Gordon Robb

Quantum Features of Two-Polarization Laser Frequency Combs

Supervisor: Prof. Gian-Luca Oppo;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Frequency combs are spectra consisting of a series of discrete, equally spaced elements and form the modern standard of optical frequencies and clocks. Frequency combs led to the Nobel Prize in Physics to John Hall and Theodor Hänsch in 2005. Micro-resonator-based frequency combs have attracted a lot of attention for their potential applications in quantum technologies, precision metrology, sensing, arbitrary optical waveform generation, telecommunication and integrated photonic circuits. Micro-resonator combs are generated via cavity solitons in ultra-high-Q optical resonators that enable the confinement of extremely high optical power levels in tiny mode-volumes. The high optical power densities lead to the conversion of a continuous wave laser into a comb of equidistant optical modes that can be used like a ruler for optical frequency measurements. Cavity solitons were discovered and analysed in the CNQO group at Strathclyde first by Willie Firth and then by Gian-Luca Oppo in the 90‘s. In recent years theoretical and experimental evidence of cavity solitons for frequency combs has been extended to active systems such as in micro-resonators lasers in a collaboration between the CNQO group at Strathclyde and the group of Alessia Pasquazi now at Loughborough [1]. At the same time, symmetry breaking phenomena of cavity solitons in passive systems with two-polarization fields have been discovered and applied in collaborations with partners at the University of Auckland in New Zealand [2], NPL in Teddington, England and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany [3]. This project develops, optimises, and strategically compares accurate mathematical modelling at Strathclyde of quantum features in two-polarization frequency combs in micro-resonator lasers in a close connection with experiments performed in the group of Alessia Pasquazi at Loughborough. The objectives of the project are:

1) Theoretical setting of partial differential equation models describing cavity soliton and frequency comb generation in micro-resonators lasers with two polarizations.

2) Numerical integration of the theoretical models on already available state-of-the-art CNQO computers.

3) Determination of cavity-soliton regimes in comparison with the experiments performed at Loughborough. Special focus on the physical properties of the frequency combs.

4) Development of new models for quantum fluctuations and entanglement in micro-resonator laser frequency combs with two orthogonal polarization states for applications in quantum technologies.

The project will run in a close collaboration between Strathclyde and Loughborough. The CNQO group at Strathclyde is in a unique and strategic position world-wide being the inventor of the theory and first developer of the simulations associated with cavity solitons, the key elements of the optimal frequency-comb generation using micro-resonators. There is an extraordinary international interest in the development and application of compact and versatile devices for frequency combs. The project is expected to generate research publications in top impact journals, development of key applications in quantum technologies, international patents and new industrial collaborations. The PhD will be conducted in the Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics (CNQO) group in the Quantum Optics Division, Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde.


[1] “Laser cavity-soliton microcombs”, H. Bao, A. Cooper, M. Rowley, L. Di Lauro, J. Gongora, S. Chu, B. Little, G.-L. Oppo, R. Morandotti, D. Moss, B. Wetzel, M. Peccianti, and A. Pasquazi, Nature Photonics 13, 384–389 (2019); “Self-emergence of robust solitons in a microcavity”, M. Rowley, P.-H. Hanzard, A. Cutrona, H. Bao, S. Chu, B. Little, R. Morandotti, D. Moss, G.-L. Oppo, J. Gongora, M. Peccianti, and A. Pasquazi, Nature 608, 303 (2022)

[2] “Asymmetric balance in symmetry breaking”, B. Garbin, J. Fatome, G.-L. Oppo, M. Erkintalo, S. Murdoch, and S. Coen, Physical Review Research 2, 023244 (2020); “Spontaneous symmetry breaking of dissipative optical solitons in a two-component Kerr resonator”, G. Xu, A. Nielsen, B. Garbin, L. Hill, G.-L. Oppo, J. Fatome, S. Murdoch, S. Coen, and M. Erkintalo, Nature Communications 12, 4023 (2021)

[3] “Universal symmetry-breaking dynamics for the Kerr interaction of counterpropagating light in dielectric ring resonators”, M. Woodley, J. Silver, L. Hill, F. Copie, L. Del Bino, S. Zhang, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review A 98, 053863 (2018); “Self-Switching Kerr Oscillations of Counterpropagating Light in Micro-resonators”, M. Woodley, L. Hill, L. Del Bino, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review Letters 126, 043901 (2021); “A Kerr polarization controller”, N. Moroney, L. Del Bino, S. Zhang, M. Woodley, L. Hill, T. Wildi, V. Wittwer, T. Südmeyer, G.-L. Oppo, M. Vanner, V. Brasch, T. Herr, and P. Del’Haye, Nature Communications 13, 398 (2022)

Vortex Dynamics in Ultracold Quantum Mixtures - Dr Kali Wilson

Vortex Dynamics in Ultracold Quantum Mixtures

Supervisor: Dr Kali Wilson;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

In a quantum many-body system the interactions between the constituent microscopic particles lead to emergent macroscopic phenomena. Such phenomena include superfluidity (fluid flow without viscosity) and superconductivity (conduction of electricity without resistance). Novel phases such as high-temperature superconductivity form the basis of quantum materials, where useful emergent properties can lead to new technologies. Studying the dynamics of vortices (quantum whirlpools) can give key insight into the inner workings of these systems. Superfluids formed of ultracold atoms provide an extremely clean and well-controlled system for studies of collective quantum behaviour. They enable exquisite control over interactions, geometry, and rotation (vorticity). Importantly, in superfluids formed of mixtures of ultracold atoms we can tune the interactions to emphasize quantum effects such as fluctuations.

