Building a Quantum Engineering Undergraduate Program

Citation:

Abraham Asfaw, Alexandre Blais, Kenneth R. Brown, Jonathan Candelaria, Christopher Cantwell, Lincoln D. Carr, Joshua Combes, Dripto M. Debroy, John M. Donohue, Sophia E. Economou, Emily Edwards, Michael F.J. Fox, Steven M. Girvin, Alan Ho, Hilary M. Hurst, Zubin Jacob, Blake R. Johnson, Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Robert Joynt, Eliot Kapit, Judith Klein-Seetharaman, Martin Laforest, H.J. Lewandowski, Theresa W. Lynn, Corey Rae H. McRae, Celia Merzbacher, Spyridon Michalakis, Prineha Narang, William D. Oliver, Jens Palsberg, David P. Pappas, Michael G. Raymer, David J. Reilly, Mark Saffman, Thomas A. Searles, Jeffrey H. Shapiro, and Chandralekha Singh. 7/3/2021. “Building a Quantum Engineering Undergraduate Program.” arXiv. Publisher's Version

Abstract:

The rapidly growing quantum information science and engineering (QISE) industry will require both quantum-aware and quantum-proficient engineers at the bachelor's level. We provide a roadmap for building a quantum engineering education program to satisfy this need. For quantum-aware engineers, we describe how to design a first quantum engineering course accessible to all STEM students. For the education and training of quantum-proficient engineers, we detail both a quantum engineering minor accessible to all STEM majors, and a quantum track directly integrated into individual engineering majors. We propose that such programs typically require only three or four newly developed courses that complement existing engineering and science classes available on most larger campuses. We describe a conceptual quantum information science course for implementation at any post-secondary institution, including community colleges and military schools. QISE presents extraordinary opportunities to work towards rectifying issues of inclusivity and equity that continue to be pervasive within engineering. We present a plan to do so and describe how quantum engineering education presents an excellent set of education research opportunities. Finally, we outline a hands-on training plan on quantum hardware, a key component of any quantum engineering program, with a variety of technologies including optics, atoms and ions, cryogenic and solid-state technologies, nanofabrication, and control and readout electronics. Our recommendations provide a flexible framework that can be tailored for academic institutions ranging from teaching and undergraduate-focused two- and four-year colleges to research-intensive universities.