Early-career researchers to be honored with 2023 Boeing Quantum Creators Prize

Fourteen early-career quantum researchers have been awarded the 2023 Boeing Quantum Creators Prize for work that moves the field of quantum information science and engineering in new directions. The program, which began in 2021 and expanded this year thanks to a new commitment from Boeing, is designed to recognize promising researchers whose work contributes new ideas to a fast-growing field that has the potential to revolutionize technology and society.

The winners will present their work at the Boeing Quantum Creators Prize Symposium on November 14, the second day of this year’s Chicago Quantum Summit.

“Showcasing the exceptional talent of early-career researchers is the mission of the creators prize. For the winners it is a recognition of their amazing achievements, and for the audience it is an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the field,” said Hannes Bernien, an assistant professor of molecular engineering at the University of Chicago and the chair of the Boeing Quantum Creators Prize program committee. “The 2023 cohort is incredibly strong, and it will be very exciting to hear their ideas and see their great potential to become the future leaders of their field.”

The winners are:

  • Anjun Chu, a graduate student in the theory group of Professor Ana Maria Rey at JILA, University of Colorado Boulder. Chu’s research has focused on quantum many-body dynamics in spin systems and their multilevel extensions and has closely collaborated with experimental groups on problems relevant for quantum simulation and metrology in optical lattice clocks and cavity QED systems. 
  • Yu-Hao Deng, a PhD student in Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu’s group at the University of Science and Technology in China and a visiting PhD student in the Bernien Lab at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME). The team performed the first photonic quantum computational advantage experiment, Jiuzhang, in 2020. His work extends to Jiuzhang 2.0 and 3.0, applying the processor to solving graph problems, and a quantum interference experiment at an astronomical scale. 
  • Sebastian Gorgon, a PhD candidate working on luminescent organic radicals in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He holds a degree in Chemical Physics from University College London and is a long-term academic visitor to the Centre for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance at the University of Oxford. 
  • Melissa Guidry, a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor Jelena Vuckovic at Stanford University, where she received her PhD in applied physics. Her primary research interest involves understanding and engineering the quantum states of multimode nonlinear optics via integrated photonics. 
  • Xinghan Guo, a PhD candidate in the High Lab at UChicago's PME. His research includes diamond growth, diamond-based heterostructure fabrication, nanophotonic integration, and characterization of group IV centers. He received a BE in Microelectronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2017. 
  • Srujan Meesala, a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He is involved with efforts to connect superconducting qubits with optical photons in Professor Oskar Painter’s group. Meesala received his PhD from Harvard University, where he worked on diamond color centers in the group of Professor Marko Loncar.
  • Pai Peng, a Princeton (University) Quantum Initiative postdoctoral fellow working with Professor Jeff Thompson. Peng received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professor Paola Cappellaro in 2022. His work explores quantum computation using neutral atoms and quantum simulation using solid-state qubits. 
  • Adam Shaw, a sixth-year graduate student at the CalTech advised by Manuel Endres. During his PhD, Shaw has studied how to engineer quantum effects in arrays of individually trapped atoms, with applications and experimental contributions towards quantum metrology, simulation, and computation. 
  • Kevin Singh, a postdoctoral researcher in the Bernien Lab at UChicago’s PME. He received his SB in physics in 2013 from MIT and his PhD in physics in 2019 from the University of California Santa Barbara, working with Dr. David Weld.  
  • Nathanan (Nat) Tantivasadakarn, a Burke postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. His research interests explore the interplay between topological phases of matter, quantum error correction and computation, non-equilibrium quantum dynamics and generalized symmetries. Tantivasadakarn obtained his PhD from Harvard University.
  • Freek Witteveen, a postdoc at the Center for Mathematics of Quantum Theory (QMATH) at the University of Copenhagen. He obtained his PhD at QuSoft and the University of Amsterdam with Professor Michael Walter. Witteveen’s research interests are broadly at the interface of many-body physics and quantum information sciences. 
  • Haocun Yu, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vienna. She received her PhD in physics from MIT in 2020. Her research is dedicated to quantum-enhanced precision measurements for fundamental physics, including gravitational-wave detectors, and the interface between quantum mechanics and gravity. 
  • Xueyue (Sherry) Zhang, a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her PhD in applied physics from Caltech in 2023 and her BE with highest honors from Tsinghua University in 2017. Sherry has received both the Miller Fellowship in 2023 and the Yariv/Blauvelt Fellowship in 2017. Her research interests include solid state quantum devices and their applications in quantum computation, many-body simulation, and communication. 
  • Yujie Zhang, a PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, advised by Professor Virginia Lorenz and Professor Eric Chitambar. Zhang’s research aims to employ photonics quantum system and tools in quantum information theory to investigate quantum foundation and pioneer new quantum-enhanced quantum technologies in both theory and experiment. 

In-person attendance at the Chicago Quantum Summit and Boeing Quantum Creators Prize is by invitation only, but virtual participation is broadly available. Register to attend virtually.