A key aim of this research project is to explore regimes where the behaviour of the superfluid depends on its inherent quantum nature. This will drive our fundamental understanding of superfluidity as a collective quantum phenomenon. The successful student will join the Quantum Fluids research team, run by Dr Kali Wilson. They will work closely with the supervisor and other team members on a state-of-the-art experimental apparatus designed to explore vortex dynamics in binary superfluids. The apparatus is currently being developed, and a major focus of the Phd project will be design and implementation of optical systems for controlled vortex nucleation in the superfluid mixture.

The successful student will also acquire practical skills in the areas of quantum technologies, optics and atomic physics. These skills include working with lasers, designing optical systems, high-resolution imaging and image processing, cooling and trapping atoms, as well as electronics and mechanical design.

Informal inquires can be made to Dr Kali Wilson,

For more information on our recent research see the group webpage at

Information on Strathclyde’s EDI policies can be found here


Quantum Features of Two-Polarization Laser Frequency Combs- Prof. Gian-Luca Oppo

Remote and distributed real-world quantum magnetic sensing

Supervisor: Dr Stuart Ingleby;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

The ongoing development of sensing modalities and capabilities of atomic magnetometers operating in the Earth’s magnetic field enables new applications in remote and distributed sensing. This project will further develop the measurement capabilities of miniaturised optically pumped atomic magnetometers deployed in the field, capable of autonomous off-grid measurement. This PhD project involves the development and integration of the individual components required to realise reliable and autonomous measurement devices with wide-ranging applications including geophysical surveying, measurement of space weather, and the detection of hidden objects.

Remote and distributed real-world quantum magnetic sensing - Dr Stuart Ingleby

Optical parametric oscillation in VECSELs to generate squeezed light states

Supervisor: Prof Jennifer Hastie;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) have been exploited for the generation of squeezed light states for quantum applications, such as communication [1], cryptography [2] and computing [3], due to their ability to produce photons with non-classical correlations. Recently, our group demonstrated the use of a visible vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting-laser (VECSEL) [4] as the pump source for a single-frequency OPO at optical communications wavelengths, taking advantage of low noise and relaxation-oscillation-free laser dynamics; an intra-VECSEL cavity singly resonant OPO (VECSEL ICSRO) [5]. In this project, we will investigate below- and above-threshold operating regimes of the VECSEL ICSRO, techniques for active stabilisation, and the quantum characteristics of the light for applications including imaging.


[1] K. Niizeki et al., Appl. Phys. Express 11, 042801 (2018).

[2] G. Bertaina et al., ArXiv:2310.08621v1 (2023).

[3] N. Akerman et al., New. J. Phys. 17, 113060 (2015).

[4] M Guina et al., J. Phys. D 50, 383001 (2017).

[5] S. Anderson et al., Optica Open. Preprint.

Optical parametric oscillation in VECSELs to generate squeezed light states - Prof Jennifer Hastie

Scalable and fully-integrated atomic platforms for field applications

Supervisor: Dr James McGilligan;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

The separation of atomic energy levels provides a previously unobtainable accuracy and precision in metrology, with an SI traceable reference to frequency and wavelength. Instrumentation that utilises atomic spectroscopy for metrology remain at the state-of-the-art for atomic clocks, magnetometers, and wavelength references. Recent advancements in micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) vapour cells have supported the miniaturisation and commercialisation of atomic metrological instruments in millilitre packages. Here at the University of Strathclyde we are developing new techniques for system miniaturisation that offer the potential to revolutionise the next generation of atomic based quantum technologies.

This project will focus on the development of a chip-scale wavelength references and optical clocks, utilising a micro-fabricated package for atom light interactions. This hands-on experimental project will cover topics in micro-fabrication, systems engineering, atomic metrology, and quantum physics to build chip-scale apparatus that can be deployed in real world applications.

Relevant work:

John Kitching , “Chip-scale atomic devices”, Applied Physics Reviews 5, 031302 (2018)

  1. P. McGilligan, K. Gallacher, P. F. Griffin, D. J. Paul, A. S. Arnold, and E. Riis “Invited Review: Micro-fabricated components for cold atom sensors ” Rev. Sci. Inst. 93 (2002)
  1. Dyer, P. F. Griffin, A. S. Arnold, F. Mirando, D. P. Burt, E. Riis, and J. P. McGilligan, “Micro-machined deep silicon atomic vapor cells ” Journal of Applied Physics, 132 (2022)
  1. Dyer, K. Gallacher, U. Hawley, A. Bregazzi, P. F. Griffin, A. S. Arnold, D. J. Paul, E. Riis, and J. P. McGilligan, “Chip-scale packages for a tunable wavelength references and laser cooling platform” Physical Review Applied 19, 044015 (2023)

Scalable and fully-integrated atomic platforms for field applications - Dr James McGilligan

Integrated cold-atom microwave clock

Supervisor: Prof Erling Riis, Dr Paul Griffin;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Microwave atomic clocks have represented the state of the art since the 1950s, operating in two regimes for measuring an atomic hyperfine transition: either direct interrogation or Ramsey spectroscopy. The former is the approach widely used in the atomic clocks for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) whereas the latter is a more sophisticated technique used in terrestrial beam clocks and atomic fountains. The technological challenge remains to create microwave atomic clocks that are compact, portable, and can be deployed in various environments relevant to defence and security, rather than being confined to a laboratory.

