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Practical quantum technologies tackling today’s security problems

discs connected by points and lines
The IOP Lancashire and Cumbria Branch Committee, would like to welcome members to the first of their lecture series. 
Speaker: Professor Robert Young FHEA

Modern society is underpinned by digital technology and information that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to attack, with massive data breaches on the rise. Quantum security harnesses the fundamental behaviour of electrons and light to provide novel functionality; provably secure communications, truly random number generation (for keys and passwords) and authentication for devices at the atomic scale.

In this talk Professor Robert Young FHEA will introduce how quantum technology can be applied to security, and give an overview of some of the contributions that Lancaster’s research has made to the field. Through a Lancaster-based spin-out, Quantum Base, we are bringing this technology to market, including a smartphone-readable labelling technology (Q-IDs) for anti-counterfeiting, which Professor Young will demonstrate in the talk.

About the speaker: 

Professor Robert Young FHEA is an Chief Scientist at Quantum Base Ltd, and a Professor of Quantum Technology at Lancaster University. He is an experimental physicist with a passion for developing practical applications of quantum technologies. The last decade saw the beginning of another new generation of technology, one that is underpinned by the quantum nature of the devices. This technology will have a huge impact on our lives in many ways; the first being to enable truly secure communications.

His contribution in this exciting new field was seeded by a Master’s degree in physics from Oxford University (2002), before moving to Cambridge to complete a PhD in experimental quantum information processing. Here he was part of the world-leading Semiconductor Physics Group, led by Prof. Sir Michael Pepper. For his PhD he won two awards, from the Institute of Physics and an EU network, for the development of the first simple device capable of emitting entangled photons, a cornerstone of quantum physics.

In 2005 he joined Toshiba Research Europe Ltd as a research scientist, developing another crucial element for quantum technologies, a memory element for quantum states. In 2008 he moved to Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland, creating next-generation light sources and a technique to distribute quantum information on standard fibre networks, a vital development for the mass-adoption of this technology.

He then returned to the UK, taking an academic position at Lancaster University. In 2012 he was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Research Fellowship, investigating novel practical systems for quantum information processing. He currently heads a group focused on this nascent field, with support from numerous funding agencies.

To date, he has authored 70 publications (papers and patents), garnering over 2,000 citations and attracting the attention of numerous news outlets and international newspapers, an exceptional achievement in his relatively short career.

There will be an opportunity to network with fellow members of the IOP, and the regional committee and an opportunity for you to share what you would like the region to focus on.