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SFU physicist Stephanie Simmons to help lead Canada's new quantum strategy

January 13, 2023
SFU physics professor Stephanie Simmons is co-chair of Canada's New National Quantum Strategy advisory council. Photo: Sylvie Li / Shoot Studio

SFU physicist Stephanie Simmons will help steer Canada’s new National Quantum Strategy as co-chair of its advisory council. The strategy, launched today by the federal government and supported by a $360 million commitment, will help shape the future of quantum technologies in Canada.

Simmons, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Silicon Quantum Technologies at SFU and is also founder and chief quantum officer at Photonic, will co-chair the council with physics and astronomy professor Raymond Laflamme, founding director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.

The role will mean working with top officials and experts in Canada and abroad to strengthen Canadian research, talent and commercialization.

The national strategy aims to reinforce Canada as a world leader in the continued development of technologies, including support for Canadian developers and early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies, and equipping the country with a secure quantum communications network and post-quantum cryptography capabilities.

The field of quantum technology is considered key to fueling Canada’s economy, long-term resilience and growth, especially as technologies mature and more sectors harness quantum capabilities.

Last fall, Simmons was recognized with a prestigious Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship, one of only six awarded nationally. The $250,000 fellowship is awarded by NSERC to academic researchers who focus on the natural sciences and engineering, to support their research as they become leaders in their fields.

Simmons works collaboratively with the Quantum Algorithms Institute (QAI), hosted at SFU’s Surrey campus. She was also recently appointed to the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Quantum Technologies.