The ambition in this project is to demonstrate the combination of new two technologies developed at Strathclyde in a single atomics package – integrated loop-gap microwave cavity as a vacuum chamber and an on-chip atomic fountain with high contrast fringes. These will form the kernel for a compact microwave atomic clock offering excellent short-term and long-term performance, comparable to that of an atomic fountain.

In this project we look to build on technology developments at Strathclyde to demonstrate an integrated laser-cooled microwave atomic clock with state-of-the-art short term performance and  long-term accuracy approaching that of an atomic fountain. The project therefore addresses a crucial scientific and technological challenge for delivering precise and stable timekeeping in a compact package that is scalable to mass manufacturing while matching or exceeding industry leading clock performance.


Integrated cold-atom microwave clock - Prof Erling Riis

SI-traceable atomic thermometry

Supervisor: Dr Aidan Arnold;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

You will be part of a new research area for the UK, namely making absolute and traceable measurements of temperature using optical measurements of the Doppler broadening of an atomic transition. The aim is to scale to practical (~mm sized) sensors using miniature optical cells filled with appropriate atomic/molecular species.

This project is in conjunction with external collaborative partner Prof Graham Machin at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

SI-traceable atomic thermometry - Dr Aidan Arnold

Dynamics of spontaneous magnetic multipole ordering

Supervisor: Prof. Thorsten Ackemann

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Magnetic properties of materials have been under intense scrutiny for decades, motivated on the one hand by the constant need to improve storage applications to meet the requirements of our modern information society and on the other hand by complex and yet not fully understood fundamental phenomena such their connection to high-Tc superconductivity and new phases like altermagnetism with potential long-term applications. Exotic magnetic properties associated to high-order multipole states (quadrupole and beyond) in heavy-fermion metals have also recently attracted interest, not the least due to the connection to unconventional superconductivity.

Motivated by these questions, we are investigating quadrupolar and dipolar ordering in a cold atom system of rubidium atoms with light-induced magnetic interactions. Note that in contrast to other quantum simulation schemes, we are operating with real spin in real magnetic fields and not pseudo-spins in synthetic gauge fields.  In this well controlled system, spontaneous quadrupolar ordering linked to anti-ferromagnetic dipolar ordering is found similarly to the condensed-matter systems [1,2]. Recently, we observed a spontaneously drifting multipolar spin density wave, an out-of-equilibrium generalization of sliding spin density waves [3], but many aspects of the dynamics are still unclear.

The project is aimed at a detailed imaging and understanding of the magnetic atomic structure by optical and microwave means by measurements of the complete Stokes parameters of the transmitted pump and dedicated probe beams. It will analyse the excitation spectrum of the system (magnons) above and below threshold of ordering and look at the mechanisms responsible for the stabilization of the particular phases, in particular the highly interesting time-dependent phase and its relation to dissipative time crystals. We will look at the possibility of skyrmions and magnetic bubbles and their switching dynamics. The experimental results will be compared to a theory based on the density-matrix approach [1,3].

As the theory developed to describe the complex light matter interaction in arbitrarily oriented magnetic field is fully nonlinear, it is applicable also to understand the behaviour of alkaline-atom based magnetometers at arbitrary light levels. This aspect will be explored in collaboration with the strong activities on high-performance magnetometers within the Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics group.

We have a close collaboration with the Institut de Physique de Nice, Universite Cote d’Azur, France, with the possibility of a placement.


[1] G. Labeyrie, J. G. M. Walker, G. R. M. Robb, R. Kaiser, and T. Ackemann. Ground-state coherence versus orientation: competing mechanisms for light-induced magnetic self-organization in cold atoms. Phys. Rev. A 105, 023505 (2022)

[2] G. Labeyrie, I. Kresic, G.R.M. Robb, G.-L. Oppo, R. Kaiser, and T. Ackemann. Magnetic phase diagram of light-mediated spin structuring in cold atoms. Optica 5, 1322- 1328 (2018)

[3] G. Labeyrie, J. G. M. Walker, G. R. M. Robb, R. Kaiser, and T. Ackemann. Spontaneously sliding multipole spin density waves in cold atoms. arXiv:2310.17305


Contact: Prof. Thorsten Ackemann, University of

Dynamics of spontaneous magnetic multipole ordering- Prof Thorsten Ackemann

Heriot-Watt University


Quantum sensors for nanoscale detection

Supervisor: Cristian Bonato;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

We are developing quantum sensors as small as one single electron spin, to probe novel phenomena (magnetism, superconductivity, transport…) in nanoscale quantum materials/devices, and to detect ultra-small quantities of molecules of biomedical interest. Our lab has built and operates several quantum sensing setups, including a scanning probe quantum magnetometer working down to cryogenic temperature (one of just a few available world-wide). We can offer different projects related to quantum sensor optimisation (artificial intelligence, chemical functionalisation, etc) and to applications in condensed matter physics and bio-chemistry.

Quantum sensors for nanoscale detection- Cristian Bonato


Single photon imaging for subsea applications

Supervisor: Aurora Maccarone;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

This PhD project aims to investigate novel single‑photon detector arrays for underwater single‑photon depth imaging. The successful candidate will investigate different single-photon technologies to obtain three-dimensional images in several underwater environments and for different subsea applications. The project will involve hands‑on experimental work and desk-based work, including data analysis and feasibility studies. Therefore, the candidate will develop skills in single‑photon detection, design and construction of experimental optical setups, and programming. The experimental work will also include to plan, prepare, and conduct field‑trials.

Single photon imaging for subsea applications- Aurora Maccarone


Twistoptics: engineered light-matter interactions in twisted two-dimensional heterostructures

Supervisor: Mauro Brotons y Gisbert;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

Twisted two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures offer unprecedented opportunities to engineer and tune the light-matter interactions at the quantum level. This project aims to design, fabricate, and characterise twisted van der Waals nanodevices for applications in quantum technologies.”

Twistoptics: engineered light-matter interactions in twisted two-dimensional heterostructures - Mauro Brotons y Gisbert


Fundamental limits in imaging and navigation using quantum technologies

Supervisor: Jonathan Leach;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The Quantum Optics and Computational Imaging at Heriot-Watt University is recruiting PhD students in the fields of non-linear imaging and fundamental limits of quantum-enabled position, navigating and timing. The goal of these projects is to develop next-generation computational imaging systems and navigation systems based on the latest classical and quantum technologies. For further information on our current and future projects, please contact Prof. Jonathan Leach or visit

Fundamental limits in imaging and navigation using quantum technologies - Jonathan Leach

The quantum gravity emulator.

Supervisor: Patrik Ohberg;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

This is a project in theoretical physics where the aim is to study the back-action problem in curved space-time. Different physical platforms from condensed matter and photonics will be considered in order to identify links between quantum systems governed by a mathematical description similar to gravitational phenomena.

The quantum gravity emulator - Patrik Ohberg

Tensor network approaches to (strong coupling) open quantum systems modelling

Supervisor: Erik Gauger;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The dynamics of real-world quantum systems are inevitably influenced by their interaction with their wider physical environment. When the coupling to such an environment is strong, for instance in solid-state and molecular systems, traditional time-local approaches to open quantum system dynamics fail, and it becomes necessary to keep track of the full history of past interaction to predict future system behaviour. This is a notoriously difficult endeavour, however, in recent years we have developed a suite of groundbreaking new algorithms to tackle this challenge. In particular, we use tensor network approaches to capture the full influence of the environment on a system efficiently and without making physical approximations. In this project, we will exploit and combine powerful features from currently distinct and complementary tensor network methods. This will then enable us to apply our methods to real-world condensed matter quantum nanostructures, and to develop practical designs and blueprints towards realising a broad range of quantum devices.

Tensor network approaches to (strong coupling) open quantum systems modelling - Erik Gauger

University of Glasgow

Atomic magnetometry with vector light

Supervisor: Sonja Franke-Arnold;

Institution: University of Glasgow

Optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs), envisioned 60 years ago and commercially available for the last decade, provide a non-cryogenic alternative to superconducting magnetometers. Quantum interference induced in alkali atoms by optical fields, exhibits exceptional sensitivity to frequency shifts induced by magnetic fields. So far, all commercial OPMs and almost all related scientific explorations are based on optical pumping with homogeneously polarised laser light. Light shaping techniques developed at Glasgow and elsewhere allow us to imprint light with spatially varying polarisation structures. In this project you will develop OPMs that are pumped with structured vector light, with the aim of demonstrating an enhancement temporal and spatial resolution enhancement.  The project is part of a starting network in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in Europe.

Atomic magnetometry with vector light - Sonja Franke-Arnold

The Quantum Vacuum in Nanotechnology

Supervisor: Robert Bennett;

Institution: University of Glasgow

Description: The continuing miniaturisation of technology means that effects induced by the quantum vacuum can become relevant in practical situations. Such phenomena include the famous Casimir effect between two surfaces, but also the related Casimir-Polder effect between an atom (or molecule, or quantum dot, or microsphere) and a nearby macroscopic object. Calculation of these forces draws on techniques from quantum field theory, quantum optics, and condensed matter physics, making this type of physics inherently multidisciplinary. Special techniques related to antenna design are also required whenever the surface involved has any complex geometry (as shown in the picture). In this project, you will exploit and extend cutting-edge analytical and/or numerical techniques for predicting Casimir-Polder forces relevant to contemporary experiments operating at the nanoscale.

The Quantum Vacuum in Nanotechnology - Robert Bennett

Quantum Gyroscope

Supervisor: Douglas J. Paul

Institution: University of Glasgow

The project aims to use different colours of light that can attract and repeal atoms in a vacuum to trap the atoms and cool them to microKelvin temperatures.  Photonic integrated circuits combined with microfabricated channels and MEMS vapour cells will be developed to trap, condition, control and guide atoms for miniaturise cold atom systems. The aim is to create technology that can reduce the size of cold atom systems so they can be used in practical sensors that could fit inside a mobile phone. This project has the aim of developing chip-scale technology for cold atom systems that can condition and guide the cold atoms in a ring to make a cold atom gyroscope sensor to measure rotation although the technology could be developed into many other sensors. Trapping atoms using lasers has allowed atoms to be cooled to microKelvin temperatures resulting in many of the most accurate and sensitive systems for atomic clocks, accelerometers, gyroscopes and gravimeters. Such cold atom traps are also the basis of qubits for a number of quantum computing proposals. These cold atom systems presently use large vacuum chambers with high power lasers to trap millions of atoms.

Quantum Gyroscope - Douglas J. Paul


University of Strathclyde



Metasurfaces for quantum networks

Supervisors:  Dr Francesco Papoff, Prof John Jeffers;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

In the last few years dielectric metasurfaces have revolutionized optical imaging

replacing combinations of many optical elements with structured surfaces of reduced thickness and very high optical efficiency. In this project we aim to design optimized metasurfaces for distributing different photon states to a large number of users and reducing the number of optical elements necessary for the development of quantum networks. The physical basis of this project is that metasurfaces can have a large number of scattering channels that can become the backbone of compact quantum networks for multiparty communication.

During this project the students will acquire a very unusual combination of skills in advanced photonics, quantum information and inverse design based on machine-learning that will provide an excellent base for future career developments. The project will be done in collaboration with the Atlantis group of INRIA at the University of the Cote d’Azur, France, who will advice on machine-learning. The PhD student may spend some time at INRIA while doing their thesis.

Metasurfaces for quantum networks - Dr Francesco Papoff, Prof John Jeffers

Heriot-Watt University


Near room temperature single-photon detectors for quantum-enhanced imaging and quantum communication.

Supervisor: Xin Yi;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

Systems for the emerging applications need single-photon detectors that are capable of detecting an individual quantum of light at near room temperature. One example is quantum key distribution, which requires an ultrahigh-efficiency, low-noise and high-speed detector. In this project, you will design and fabricate the novel III-V semiconductor based single-photon avalanche diode detectors that can be employed for the emerging quantum technology application systems.

Near room temperature single-photon detectors for quantum-enhanced imaging and quantum communication - Xin Yi

Quantum Photonics in Space and Time

Supervisor: Mehul Malik;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

In this PhD project, you will explore new ways to control the spatial and temporal structure of light at the quantum level. You will apply these techniques for the precise measurement, manipulation, and transport of high-dimensional photonic entanglement. You will work towards the development of entanglement-based quantum technologies for noise-robust quantum communication and quantum-enhanced imaging.

Quantum Photonics in Space and Time - Mehul Malik

Next-Generation Free-Space and Satellite Quantum Communications

Supervisor: Ross Donaldson;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

Research focussed on addressing the challenges facing practical free-space and satellite quantum communications. This is a hands-on project to demonstrate next-generation technologies and techniques alongside industrial partners. The studentship will benefit from the research team’s optical ground station and involvement in funded and operational CubeSat missions.

Next-Generation Free-Space and Satellite Quantum Communications - Ross Donaldson

Global quantum networking

Supervisor: Alessandro Fedrizzi;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The “quantum internet” will be formed by regional quantum networks interconnected with satellite links. Joining our lab would give you an opportunity to work on terrestrial quantum networking focused on multi-party quantum protocols based on medium-scale photonic entanglement in telecom fibre, and/or on entanglement-assisted long-distance quantum communication via international satellite missions.

Next- Global quantum networking - Alessandro Fedrizzi

Engineering quantum interactions in semiconductor devices

Supervisor: Brian Gerardot;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The Quantum Photonics Lab at HWU has PhD positions focussing on electron-electron, electron-photon, and photon-photon interactions in novel semiconductor devices we design and fabricate ourselves. We characterize the devices at cryogenic temperatures using laser spectroscopy and quantum optical techniques and aim to exploit these devices for applications in future quantum technologies.

Engineering quantum interactions in semiconductor devices - Brian Gerardot

Integrated photonic quantum memories with rare earth doped crystals

Supervisor: Margherita Mazzera;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The activity of the Quantum Memory group within the Quantum Photonics Lab aims at the development of new platforms for integrated quantum devices for single photon storage based on rare earth ion doped materials. This involves 1) the investigation of the mechanisms affecting the optical and spin coherence properties of the rare earths in new crystal matrices, 2) the design of confined structure with the aim of achieving improved performances and facilitating the coupling with other integrated quantum technologies as quantum light sources or detectors, and 3) the implementation of quantum storage protocols. Different projects are currently being developed in the lab, from the demonstration of a broadband quantum memory working in the telecom window and compatible with quantum dot single photons, to the design and realization of a local processor for photons including spatially multiplexed integrated quantum memories.

Integrated photonic quantum memories with rare earth doped crystals - Margherita Mazzera


Heriot-Watt University


PhD on the theory of strongly correlated quantum matter

Supervisor: Adrian Kantian;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

The successful candidate will have a choice of projects according to their individual interests, to be delineated at the outset and in close coordination with the supervisor. One possibility would be work on cutting-edge methods for strongly correlated electrons in high-temperature superconducting systems, and then deploying these methods e.g. for modelling experiments in analog quantum computers based on ultracold atomic lattice gases. Other possible projects include charge-transport through noisy environments (the basic process behind light-harvesting nanostructures), or designing quantum simulations of dynamically induced superconductivity, or the physics of flat bands in atomically thin 2D quantum devices, bilayer TMDs (transition metal dichalcogenides).


PhD on the theory of strongly correlated quantum matter - Adrian Kantian

Scalable and integrated quantum devices in silicon carbide

Supervisor: Christiaan Bekker;

Institution: Heriot-Watt University

Silicon carbide is a promising semiconductor platform for quantum technologies, boasting excellent optical, mechanical, and electronic properties, in conjunction with hosting single electrons with promising photonic and spin properties, and a strong fabrication base. This project seeks to harness these properties by developing on-chip structures and techniques which can maximise the efficiency of encoding and reading out quantum information from spin-based qubits, in a manner which enables thousands of devices to be fabricated on a single chip. Work in the project will encompass device design and simulation, fabrication in a cleanroom environment, and characterisation in a laser laboratory.

Scalable and integrated quantum devices in silicon carbide - Christiaan Bekker

University of Strathclyde

Quantum electronics based on commercial CMOS technology nodes

Supervisor: Dr Alessandro Rossi;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

The rise of quantum information science has provided bridges between different research areas in physics, engineering and material science. Such a crossover is well embodied by the development of novel quantum systems within the stringent requirements of the semiconductor industry manufacturing process. In particular, the ongoing development of semiconductor-based quantum computers is showing the need for a synthesis between conventional integrated electronics and advanced quantum electronics. It is becoming increasingly clear that Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) devices, the cornerstone of today’s consumer electronics, could be used to this end.

This experimental PhD project will focus on developing strategies to monolithically integrate control, validation and quantum electronics on the same chip manufactured in commercial silicon foundries. It would be of particular interest the development of on-chip multiplexers and telemetry operating at cryogenic temperature, to implement fast feedback through the design-manufacturing-test cycle of quantum components.

The research activities will balance

  • semiconductor integrated circuit design and modelling with an eye to the use of cost-effective CMOS technology nodes
  • quantum measurements at deep cryogenic temperatures
  • development of new techniques for reproducible test of quantum components for varying environmental conditions, such as temperature, magnetic and electric fields.

Throughout the lifespan of this project, the student will develop hands-on laboratory experience and become an expert of:

  • electrical characterisation of quantum devices
  • operation of state-of-the-art cryogenic systems, such as dilution refrigerator
  • software development for highly automated experimental routines (based on Python language)
  • circuit design and tape-out for foundry fabrication
  • device and circuit modelling based on first principles as well as commercial software packages (e.g. TCAD, CADENCE, AWR Microwave Office, Comsol Multiphysics)


Quantum electronics based on commercial CMOS technology nodes - Dr Alessandro Rossi

Hybrid polaritonic platforms for scalable quantum hardware

Supervisor: Dr Konstantinos Lagoudakis;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Scalable quantum systems with the capacity to be initialized, read and manipulated in short timescales, constitute a pillar for the development of quantum hardware.Among the multitude of existing material platforms with such potential, semiconductor quantum dots are a very promising system. Quantum dots embedded in microcavities have been hailed as excellent candidates for the creation of single qubit gates, however, scaling to two or more qubits becomes increasingly difficult because of the inherent inhomogeneity of such nanostructures.

This project will focus on the investigation of a novel hybrid approach to overcome this issue, whereby we will utilize the unique properties of light-matter quasiparticles called microcavity exciton-polaritons, to enable interactions between quantum dots that are dissimilar. This scheme promises fast single-shot quantum non-demolition measurement of individual spin qubits, universal spin qubit operation and the creation of two-qubit phase gates. The project’s main objectives are the design and characterisation of the hybrid exciton polariton-quantum dot platform, the investigation of the impact of the hybrid character on the properties of the quantum dot qubits and the demonstration of quantum gate operation using the microcavity exciton-polariton as information bus.

If you have questions on the project or the application process, please contact

Dr Konstantinos Lagoudakis at

Hybrid polaritonic platforms for scalable quantum hardware - Dr Konstantinos Lagoudakis

Designing Light for Ultracold Atomtronics

Supervisor: Dr Alison Yao;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

The next generation of quantum technologies will rely on a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental quantum processes involved in the interaction of light and ultracold atoms, or Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). This project will develop complex theoretical and numerical models to design and optimize these interactions, taking advantage of the multiple degrees of freedom made available by spatially structuring the light and BEC in their intensity, phase and polarization. These numerical models will explore the exchange of angular (both spin and orbital) momentum between the light and the BEC, stimulating fundamental new methods for controlling and structuring both the light and the ultracold matter towards the generation of novel atomtronic circuits. In addition, this will have potential for application in quantum sensing of forces, rotations and magnetic fields, quantum simulation with long-range coupling, and quantum information transfer and storage.

These theoretical studies will be complemented by close collaboration with local experimental groups involved in BECs at Strathclyde to ensure that our models and results remain experimentally viable.

You will benefit from top quality training in computational methods in physics and essential training in standard and advanced techniques for the investigation of nonlinear partial differential equations, combined with advanced data visualization methods for the interpretation of results. These transferable skills are of use in many research areas and offer excellent opportunities for future employment.

Contact: Dr Alison Yao, University of Strathclyde –

Designing Light for Ultracold Atomtronics - Dr Alison Yao

Scaling Control for Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuits

Supervisor: Prof. Michael Strain;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) have developed rapidly over the last decade, enabling the miniaturisation of optical systems onto a single chip. Furthermore, the integration of electronics and photonics on a chip have underpinned advances in telecommunications, sensing, and recently, quantum information processing.  In quantum systems, photons can be used as a communications layer between solid-state quantum nodes or as qubits themselves. The compact size and mechanical stability of PICs make them an attractive option for the routing and processing of optical signals at significant scale.

One major challenge lies in the reconfigurability of these PICs. To allow for flexible and controllable circuits, a mechanism for tuning optical components is necessary. The most innovative current state of the art in the field for telecommunications applications uses PIN junction diodes or thermal heater elements to create absorption or refractive index changes in the waveguiding material. For quantum systems, neither of these methods are ideal, the former introduces noise photons to the circuit and the latter introducing thermal sources into the cryogenic conditions necessary for many of the single photon source and detector technologies employed.  Furthermore, control of individual devices is limited by the number of electronic connections that can be bonded to the chip and the availability of large format controllers off-chip.

In this project a new method for controlling and reconfiguring PICs will be developed that is compatible with low power consumption operation. To achieve this, a hybrid integration method will be used to integrate custom electronic driver chips, with thousands of independent connections, directly with the quantum photonic chips.  Scaling of on-chip control by direct electronic-photonic integration will unlock the potential of quantum systems-on-a-chip and provide a new generation of hardware for the development of quantum computation, communications and sensing applications.

The student will carry out numerical simulations of devices to optimise the geometries and circuit layouts which will then be used for fabrication of PIC systems.  The student will be responsible for the measurement of the resultant PIC systems in state-of-the-art optical laboratories with access to classical and single photon sensitive measurement equipment. Measurement results will be used to feedback into optimisation of the fabrication process with final circuit designs being used to implement quantum information processing experiments. The student will be part of a larger research group with the opportunity to work with others in a collegiate and enthusiastic team. Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at an international conference.

Institute of Photonics

The Institute of Photonics (IoP), part of the Department of Physics, is a centre of excellence in applications-oriented research at the University of Strathclyde.  The Institute’s key objective is to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications and development in the area of photonics. The IoP is located in the £100M Technology and Innovation Centre on Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, at the heart of Glasgow’s Innovation District, where it is co-located with the UK’s first Fraunhofer Research Centre. Researchers at the IoP are active in a broad range of photonics fields under the areas of Photonic Devices, Advanced Lasers and Neurophotonics, please see our research. Strathclyde Physics is a member of SUPA, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

Applicants can contact Prof. Michael Strain for further details:

Scaling Control for Quantum Photonic Integrated Circuits - Prof. Michael Strain

Quantum Error Correction in a dual species Rydberg Array (QuERy)

Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Pritchard;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

This project seeks to develop a dual-species platform for quantum computing and simulation with neutral atoms, providing a route to implementing active quantum error correction essential for future scaling beyond 100 qubits. This hardware will simultaneously provide a versatile platform for analogue computing and simulation due to the ability to independently control inter- and intra-species interactions, providing a route to performing studies of complex many-body physics as well as increasing the diversity of real-world optimisation problems that can be tackled using neutral atom hardware.

Over the last decade, neutral atoms have emerged as one of the most promising platforms for quantum information processing, with a major advantage over competing technologies arising from the ability to scale to large numbers of identical qubits as required for performing practical quantum computing. To date, several experiments have demonstrated trapping of qubit arrays with > 256 qubits. To couple neutral atom qubits, highly excited Rydberg states are used which have extremely large electric dipole moments giving rise to strong and controllable interactions. These can be exploited to perform high fidelity multi-qubit gates, with F>0.95 demonstrated for two qubits and intrinsic fidelities of F>0.995 for multi-qubit gates, or for performing quantum simulation of controllable spin models as required for studying materials or solving optimisation problems.

Whilst there has been significant experimental progress, a number of challenges currently limit scaling to larger array sizes for hardware based on a single atomic species. The first arises from finite vacuum lifetime due to collisions with background atoms ejecting atoms from the trap. For room temperature operation, this is typically 10s for 1 atom but means only 10ms for a 1000 atom array. This can be solved by moving to operation at cryogenic temperatures down to 4 K where the cold surfaces cause significant increase in lifetime upwards of > 6000 seconds meaning recovery of times > 6s even for 1000 atoms. The next issue lies in the long readout time for neutral atom qubits, typically requiring 10-50 ms to readout qubit states. With a single species, the cross-talk and scattered light mean readout is destructive across the whole array, with no clear pathway to performing local measurements required for error correction to reach fault tolerant operation.

This project will tackle these two challenges by establishing a dual-species neutral atom array within a 4 K cryostat to obtain enhanced vacuum lifetimes and providing the ability to perform measurement on one species (the readout qubits) whilst retaining coherent quantum states on the other species (the logical qubits). This provides a route to overcome challenges with local addressing and cross talk as the two species operate at optical wavelengths separated by 10s of nm.

For more contact: Dr Jonathan Pritchard

Quantum Error Correction in a dual species Rydberg Array (QuERy) - Dr Jonathan Pritchard

Vortex Dynamics in Ultracold Quantum Mixtures

Supervisor: Dr Kali Wilson;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

In a quantum many-body system the interactions between the constituent microscopic particles lead to emergent macroscopic phenomena. Such phenomena include superfluidity (fluid flow without viscosity) and superconductivity (conduction of electricity without resistance). Novel phases such as high-temperature superconductivity form the basis of quantum materials, where useful emergent properties can lead to new technologies. Studying the dynamics of vortices (quantum whirlpools) can give key insight into the inner workings of these systems. Superfluids formed of ultracold atoms provide an extremely clean and well-controlled system for studies of collective quantum behaviour. They enable exquisite control over interactions, geometry, and rotation (vorticity). Importantly, in superfluids formed of mixtures of ultracold atoms we can tune the interactions to emphasize quantum effects such as fluctuations.

A key aim of this research project is to explore regimes where the behaviour of the superfluid depends on its inherent quantum nature. This will drive our fundamental understanding of superfluidity as a collective quantum phenomenon. The successful student will join the Quantum Fluids research team, run by Dr Kali Wilson. They will work closely with the supervisor and other team members on a state-of-the-art experimental apparatus designed to explore vortex dynamics in binary superfluids. The apparatus is currently being developed, and a major focus of the Phd project will be design and implementation of optical systems for controlled vortex nucleation in the superfluid mixture.

The successful student will also acquire practical skills in the areas of quantum technologies, optics and atomic physics. These skills include working with lasers, designing optical systems, high-resolution imaging and image processing, cooling and trapping atoms, as well as electronics and mechanical design.

Informal inquires can be made to Dr Kali Wilson,
For more information on our recent research see the group webpage at

Information on Strathclyde’s EDI policies can be found here


For more contact: Dr Kali Wilson.

Vortex Dynamics in Ultracold Quantum Mixtures - Dr Kali Wilson

Numerical simulations of Open Quantum Systems in 2D

Supervisor: Dr Peter Kirton;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Developing accurate simulations of quantum systems unavoidably involves taking into account coupling to the outside world [1]. Such modelling is important for a wide range of physical systems, whose quantum properties are now routinely measured in the lab. These include many devices which are promising candidates for quantum computing [2]. Simulations of these systems are limited by what numerical methods [3] are available and until very recently it has only been possible perform well controlled simulations for systems in the semiclassical limit [4] or in 1D [5].

This project aims to look at ways of going beyond this by using advanced methods based on neural networks [6] and tensor networks [7] to simulate models of interacting spins on 2D lattices including the effects of the environment such as driving, dissipation and decoherence. This will allow us to make predictions about driven-dissipative phase transitions and other non-equilibrium phenomena possible in these systems.

[1] Breuer and Petruccione, The Theory of Open Quantum Systems (Oxford University Press) (2002)
[2] Preskill Quantum 2, 79 (2018)
[3] Weimer et al Rev Mod Phys 93, 015008 (2021)
[4] Kirton et al Adv. Quant. Tech. 2, 1800043 (2019)
[5] Verstraete et al Phys Rev Lett 93, 207204 (2004)
[6] Kothe and Kirton arXiv:2305.13992 (2023)
[7] McKeever and Szymańska Phys Rev X 11, 021035 (2021)

Numerical simulations of Open Quantum Systems in 2D - Dr Peter Kirton

Quantum transport of quantum gases in optical lattices

Supervisor: Dr Elmar Haller;

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Ultracold quantum gases in optical lattices provide a unique environment for the quantum simulation of interacting many-body systems. These ‘artificial solids’ provide a high degree of control with novel preparation and detection schemes, and they offer an exciting complementary setup to natural condensed-matter systems, much in the spirit of Feynman’s vision of a quantum simulator.

The goal of the project is to study quantum phase transitions and quantum transport in lattices using bosonic quantum gases. As part of our dedicated team of PhD students and researchers, you will work on an existing, state-of-the-art apparatus designed to study ultracold cesiumatoms. Please see our previous and ongoing projects.

You will acquire practical skills within key areas of Quantum Technologies, such as laser cooling of atoms, optics, and atomic physics. Typical tasks encompass the design and execution of experimental measurements, image processing and data analysis, and manuscript preparation.

We are seeking candidates with a robust background in quantum and atomic physics, a passion for research, and a readiness to challenge themselves in a dynamic and evolving field. You can find recent publications and more information on our webpage.

Quantum transport of quantum gases in optical lattices - Dr Elmar Haller

University of Glasgow

Quantum Transduction

Supervisors: Antonio Badolato and Martin Weides;,

Institution: University of Glasgow

The project aims to create an interface that coherently converts quantum states between GHz superconducting qubits and near-infrared qubits. Its success is crucial for integrating superconductor quantum qubits with photonic telecom systems. Leveraging advanced materials and nanotechnology, the project promises to enhance efficiency of quantum state transfer. Backed by strategic industrial partnerships, the endeavor is set to lay a robust foundation for next-generation quantum communication and computation. We seek talented and highly motivated students with a strong background in engineering, physics, or materials science to undertake research on quantum technologies using solid-state, scalable quantum circuits. For informal enquiries please contact and’ Project will be part of the JWNC, and the Centre for Quantum Technology,

Quantum Transduction - Martin Weides

Cat State Quantum Computation

Supervisors: Antonio Badolato and Martin Weides;,

Institution: University of Glasgow

Project explores the generation of cat states within superconducting circuits, aiming to harness their potential for robust quantum computing and internet. Cat states could offer resistance against losses and facilitate multiplexing and error correction strategies essential to scalable quantum technology. We are advancing this innovative field through state-of-the-art superconducting circuits and seeking dedicated students with a keen interest in quantum physics engineering and materials science. This research promises a leap forward in the quest for reliable quantum systems. For informal enquiries please contact and’ Project will be part of the JWNC, and the Centre for Quantum Technology,

Cat State Quantum Computation - Antonio Badolato